Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified

According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Autism Spectrum Disorders is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior with varying levels of severity based on levels of support.

There are four sub types of Autism Spectrum Disorder including:

  1. Asperger’s Syndrome
  2. Autistic Disorder
  3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  4. Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

What is Pervasive Developmental Disorder- NOS?

PPD-NOS historically was a term used as a catch- all under the diagnosis of the autism spectrum disorder. It was used as a diagnosis for children who displayed some symptoms of autism, but did not meet the full criteria for the disorder. In order to meet the criteria, a child must have persistent deficits in the areas of social communication and interaction and at least 2 of the 4 types of restricted behavior.

People diagnosed with PDD-NOS tend to display a milder form of the autism disorder while this is not always the case. In some instances, some characteristics may be mild, but severe in other areas.

Prevalence 

The prevalence for PDD-NOS is 60-70 per 10,000 and it is considered one of the most frequent childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.

Research Studies

Very little research has been done specifically on PDD-NOS over the years. Some studies discovered that children diagnosed with PPD-NOS were more likely than other ASD diagnosis to no longer show ASD symptoms as they grew older. In one study, it was found that 39% of the sample of children no longer met the criterial for ASD. In another study, it was found that of the 97 children with a PDD-NOS, 25.8% had some degree of an intellectual disability and 9.3% had an associated medical condition such as Fragile X Syndrome disorder or a hearing/visual impairment.

Signs and Symptoms

For individuals diagnosed with PDD-NOS, it is not uncommon to see a higher level of social skills. characteristics may include:

  • Challenges with social behavior
  • Uneven skills development such as high level social skills and delays in play.
  • repetitive body movement
  • Communication challenge such as recognizing facial expressions and emotions and lack of understanding figural of speech and idioms.
  • Maladaptive daydreaming and fantasies
Diagnosis

Assessments

Treatment

While there is no known “cure” to treat PDD-NOS, individuals can benefit from:

  • Social stories
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Medication to treat anxiety and depression
The following links describe in more detail specific characteristics of a person with PDD-NOS:
My ASD Child
National Autism Resources
WebMD.Com
Wikipedia

There’s hope for the pandemic easing, but parents of children with autism still face unique challenges. Employers must offer support.

Published by: HR Drive

As employers begin to focus on reopening workplaces to greater in-person participation amid promising news about the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important for managers and HR leaders to keep in mind that for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this will be yet another transition in a year that has ripped routines to shreds.

“Employers need to be hyper-aware that this is a time when these families will actually need more support,” said Mike Civello, Senior Vice President of Rethink Benefits. “Many of us are so excited to transition back to anything that feels like ‘normal,’ but in many cases, there are complex family situations that will require additional support. A specialized helping hand during this significant home and life transition is critical for this group.” Click here to read the rest story.

Autism and Sleep Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders is characterized as a neurodevelopmental disorder that are a group of conditions with onset in the developmental period that produces impairments in the area of social communication, reciprocal social action as well as repetitive and stereotyped behaviors and interest.

It is a spectrum meaning it varies from person to person with varying co-disorders including sleep.

Studies show that children with sleep disorders experience insomnia and sleep issues at a higher rate than children without autism.

Interviewed parents reported showed that 53% of children with ASD have difficulty sleeping including difficulty falling asleep(23),frequent awakening(19) and early morning wakening (11). Sleep disturbance included bedtime resistance, insomnia, breathing issues while sleeping, morning arising issues and daytime sleepiness. There is also evidence that children with autism spectrum disorder are reported to experience high levels of Parasomnias, defined as a group of sleep disorders involving unwanted events displayed by complexed behaviors during sleep. This includes:

  • Bed Wetting
  • Sleep Hallucination
  • Nightmares
  • Night Terrors
  • Sleep Walking

Sleep disturbance fin autism falls into one of the following categories:

  1. difficulty falling asleep
  2. night walking
  3. early walking
  4. night terrors

The Impact of Sleep

Lack of sleep for an autistic child and adult presents additional challenges. Studies show the lack of sleep can increase issues with repetitive behaviors, fatigued parents, increase anxiety and depression and increase cognitive issues. this decreases the quality of life for the person during daytime. In school, the child may have difficulty staying awake, regulating emotions and an increase in hyperactivity, aggression and poor appetite.  As children become adults, it is possible for the issue of sleeping to increase. there is evidence that autistic adults continue to have issues with insomnia and sleepwalking.

Causes

  • Psychiatric comorbidities including anxiety, behavior problems, and hyperactivity
  • Genetic Mutations including serotonin and melatonin which has been described as an important factor in the sleep-wake cycle. Studies have found abnormal melatonin in people with ASD.

Tips for Improving Sleep

  1. Create a regular bedtime routine including using a visual cue which will help the child or adult prepare for bed.
  2. Make sure the bedroom is comfortable including using  a dim light in the bedroom and blackout blinds. Also ensure the temperature in the room is comfortable
  3. Quiet activities. Plan for quiet play before bed which allows the person to relax. This can include reading, puzzles, or a craft activity.

Reference

Updated 4/7/21

 

 

April 2 is World Autism Day

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts social, speech, behavioral and motor skills. It is a spectrum disorder meaning it varies from person to person. No two people have the same symptoms. It is estimated that 1% of the population is diagnosed with autism.

The United Nations proclaims April 2 as World Autism Day in an effort to recognize and promote awareness by bringing worldwide attention to issues facing people with autism.

Worldwide 1 in 160 children is autistic

The prevalence of autism in Africa is unknown

1 percent of the world population is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births

1 in 42 boys are diagnosed with autism

1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism

100 individuals are diagnosed everyday

More than 3.3 million Americans live with autism spectrum disorder

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability

Autism services cost the United States citizens 236-262 billion annually

Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on an average

Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism

Autism generally appears before the age of 3

40% of children with autism do not speak

25-30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months, and then lose them.

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North American have identified individuals with ASD  with an average prevalence of between 1% and 2%.

About 1 in 6 children diagnosed with autism also have a developmental disability.

Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2%-18% chance of having a second child diagnosed with autism

Almost half (44%) of children diagnosed with ASD has average to above average intellectual ability.

ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurological, chromosomal and genetic diagnoses.

Almost half (44%) of children with autism have average to above average intellectual ability.

Autism is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

The UK estimate is 1 in 100 are diagnosed with autism

30-50% of individuals with autism also have seizures.

Autism Spectrum Disorders refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders which includes repetitive patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication, interaction, sensory processing and motor issues.

.In 1943, Leo Kanner dissociated autism from schizophrenia.

Autism is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

Accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism due to wandering.

Stimming

  • It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
  • In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
  • Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
  • The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
  • It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
  • One of the theories behind stimming is that beta-endorphrins are released in the brain causing an euphoric feeling which is generally a response to pain.
  • Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
  • Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.

Wandering Statistics

    • Nearly half of children with autism engage in wandering behavior
    • Increased risks are associated with autism severity
    • More than one third of children with autism who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
    • Half of families report they have never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional
    • Accidental drowning accounts for 71% of lethal outcomes, followed by traffic injuries at 18%
    • Other dangers include dehydration; heat stroke; hypothermia; falls; physical restraint; encounters with strangers
    • Accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism due to wandering.

 

16 people with Autism describe why eye contact can be difficult

Source; The Mighty
Written by: Melissa McGlensey

or some people on the autism spectrum, making eye contact can be a stressful, distracting and sensory-taxing experience. Far too often, though, outsiders view avoiding eye contact as “rude” or “antisocial,” when this isn’t the case at all.

In an effort to better understand how this experience feels for many on the spectrum, The Mighty asked our readers with autism who find eye contact difficult to share a description of what it’s like.

This is what they had to say: 

1. “It’s abstract to me and can be draining. Looking at someone else in the eye means I am taking in everything about them as a person, and I become overloaded. It’s a constant stream of extra sensory or processing information on top of what I’m already trying to sort through in my head. It can disrupt any thought or speaking process I have going on and zaps my energy quickly.” — Laura Spoerl. Click here to read the rest of the story.