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Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

By — National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities
Updated on Nov 12, 2009

Table of Contents
What is This Disorder?
Research on CDD
Organizations That Can Help
Teaching Students with CDD
Spanish Materials

NICHCY's Connections pages are designed to put you in quick contact with information that's readily available on the Internet. We're pleased to offer this particular resource page to connect you with sources of information about children and youth with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. This page is part of a "suite" of pages on disorders along the autism spectrum. The suite includes:

Why a Suite of Different Pages?

Why are we designing these resources pages as part of a suite? How and why are they connected to one other? The answer lies in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM is the guide typically used by physicians and mental health professionals to diagnose the five disorders listed above. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the latest edition of the DSM came out in 2000 and is known as the DSM-IV-TR (meaning the fourth edition, text revision). It lists the symptoms associated with each of the five disorders. Most importantly, it also groups all five disorders under the "umbrella" category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, or PDD. Why? Because these disorders share in common the following characteristics: impairments in social interaction, imaginative activity, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and a limited number of interests and activities that tend to be repetitive.

The Umbrella Category: PDD

The term Pervasive Developmental Disorders was first used in the 1980s to describe a class of disorders with similar symptoms or characteristics. The term occasionally causes some confusion, because one of the disorders underneath the umbrella has a very similar name---PDDNOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). As a result, PDD and PDDNOS are sometimes used interchangeably. A doctor, for example, may tell a parent that his or her child has PDD. This may stir up confusion further down the diagnostic and treatment road, because PDD actually refers to the overall category of disorders. It's not a diagnostic label. Some doctors, however, are hesitant to diagnose very young children with a specific type of PDD, such as Autistic Disorder or Asperger's Syndrome, and therefore only use the general category label of PDD. In other cases, the doctor may say PDD as a shorter way of talking about PDDNOS.

To avoid this confusion, our suite of pages will use the term PDD to refer to the overall category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders and the term PDDNOS to refer to the specific disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

This particular page connects you with resources on Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

The resources we've listed aren't intended to be exhaustive of those available. We'll be adding to this page throughout the year, so you may wish to check back every now and again to see what's new!

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