Development Delays

Pervasive developmental delays are mainly characterised by multiple symptoms similar to autism but/and/or also displaying symptoms of classic autism and Asperger’s along with other disorders. This can can happen in conjunction with a wide spectrum of intellectual abilities and hence come under the wider Autistic spectrum. In other words, this means delay in the development of many basic skills such as communicating with others, socialising and imagining. These conditions usually start to manifest around the 3yrs of age, which is a critical period in a child’s developmental journey.

A parent may not be able to notice any changes or differences in the child until this age as this is when the child’s development is more obvious or is more prone to scrutiny. This is when the parent may realise that the child isn’t walking, talking or reacting to things in a manner children their age are supposed to.

Signs and Symptoms :

These are some signs that may be seen in kids with Pervasive Developmental Delays. They tend to display a wide range of symptoms that range from mild to disabling as they fall into a wide range of disorders.

  • Inappropriate social behaviour and inability to connect with peers or relate to them.
  • Difficulty in understanding simple instructions or sentences, they may not be able to form simple sentences.
  • Poorly developed speech and language comprehension skills.
  • Repetitive or ritualistic behaviours
  • Increased or decreased sensitivities to different sense such as taste touch etc.
  • Difficulties in adapting to any transitions , change in routines
  • Uneven or late skill development.
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fearfulness or feeling anxious

It is currently estimated that about one in every 88 children suffers from Pervasive developmental delays. In general, PDD occurs more in boys than girls.

Causes :

The cause as to why PDD occurs is still under research. There are some metabolic or biochemical disorders that contribute to autism that may cause PDD. Another study suggests that Spinal cord injuries also may cause PDD. Researchers are currently studying people with autism to examine the structure and functioning of the brain to help us understand better these conditions and how to best treat them.

In order to diagnose if the child has PDD, your therapist may suggest some tests and conduct a physical examination. Also, you may be asked to complete a developmental screening questionnaire.

Types :

There are five types of PDD:

  • Autistic Disorder
  • Rett’s Disorder
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • Asperger’s Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified


There are many treatment plans and intervention programs to help the child

  • Special Education: Structured according to the need of the child. Tailor made to suit the exact need.
  • Behaviour Modification: As suggested by the therapist, it will include strategies for supporting positive behaviour of the child.
  • Speech therapy and Physical Therapy

Do consult with our therapist to know more.