What are Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs)?
PDDs are a range of neurological conditions that adversely affect a person's
speech and communication, emotional growth, socialization, and physical
capabilities. PDDs range from Asperger's syndrome (at the less severe end) to
autism. In the middle of this spectrum are the most frequently diagnosed
PDDs: PDD-NOS (not otherwise specified) and Atypical PDD. Children with these
diagnoses meet some, but not all, of the criteria for autism.
What causes PDDs?
Bad parenting used to be blamed, but all of the pervasive developmental
disorders are rooted in a complex combination of genetics, individual brain
wiring, and environmental factors. Some researchers suspect viruses,
vaccines, pollution or metabolic problems in the increasing number of cases.
"It's been three months since the diagnosis. I don't know if my boy is
going to be okay, I don't know if I'm going to be okay, I don't know if
this marriage is going to be okay. Some days I
keep wishing this was a dream. And then I wake up, and it's so not-normal,
and there's nobody among our old friends or at work who I can talk to
about it." Peter, father of three-year-old Morgan, diagnosed with PDD-NOS
SEBASTOPOL, CA -- Pervasive Developmental Disorders are on the rise. The
latest figures from the California Department of Developmental Disabilities
report an astonishing 1,975% increase in children with PDD-NOS (and closely
related PDDs) in the last 11 years, accompanied by a 272% rise in the number
of children with autism. According to researchers, there may be many more
people who fit the criteria of PDD-NOS or atypical PDD, but who remain
undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Mitzi Waltz, a journalist, tireless researcher, and mother of an
eight-year-old boy with PDD-NOS, has written
Disorders: Finding a Diagnosis and Getting Help to offer a unique view
on treating, coping with and understanding PDDs. Waltz focuses on PDD-NOS
which is a challenge for doctors to diagnose and parents to identify.
Waltz provides parents and professionals with:
- How to get a diagnosis, including preparing for a diagnostic
interview in a medical, psychiatric or school setting
- Treatment options, including medications, vitamins and supplements,
sensory integration, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy,
and behavior modification
- Coping with diagnosis and treatment, including insurance and education
- A thorough list of resources and support information
- Stories from parents who have a child with a PDD
Unfortunately, there is no cure for any of the PDDs, but by writing the only
complete book on the subject, Waltz has empowered parents of children who
struggle with this neurological condition. It provides necessary tools for
making informed decisions.
About the Author
Mitzi Waltz is a Portland, OR-based freelance writer who has covered
technology, health and medicine for publications ranging from Parenting to
Covert Action Quarterly. Seven years of trying to solve the puzzle of her
son's illness has called on her research skills and has brought her into
contact with top researchers in the field.
Disorders: Finding a Diagnosis and Getting Help
by Mitzi Waltz
$24.95, 584 pages, paperback
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1999
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