Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Pervasive developmental disorder is a blanket term that is used to describe several diagnoses that cause developmental delays in children. These delays can fall into several categories, including speech development, the development of motor skills, and other issues.
The issues that fall under the pervasive developmental disorder umbrella are:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Rett syndrome – a rare and serious neurological disorder that affects almost exclusively girls and affects their motor skills and intellectual abilities)
- Pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) – a subset of autism that now falls under the autism spectrum. People diagnosed with PPD-NOS tend to have many but not all characteristics and symptoms of autism.
- Asperger’s – an outdated diagnosis that, like PPD-NOS has been absorbed into the autism spectrum. Although some people still self-identify as “Aspies”, generally, people with this disorder were considered mildly impacted by autism or high-functioning.
- Childhood disintegrative disorder – a rare disorder that affects children who have developed typically but at about age 3 or 4 years of age, they begin to lose motor skills, language skills, and social skills.
Symptoms & signs of pervasive developmental disorders
Each disorder can have unique symptoms but some that commonly occur in all of them include:
- Poor coordination and motor skills
- Communication issues
- Intellectual disabilities
- Difficulties interacting with peers
- Poor language skills
- Social awkwardness
When is it time to get help?
As soon as you notice that your child seems to not be developing typically or has lost some skills, you should seek help. Early intervention is important when dealing with pervasive development disorders. However, that’s not to say that there is a window of opportunity and if you miss it all is lost. It’s never too late to seek support for dealing with these disorders.
Pervasive development disorders treatment methods
An evaluation must first be conducted in order to determine the cause and extent of the developmental delays. Only then can a therapeutic plan be put into place. However, therapies that have been effective in supporting someone with a pervasive development disorder include:
- Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
- Strategic family therapy is a type of therapy where the therapist is a problem-solver and focuses on finding solutions to client’s challenges.
- Person Centered Therapy differs from more traditional therapeutic approaches in the belief that, while the therapist has expertise in many areas, the client is the expert on themselves and their lived experiences. People are essentially trustworthy and have a vast potential for understanding themselves while also being able to ultimately resolve their own problems when guided properly.
Your therapist will consider your child’s unique circumstances and personality to determine the best treatment method for your child and your family.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
We understand that a diagnosis of a pervasive developmental disorder for your child can be challenging and difficult to process. We can be part of that journey with you to help you come to terms with what you’re feeling and to support your child to help them to live their best life. Insight Psychological has offices in many convenient locations across Alberta. Please contact us today in order to schedule an appointment.