Autism Home > Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive developmental disorder is an umbrella term for a group of disorders in which people have delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Autism is perhaps the best known type. Other types include Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and Rett syndrome. Symptoms of this disorder vary, but include problems relating to others and difficulty with changes in routine.

What Is Pervasive Developmental Disorder?

Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before three years of age.

Types of Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Autism (a developmental brain disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication skills and by a limited range of activities and interests) is the most characteristic and best-studied pervasive developmental disorder.
Other types of pervasive developmental disorder include:
These conditions all have some of the same symptoms, but they differ in terms of when the symptoms start, how fast they appear, how severe they are, and their exact nature.

Symptoms of Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive developmental disorder symptoms may include:
  • Problems with using and understanding language
  • Difficulty relating to people, objects, and events
  • Unusual play with toys and other objects
  • Difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings
  • Repetitive body movements or behavior patterns.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviors. Some children do not speak at all, others speak in limited phrases or conversations, and some have relatively normal language development. Repetitive play skills and limited social skills are generally evident. Unusual responses to sensory information, such as loud noises and lights, are also common.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation



Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2020 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.