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Autism & Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD)

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first three (3) years of life and affects brain development, as well as social and communication skills.  Children with autism typically have difficulties in areas such as pretend play, social interaction, sensory integration, and nonverbal/verbal communication.  Children may meet their developmental milestones before age 1 or 2 then suddenly stop and lose their language or social skills. This is called regressive type autism.

Children with autism may have heightened sensitivity toward the five senses. Signs that may be of concern include refusing to wear itchy clothes or becoming distressed if they are forced to wear their clothes.  They may also become unusually distressed if routines are changed.  Children can show unusual attachments to objects or perform repeated body movements (e.g., hand flapping).  These symptoms may vary from moderate to severe.

An assessment of your child’s behaviors is conducted by a Psychologist.  Recommendations may be made for additional assessments from specialized disciplines such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy and special education.  A course of intervention is formulated by means of using an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)–(an early intervention program) or IEP (a CPSE program).  Educational methods such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) may be used to treat this disorder.  Collaborative efforts are then maintained among the parents, teachers, therapists and service coordinators.