category pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), as opposed to
specific developmental disorders (SDD), refers to a group of five
disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple
basic functions including socialization and communication. The
most commonly known PDD is (1) Autism, with the remaining
identified as (2) Rett syndrome, (3) Childhood disintegrative
disorder, (4) Asperger syndrome, and (5) Pervasive Developmental
Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or PDD-NOS).
Parents may note symptoms of PDD as
early as infancy and typically onset is prior to 3 years of age.
PDD itself generally does not affect life expectancy. However,
PDDs are correlated with poverty, suicides, crimes, and a variety
of medical problems.
There is a division among doctors
on the use of the term PDD. Many use the term PDD as a short way
use the general category label of PDD because they are hesitant to
diagnose very young children with a specific type of PDD, such as
autism. Both approaches contribute to confusion about the term,
because the term PDD actually refers to a category of disorders
and is not a diagnostic label.