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Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS Symptoms

(Also Known As: Pervasive Developmental Disorders Symptoms, Autism Symptoms, Asperger's Symptoms, Aspergers Symptoms, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified Symptoms, Pdd-NOS Symptoms, PDD Symptoms)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the symptoms of pervasive developmental disorder NOS?

Biological symptoms include:

  • Manifestation of grand mal seizures at some time, and ventricular enlargement on CT scan]
  • EEG abnormalities are common in children. Although EEG is a non-specific diagnostic marker of the condition, there is some indication of failed cerebral lateralization.
  • MRI reveals hypoplasia of cerebellar vermal lobules VI and VII, cortical abnormalities such as polymicrogyria

These abnormalities may reflect abnormal cell migrations in the first six months of gestation. An autopsy finding revealed less presence of Purkinje’s cells while another investigation found an increased diffuse cortical metabolism in PET scan. 5

Other symptoms include:

  • Marked problems in social interaction
  • Delayed and deviant communication development
  • Speech is absent in about 50 percent of cases
  • Stereotyped motor behaviors: hand flapping, body rocking, insistence on sameness and resistance to change.
  • Manifestation of mental retardation on the basis of their full-scale (or averaged) IQ score; however, unlike most people with primary mental retardation, those with autism often have marked scatter in their development, so that some aspects of the IQ, particularly nonverbal skills, may be within the normal range.
  • Autism is sometimes observed along with other medical and psychiatric conditions such as Fragile X syndrome.6

Diagnosis:How is pervasive developmental disorder NOS diagnosed?

The DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for Autistic Disorder are as follows:

A total of six or more condition from categories 1, 2, and 3, with at least two from category 1, and one each from 2 and 3.

  1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
    • Marked impairment in the ability or use of non-verbal behavior such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures and gestures to regulate social interaction
    • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
    • Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people
    • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
  2. Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
    • Delay in or total lack of the development of spoken language. This should not be accompanied by attempts to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime.
    • In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.
    • Stereotyped or repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language
    • Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.
  3. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
    • Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity of focus.
    • Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
    • Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms which includes hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements.
    • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to 3 years of age:

  • Social interaction
  • Language as used in social communication
  • Symbolic imaginative play

The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s disorder or childhood disintegrative disorder.

The DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger’s Disorder are as follows:

  • Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
    • Marked impairment in the ability or use of non-verbal behavior such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures and gestures to regulate social interaction.
    • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.
    • Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people.
    • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
  • Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities as manifested by at least one of the following:
    • Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity of focus.
    • Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
    • Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms which includes hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements.
    • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. There is also no clinically significant delay in language such as single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years as well as cognitive development. These criteria are not met for another specific pervasive development disorder or schizophrenia. 7

Could You Have Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS?

Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS Topics

Related Conditions

Asperger's Syndrome – impaired social interaction, restrictive patterns of behavior, repetitive behavior, autism, clumsiness
Autism – impaired social interaction, restricted repetitive behavior, impaired social development
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – disintegrative psychosis, developmental delay, impaired social, verbal and motor skills
Rett's Disorder – impaired social skills, autism, pervasive disorder, cognitive impairment, impaired verbal skills