PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER – NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED
PDD – NOS , also known as “atypical autism”, is a diagnosis reserved for those that meet some, but not all of the criteria for autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. The signs and symptoms are typically fewer and milder than in classical autism and Asperger’s, sometimes resulting only in social and communication issues. Individuals with PDD-NOS may exhibit some or all of the features of the neurobehavioral spectrum (ADHD, PDD, Autism, Asperger’s, Tourette’s Syndrome, Processing Disorders, and Learning Disabilities). Some common characteristics are: Inappropriate social behavior, uneven skills, speech and language comprehension difficulties, adversity to transition, problems with verbal and/or nonverbal communication, enhanced or diminished sensitivity to sound, sight, smell, taste, and/or touch,and repetitious behaviors .
While there exists some disagreement among experts regarding the diagnosis of PDD-NOS, the most current research lists the term “Autistic Disorder” for all who exhibit features of many of the developmental areas common to autism. Some professionals consider this term as applicable only to those who manifest extreme symptoms in all of the developmental areas associated with autism.
In any case, all cases of autistic and autistic-like disorders have one common denominator – Functional Disconnect Syndrome – impaired communication between the right and left sides of the brain. Typically, the right hemisphere is principally involved; however, areas of the left hemisphere may be weak as well. For that reason, a careful history and extensive neurological exam are essential to design a remedial program which enhances communication between the two sides of the brain. When hemispheric integration is employed correctly, the results are very positive.