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Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Childhood disintegrative disorder is a type of autism spectrum disorder. Very few children meet the criteria for this particular disorder. The loss of vocabulary is more dramatic in this condition than in classical autism. This disorder is also accompanied by loss of bowel and bladder control and, in many cases, seizures and a low IQ.

What Is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?

Childhood disintegrative disorder is a type of pervasive developmental disorder (more commonly known as autism spectrum disorder [ASD]). Pervasive developmental disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social interactions, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
 

Related Statistics

Very few children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder meet the criteria for childhood disintegrative disorder. An estimate based on four surveys of autism spectrum disorder found fewer than 2 children per 100,000 with autism spectrum disorder could be classified as having childhood disintegrative disorder. This suggests that the condition is a rare form of autism spectrum disorder. This disorder is far more common in males than in females.
 

Symptoms of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Childhood disintegrative disorder symptoms may appear by age two, but the average age of onset is between three and four years of age. Until this time, the child has age-appropriate skills in communication and social relationships. The long period of normal development before regression helps differentiate this disorder from Rett syndrome.
 

How Is It Diagnosed?

The loss of vocabulary is more dramatic in childhood disintegrative disorder than it is in classical autism. The diagnosis requires extensive and pronounced losses involving motor, language, and social skills.
 
Childhood disintegrative disorder is also accompanied by loss of bowel and bladder control, and oftentimes seizures and a very low IQ.
 
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What Is Pervasive Developmental Disorder?

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