Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) are a group of
disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and
communication skills. These disorders are present at birth, but the signs of
the disorders usually are noticed during a child's first 3 years of life.
Pervasive developmental disorders include autism, Rett's disorder
(or syndrome), Asperger's syndrome (or disorder), childhood disintegrative
disorder (CDD), and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified
(PDD-NOS). Pervasive developmental disorders may also be called autism spectrum
The severity of pervasive developmental disorders varies
by individual. Treatment for these disorders includes behavioral training,
speech and occupational therapy, and parent education and support.
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