A third is Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise specified. This one is for all the people who have many of the symptoms of these neurodevelopmental disorders but not enough symptoms to be definitely placed in one category or another. So, as they are not specifically sufferers of either Asperger's syndrome or Kanner's autism or either of the regressive autisms, they get lumped into this category.
The regressive autisms are more frightening because the child starts out making normal progress, which then not only stops but also disappears. All the progress made by the child is gone in a short period of time leaving the child to start again and the parent's completely bewildered. Both of these are very rare but they do occur. Rett Syndrome has another oddity; almost all those that suffer from this disorder are girls. The other autism disorders are more likely to affect boys, though girls do have autism too. The regression with Rett Syndrome begins as early as six months of age and not later than a year and a half. The child stops any of the developmental progress she has made, stops being that cuddly baby and pulls away, then begins to show the signs of autism. She also loses control of her feet and constantly wrings her hands.
The other regressive type of autism is called Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. This is worse to watch as the child meets all their milestones including speaking until they hit the age of three or at the latest four years of age. Then in the space of a few months it's all lost. They lose their sunny disposition, the ability to talk, and they can no longer control their bowels or bladder despite having already been potty trained. This regression can be very confusing for the child and earth shattering for the parents who watch their smiley child lose all interest in normal physical contact.
No matter which pervasive development disorder your child has early intervention is a must to give them the best chance in life. This should include occupation, speech and physical therapies.
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