Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Delay

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are also commonly called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).  This classification of disorder frequently involves delay in many areas of development.  A comprehensive assessment is required to determine the proper diagnosis including an in depth developmental history interview, and the administration of multiple standardized tests for adaptive functioning, in addition to tests to screen out other problems such as low IQ.  ASD or PDD is a category that includes five different disorders of development, each with differing severities and patterns:

·         Autistic Disorder

·         Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

·         Asperger Syndrome

·         Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)

·         Rett Syndrome

Children with Autistic Disorder are less able to interact with the world as other children do.  Typically they have deficits in three key areas:

·         Verbal and non-verbal Communication.

·         Social awareness and interactions.

·         Imaginative play (variable interests and behaviors).

In some cases, developmental delays are only temporary.  Children can grow and develop at dramatically different rates in early childhood.  Therefore, any test results should be viewed as an assessment of current functioning.  Test results do not necessarily indicate a child will have ongoing learning disabilities or functional issues later in life.  While a portion of developmentally delayed children will continue to have difficulty and may be diagnosed with other disabilities as they enter school, some children will catch up to their age equivalent peers.  Early detection and intervention are key factors at assisting young children overcome early developmental delays.

 Did You Know?

• Autism spectrum disorders are not rare. They are more prevalent in children than cancer, diabetes, spina bifida, and Down syndrome.

• A growing body of research suggests that autism can be accurately diagnosed by age 2.

• Diagnosis of autism at age 2 is accurate and stable over time.

Boarding Schools for Children with Autism

There are multiple therapeutic boarding schools for children with autism across the country.  These schools typically employ behavioral therapists to teach the students social skills and other needed behaviors to function will in society.  The type of environment best suited for the child depends on the skill and deficit areas exhibited by the child.  For assistance with placement of a child with autism, please call Dr. Bishop directly at 813-454-1050.