Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (page 5)
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 PDDNOS--which stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. This page is part of a "suite" of pages on disorders along the autism spectrum. The suite includes:
- Asperger Syndrome
- Rett Syndrome
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and
- PDDNOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (you're here!)
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 PDDNOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. 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!
What is PDDNOS?
- The plain diagnostic criteria for PDDNOS.
Without explanation or elaboration, here's the criteria for PDDNOS from the DSM-IV-TR. While you'll go directly to the criteria, you may find it useful to scroll back up the page and see the criteria for the other four disorders.
- Wanna quick overview?
Read NICHCY's 4-page fact sheet on autism and PDDNOS.
- Read our longer briefing paper.
We offer a 16-page briefing paper on PDDNOS, with a resource section assembled in October 2003.
- Warning signs of autism spectrum disorder and PDD.
Billed as "a parents' guide to the diagnosis, treatment and education of children with autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder ( PDD) and related disorders," AutismWeb branches into separate areas about the definitions of each autism spectrum disorder, education, diet, recommended readings, news, conferences, and how to find resources within your community. This article looks at warning signs that may indicate the child needs to be evaluated for autism or another PDD.
- Want to know more about the DSM-VI-TR, and how it was compiled?
Visit the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV-TR Library, located at the link above.
- The diagnostic merry-go-round.
Patient Centers offers guides on many different disorders and diseases, including autism. This particular article is taken from Chapter 2 of the book Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Diagnosis & Getting Help by Mitzi Waltz.
- Getting a diagnosis: Starting with a pediatrician.
From the same source as the item above, this is Chapter 3 of the book Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Diagnosis & Getting Help by Mitzi Waltz.
Research on PDDNOS
We were unable to identify research being conducted exclusively upon PDDNOS. However, PDDNOS is under the umbrella of the larger category of PDD--Pervasive Developmental Disorders. And PDD includes autism, upon which a great deal of research is being conducted. That research has much relevance to individuals with PDDNOS. Accordingly, we refer you to the research section of our Connections pages on autism, at: www.nichcy.org/resources/autism.asp#research.
We also refer you to this article, which, if you're interested in learning more about research, you may well appreciate!
- Want to know how to evaluate research studies?
OAR, the Organization for Autism Research, offers a guide, entitled Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent's Guide to Research, to help parents become "savvy" about finding and consuming information on autism, with special emphasis upon examining the research. Sources of this information are presented. The science model is then explained, along with a framework for evaluating research studies and the current state of autism research.
And since so little is actually written about PDDNOS exclusively, we thought you'd want to know about these publications in professional journals.
- Buitelaar, J.K., Van der Gaag, R., Klin, A., & Volkmar, F. (1999, February). Exploring the boundaries of Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified: Analyses of data from the DSM-IV autistic disorder field trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29(1), 33-43. (Abstracts of journal articles are available online at: http://springerlink.metapress.com/. Select "Browse Publications A-Z," go to J and scroll through the J's until you come to Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. There are two listings. You want the first, which is the Historical Archive of the journal when it was published by Kluwer Publishers.)
- Serra, M., Althaus, M., de Sonneville, L.M.J., Stant, A.D., Jackson, A.E., & Minderaa, R.B. (2003, June). Face recognition in children with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(3), 303-317. (Abstracts of journal articles are available online at: www.springerlink.com. Select "Browse Publications A-Z," go to J and scroll through the J's until you come to Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. There are two listings. You want the first, which is the Historical Archive of the journal when it was published by Kluwer Publishers.)
- Sicotte, C., & Stemberger, R.M.T. (1999, June). Do children with PDDNOS have a theory of mind? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29(3), 225-233. (Abstracts of journal articles are available online at: www.springerlink.com. Select "Browse Publications A-Z," go to J and scroll through the J's until you come to Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. There are two listings. You want the first, which is the Historical Archive of the journal when it was published by Kluwer Publishers.)
Organizations That Can Help
Given the PDDNOS is one of the disorders along the autism spectrum, with symptoms similar to autism itself, you may also find useful information, assistance, and connection to local resources at any or all of the autism-related organizations we've listed in our companion Connections page on autism. For those groups, we refer you to: www.nichcy.org/resources/autism.asp#orgs
Educating Students with PDDNOS
As was said above, it's difficult to locate information exclusively focused on PDDNOS, let alone materials about educating students with this disorder. Since PDDNOS is one of the disorders along the autism spectrum, with symptoms quite similar to autism itself, appropriate educational interventions will be those similar to what's used when educating students with autism. Therefore, we refer you to the educational links on our Connections page on autism, at: www.nichcy.org/resources/autism.asp#education
Again, because of the lack of materials on PDDNOS exclusively, we refer you to the Spanish links on our Connections page on autism, at: www.nichcy.org/resources/autism.asp#Spanish
Reprinted with the permission of the National Dissemination Center.
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