Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs)

Pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) are a diagnostic category that refers to a group of five disorders that are characterized by developmental problems that negatively affect socialization and communication. The PDDs listed in the DSM-IV include pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Childhood Disintegrative Disorders (CDD), Rett Syndrome, and the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); Atypical Autism, Autism, and Asperger's syndrome.

Symptoms typical of these disorders are difficulty relating to people and objects (lack of eye contact and lack of facial responses), unusual play toys and other objects, repetitive body movements (hand flapping, hair twirling, etc.), inability to cuddle or be comforted, and problems with emotional and behavioral regulation.

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