Parents regularly wonder if the unusual behaviors they observe in their child could be the first signs of a pervasive developmental disorder. The Autisme France and Autistes sans frontières associations provide tools to enable early detection of PDDs, the main elements of which are listed here.
These tools specify that if the spectrum of autistic disorders is vast, three elements must attract attention, especially if they are added to each other: disorders of social interactions, disorders of verbal and non-verbal communication, and the presence of stereotypical and repetitive behaviors.
SOCIAL INTERACTION DISORDERS IN PDDS
Depending on the child’s level of development, social interaction disorders range from excessive isolation to simple passivity towards the environment. These symptoms are not expressed in “all or nothing” terms. The presence of certain social skills or the occasional manifestation of adapted social behavior does not exclude the diagnosis of PDD.
|Examples of social interaction disorders in PDDs|
VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION DISORDERS IN PDDS
Children with PDD may not speak, say only a few words, or speak in strange ways. Their sentences, even when they are formally correct, serve little or no communication.
|Examples of verbal and non-verbal communication disorders in PDDs|
STEREOTYPICAL AND REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS IN PDDS
Repetitive behavior is abnormal in form, intensity, frequency and persistence. These range from simple repeated activities to complex compulsive rituals.
|Examples of stereotypical and repetitive behavior in PDDs|