The diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, with the typical age of onset prior to the age of 3 years. Symptoms may include problems with using and understanding language; difficulty relating to people, objects, and events; unusual play with toys and other objects; difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings, and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns. Autism (a developmental brain disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication skills, and a limited range of activities and interests) is the best studied and most frequently occurring disorder under the spectrum of PDD. Other types of PDD include Asperger’s Syndrome, where there is no clinically significant general delay in the development of language. In addition these children with Asperger’s Syndrome typically do not typically have clinically significant delays in cognitive development. It is important to understand that children with PDD vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviors.
A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation can be extremely helpful in early identification and providing recommendations for intervention. Our neuropsychologist has expertise in working with children within the Autistic Spectrum and through the neuropsychological evaluation can identify specific strengths and weaknesses that are essential in providing specific recommendations for teachers and therapeutic service providers.
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