Autism and PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) are developmental disorders that are characterized by symptoms which disrupt speech, communication and social interaction behaviors. In addition, autism and PDD are characterized by recurring and obsessive behavior.
Pervasive development disorder or PDD is actually the broad category that these developmental disorders are categorized under, so autism is actually a form of PDD, and autism and PDD share many common denominators. The commonalities between these two complexes include diagnosis, causes, and treatments.
The diagnosis of autism and PDD reflects impairments through at least one of three categories of symptoms. Those symptoms include impairment in speech, social interactions, and recurring obsessive behavior.
The specific difference between them s characterized by the severity of the displayed symptoms. The diagnosis of PDD is marked by less severe behavioral impairments, and autism is characterized by more severe behavioral episodes.
Of course, a medical diagnosis must be made by a qualified medical professional. Additional tools available are various assessment questionnaires to determine if either disorder is a possibility.
The causes of autism and PDD are not exactly known. However, medical evidence strongly suggests that genetics plays a key role in its occurrence as this disorder is often part of a family’s medical history.
In fact, both defy categorization with modern genetic testing. This led researchers to hypothesize that autism and PDD disorders are caused by a combination of genetic anomalies.
It has also been suggested that vaccines have been a contributing factor in the development of both autism and PDD. However no research has verified the connection between the onset of autism and vaccinations.
Treatment for autism and PDD is through a combination of methods and techniques. This methodology includes the use of behavior modification, developmental techniques, a prescription program, and patient and family education.
Modifying the actions of the patient will help to correct “out of control” behavior which can worsen in time if not addressed. Behavioral modification that is begun early enough may preclude the necessity of a prescription program. This course of action is a strict regimen that will correct every action and tendency demonstrated by the patient that is abnormal in behavior.
Development techniques include disciplines such as ABA (applied behavior analysis), verbal communication therapy, physical therapy, and special education. A prescription program may also be indicated in the treatment of autism and PDD. This medication regimen may include drugs to correct hyperactivity and depression. Additionally, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety medications, and medication to address convulsions may be part of the pharmaceutical response to autism and PDD.