Youth Treatment Programs for Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Youth treatment programs are showing great promise for helping children and teens who suffer from pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). PDD can create havoc in a family. Children with PDD often have problems socializing and communicating. They can throw tantrums, bang their heads repeatedly and cry because sound bothers them. Read on for more information about this devastating condition.

What is PDD?

Boys and girls with PDD have brains that function differently than those of other children, making it difficult to process information efficiently. The cause is a mystery to doctors, but they have identified four major categories of PDD:

  • Autism
  • Asperger’s disorder
  • Rett’s disorder
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder, which is also known as disintegrative psychosis

Each of these disorders emerges in a child’s early years. Parents can see worrisome delays with motor skills, problems interacting with other children and difficulties with language skills. It affects as many as one in every 88 children. Although the reasons the brain is different in PDD children is unclear, experts do know that it is not due to bad parenting. The alcohol withdrawal timeline actions of the parents, how they play with and respond to their child, are not the cause of these conditions, nor do they contribute to them. Unfortunately, this misconception still pervades much of the discussion about PDD.

Five Common Symptoms of a PDD Child

The symptoms of PDD affect children differently, and not all kids are affected along the entire symptomatic range. The behaviors that each child displays vary considerably, but five major symptoms are common and easy to spot.

First, children have trouble handling social situations with parents, siblings, adults and other children. Unlike most youngsters, they will often avoid physical contact and even eye contact. The PDD child usually has few, if any, friends and seldom joins in playtime.

Second, communication is problematic with most PDD children. They commonly have trouble with gestures and facial expressions. They can be slow to talk and to understand basic language skills. Sometimes a child will repeat words over and over, a condition called echolalia.

Third, a child with PDD often has problems developing motor skills that are essential for everyday activities. She might have periods where she rocks back and forth continually or flaps her hands and fingers. Sometimes she will bang her head against a wall repeatedly.

Fourth, the child might have problems with sensory development. At times the child can be hypersensitive to sounds of all types. At other times, she may not appear to hear even the loudest noises.

Finally, mood swings are common in PDD kids, often triggered by anxiety and fear. Aggressive behavior is often a problem as well, and the child may switch between happy behavior and extreme anger or aggression without obvious provocation.



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