PDD-NOS is a type of autism spectrum disorder. Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is a disorder that looks like autism but does not fit all the symptoms. Although this disorder can be seen at a very young age, most often it is diagnosed in toddlers. PDD-NOS symptoms are much like autism but are often seen in a milder form. You could say that Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is a form of mild autism.
Because it is a spectrum disorder, all children diagnosed will show different PDD-NOS symptoms. The two symptoms that bring the most problems in social functioning, are social interaction with other children and communicating problems with parents.
Autistic traits are noticeable at a very young age. It is said that even babies show some symptoms of autistic traits. It is not always noticeable but they often do not like to be cuddled and don’t make eye contact. This can be very frustrating for young parents. However, the diagnosis is mostly made when toddlers are 3 or 4 years old. Strange behavior is not always clearly visible. Interaction with other children can be normal although they also like to play with their toys on their own. However, they also don’t have any trouble being separated from their parents or talking to strangers.
PDD-NOS comes in a severe form and in a milder form. Children with milder PPD-NOS symptoms often want to make friends or interact with them. However, they often act a bit strange compared to their peers and do not know how to make new friends. When they grow older they often stay close to their parents and other people that are around but they are not well able to make new friends.
Communication is frequently the biggest problem for children with PDD-NOS. It already starts when they were babies and were not able to babble and when they grow older they speak less often than what is considered normal. Because of this, they have trouble learning new words and their vocabulary is not as large as in a normal development.
Besides communication they can also have problems with recognizing facial expressions and emotions. They don’t know how to act when someone is laughing or crying because they don’t fully understand the meaning of that behavior. Another problem is that they do not understand figural speech. They think rationally and don’t understand jokes or sarcastic remarks because they take it to literally.
Just like in autism, children with PDD-NOS symptoms often stick to one topic when they are communicating. They will speak of a topic that they know off.
Although these children have difficulties adapting and grow up normally, a lot is achievable with proper education and treatment. Therefore it is important that if you recognize these symptoms to talk to a doctor and ask for advice.