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Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified

Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is a classification within the ASD commonly referred to as atypical autism. PDD-NOS is a catchall diagnosis as a child classified into this category is likely to show symptoms of autism yet not all features are identifiable. A diagnosed child exhibits autistic characteristics such as social impairment, communication disabilities and uses stereotyped behaviors. However, the child doesn’t necessarily meet the criteria for an exact definition.

Diagnoses of children with PDD-NOS are often made at the age of 3 to 4 years old. They are slightly older than children diagnosed with other spectrum classifications. It is harder to conclude the correct diagnosis at an early age as children with PDD can exhibit some characteristics of autism yet not enough to be categorized under any specific disorder.

PDD-NOS is often mistaken to be the milder classification of ASD. This is untrue as a child with such a diagnosis can have a combination of severe and mild symptoms at the same time. The following is a sample of possible manifestations of PDD-NOS:

  • Can speak and form sentences appropriate to age.
  • Normal motor skills.
  • Unusual mood swings and barely consolable tantrums.
  • Prefers to play alone.
  • Participates in class but can be easily over-stimulated.
  • Repetitive hand-clapping when excited.
  • Social skills deficiency.
  • Obsesses with a specific toy.
  • Talks a lot more than normal.

Children with PDD-NOS display a variety of symptoms found in other specific autism spectrum disorders. If the same irregular pattern is observed, not necessarily the same as the example, it is advised to immediately consult a medical professional for evaluation.

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Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
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