Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)? Is it similar to Aspie traits?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by horserider, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. horserider

    horserider New Member

    Our difficult child is now nearly 17, so additional diagnosis's at this time is a little late in the game, but I always wonder if we missed something. He was diagnosis ADHD at age 7, BiPolar (BP) at age 12, ODD and most recently mood disorder not otherwise specified-new pscy evaluation this yr which I don't know if I agree with. A different therapist at the jjc, who I truly respect, witnessed an episode while we had a session, stating that was definetly a BiPolar (BP) cycle.

    Although my difficult child is an extremely social child he has always had social skill problems, comes off as immature to his friends, which he never had many of. He has a tendency to talk quickly, sometimes louder then his unit mates, (which gets him in trouble because staff hears him when he provokes) loves to be the center of attention. His impulse, rages and mood swings can be off the charts at times. Defiance - disrespect for authority, always a problem. But a very intellegent child, can beat the best of them in a game of chess, analytical mind, excells in math/science. When he is at his horse therapy barn he is a different child, loves to be a helper (has always done volunteer work willingly) and wraps his arms around, helps out, other special needs or ill children at the barn. He has a big caring heart, but unfortunetly many do not get to see that side of him. He has fallen off every horse we put him on at least once, but excelled in motocross racing to be in the top 30 in our state.

    Myself and his horse therapist, who is practically a family member now, has always suspected Aspergers, but looking at Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (that I learned about here) now I wonder.

    Figured I ask the experts who live it....
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have an Aspie who was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and Bipolar and put on tons of medications. He is definitely an Aspie and has had all the interventions and doesn't need medication. I finally went with my gut too because he just didn't seem bipolar to me. He was just so lost and socially clueless and different. Bipolars don't necessarily have these traits. Also, he seemed to get angry in predictable ways for predictable reasons unlike bipolar "out-of-the-blue" moodswings. I have a serious mood disorder myself and didn't think he was much like me.

    If you doubt it, go to a neuropsychologist. A horse therapist probably would not know any more than us But, sadly, psychiatrists tend to miss Aspergers. I have a friend whose Aspie son was also misdiagnosed with bipolar and he's thirty now and 400 pounds because of the medications he was on. He refuses to see anyone to help his Aspergers because he doesn't trust professionals anymore. He is a very sad case. his IQ is over 160. He can speak three languages and is just brilliant, but he has never been able to hold a job because of his Aspergers. He couldn't even hold a janitorial job, so he is on SSI.

    Anyhooo, nobody here can tell you if your psychiatrist is wrong, but I can tell you flat out that many psychiatrists misdiagnose our kids and adults too. They can very easily be wrong.

    I much prefer NeuroPsychs. They can be wrong too, but at least they do extensive testing and try to pinpoint problem areas rather than just listening to us watching our kid for an hour or two and throwing medications at us.

    JMO. Good luck, whatever you decide to do. Oh, and Asperger is a form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    The standout differences from the diagnostic criteria is that a child with AS typcially wouldn't have had speech delays in childhood. Also, cognitive delay is excluded in the AS criteria but isn't excluded in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    Children with AS often are higher functioning earlier on than children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) because speech skills provide a communication doorway.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well. I have a son with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Don't let the social side of difficult child put you off. My son is also very social when it comes to family.....can be very caring of others.....has friends....... So yeah. The social part is one of the signs/symptoms but seems with different people it has varying degrees. My son actually gets along well with people. But his issues now center more around misreading social cues, not recognizing personal space, and developmental level. He is still several years behind his peers.

    And yet he is also very out of sight out of mind......and tends to isolate himself except for family and very close friends.

    From the way it was explained to me....Aspie and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) are similar because they're on the same spectrum. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is just further down the scale with aspie being on a higher fuctioning level than Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    If you suspect your son is on the spectrum, I'd do whatever possible to get him a neuropsychologist evaluation by a neuropsychologist. After need his consent to do so.

    Many places have services even for adults on the autism spectrum. Travis could enjoy such services (tons) in cincy if he had a way to the center there.

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, now I'm confused.

    I have always been wortking on the basis that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is the umbrella term under which autism and Asperger's are covered.

    It really is very subjective. Medicine is an inexact science. Even more so, with anything involved in the way the brain works.

    Here in Australia they don't often use the term Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Autism is what gets used, even to include Asperger's. So I can say that autism doesn't just run in our family it gallops.

    However, only difficult child 3 had any language delay. He is also extremely social, has always made eye contact (even more than his Aspie-lite sister). difficult child 1 had no language delay but was very withdrawn and would often curl up in a ball on the floor, fetal position, if he ever became the focus of attention.

    In terms of long-term prognosis, I would put difficult child 3 ahead of difficult child 1.

    I explained autism to difficult child 3 as follows:

    If you consider a text document coming off the computer printer, once you pick up the document and show it to someone, they have no way of knowing whether the document was put together on a Mac or a easy child. The document could be made to look identical. BUT - it takes very different operating instrucitons and programming, to explain to the computer exactly how to produce the document. A Mac works very differently to a easy child.

    Everyone's brain is different. We all learn in different ways. In the same way, we can consider that some people have easy child brains and others have Mac brains. They are all equally capable but only so long as you use the correct programming for that brain.

    My concern with this, is that if the child is Aspie (or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or however we're going to describe it) then it's often not true defiance. it is coming form somewhere else and frankly, using the computer analogy, is an artefact of the different brain function. These kids have an inborn equality. They do not recognise different status according to age, seniority, suprtiority or anything. To a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid, everybody is completely equal. The trouble is, no matter what society says, we are not all born equal and neither do we stay equal. This is often too complex for a socially challenged child to understand and so the fall back on "we are all equal = what is in my brain is in everybody else's". And so you get the phenomenon of a kid who rushes ini to see what you thought of thta last joke on the TV, when you're not watching that channel. You make it clear you were not watching that network but the kid goes on anyway, enjoying sharing osmething with you that you haven't the faintest idea about. Because it is so real TO HIM, he feels it must be equally real (and important) to you.

    If you get angry at him for this, he will feel hurt because all he's tryi ng to do is connect with you socially. he won't understand and is likely to get angry back at you.

    This is not disrespect. It is misunderstanding born of his social inability. If his brain is not ready to learn that next step of social interaction then you can't force it and shouldn't punish it.

    To manage these kids means a change in mind-set is needed. You need to get into their heads and meet them where they are, in order to gently lead them as far as they can handle it, out into the real world.

    It can be done.

    Another useful book is "Son Rise". There is a lot of stuff in it that bugs me sometimes but there are very strong basic concepts there that will help you understadn just how these kids think differently.

    If the kid is bright, they are more likely to learn how to 'fake it' and blend in better. But they will always feel like outsiders looking in.

  6. horserider

    horserider New Member

    You stated:
    These kids have an inborn equality. They do not recognise different status according to age, seniority, suprtiority or anything. To a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid, everybody is completely equal.

    This really hit home for me. difficult child's therpaist stated recently "he just does not respect authority". When discussing house rules that will be in place when our difficult child transitions home (currently in a theraputic program at jjc) our difficult child stated he did not even understand why we can't just let him "do his thing" so to speak, he will work on his behaviors. My husband explained we are the parents, you follow the parents rules.
    His therpist also mentioned our son's unit mates have issues with personal space with him. When talking to him, he avoids direct eye contact, especially when it involves emotional issues for him.

    I am hoping he is receptive to a neuro psyc exam when he is released. We had one done years ago, but it was just an MRI, the dr reviewed it and said "normal". It was not in dept at all. No evaulation of his traits, etc. I will call our insurance co. and see if I can have a comprehensive neuro done in the future.

    Thank you all for the info you shared, very helpful
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    I think the term Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) was used when what was meant was Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified. It is confusing and with the new diagnosis categories looming ahead it will be even more so.