November 3, 2009

Pervasive Development Disorders

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Pervasive developmental disorders or PDD refers to a diagnostic classification of certain disorders that involve impairment in communicating and socializing abilities. Symptoms of these conditions may appear during infancy, although they are detected at around three years of age most commonly. Early signs include difficulties with language, inability to interact with other people and situations, unusual behavior while playing, problems occurring after disruptions in routine and actions or behavior that is repetitive. The most researched PDD is autism. PDD also includes disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome, Rett’s syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder. There are vast differences in children with PDD in terms of their behavior, skills and intelligence levels. It is likely that some children may never learn to speak, while in others, speaking abilities may be restricted. There may also be some children with normal speaking abilities. PDD is characterized by repetitive behaviors. Inability to relate normally to sensory stimuli is also evident.

Asperger’s syndrome is characterized by impairment in social skills and eccentric actions. There are also difficulties in reciprocating in social interactions. There may be peculiarities in speaking abilities due to a tendency to be repetitive. Language and motor abilities may be lacking. The areas of interest of these individuals may be very restricted. Rett’s syndrome is a rare condition that usually only develops in females. It is caused by a genetic mutation and is essentially a developmental disorder. This condition is characterized by social and mental regression. There is a disturbance in functions such as speech, moods, breathing and senses. Childhood disintegrative disorder is another rare condition that is commonly found in males. The symptoms usually develop between the ages of 3 and 4 years. Before this, there may be normal development of the child. This condition shows a marked impairment in language skills. There may also be inability to control bowel and bladder functions, extremely low IQ and seizures.

The treatment for pervasive developmental disorders is decided by the specialist depending upon the child’s general health, age, degree of the disorder, medical history of the child and the child’s level of tolerance for certain medication or treatment. After a discussion with the family of the child, the specialist will impart treatment that is determined by the extent of the disorder and the symptoms that the child is experiencing. A combination of therapies or treatment is generally used. The treatment may include speech therapy, communication therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral therapy. These teach the child to adopt appropriate behaviors. The parents may also be taught certain techniques for dealing with the child. Some children require specialized and structured environments for learning, while some children may be able to function in the usual classroom environment. Medication may also be used to treat the symptoms of PDD.