Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a group of disorders that are characterized by severe impairment in several areas of development. Asperger’s Disorder is one of the five types of PDD, all of which include significant problems in:
• Reciprocal social interaction
• Communication and language
• Stereotyped behaviors, interests, and activities
In addition to Asperger’s Disorder, the other PDD include Autistic Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD Not Otherwise Specified. If your child’s diagnostic symptoms are not clear, she may be diagnosed with PDD Not Otherwise Specified, which is a label for children who clearly have developmental problems but do not fall into the other PDD classifications.
Autistic Disorder, described in chapter 1, is the most difficult disorder to distinguish from Asperger’s Disorder. Rett’s Disorder is seen only in females and appears after normal development in the first five months of life. There is a measurable slowing in the growth of the head as well as loss of motor skills. Asperger’s Disorder is more common in males than females and shows no delays in head growth.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder appears after two years of normal development followed by noticeable loss of skills in language, socialization, movement, self-help, or toileting. Asperger’s Disorder children do not show a loss of such skills or disturbances in their abilities.