Difference Between PDD and Autism

It has been noticed that there has been a sudden rise in the rate of mental disorders. Generally, the disorders happen to be in a child since birth or it gradually starts developing after birth.


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It is still a question as to how the disorders have been increasing. And, some common disorders are autism, epilepsy, learning disorders, PDD, etc. Here, we will talk about PDD and Autism.

Key Takeaways

  1. PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) is an umbrella term encompassing several developmental disorders, including autism.
  2. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social and communication challenges, repetitive behaviors, and restricted interests.
  3. Early intervention is crucial for both PDD and autism, with tailored treatment plans including behavioral therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

PDD vs Autism

PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) is a larger category that encompasses social interaction, communication, behavior issues including Autism. Autism is a specific disorder marked by repetitive behaviors, difficulties with social interaction, and communication difficulties.

PDD vs Autism

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PDD is the abbreviation for the terms Pervasive Development Disorder.

The diagnosis of such disorder is characterized by some other specific disorders which include autism, Rett Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and last but not the least PPD-NOS (PPD- Not Other Specified).

On the other hand, Autism is one of the serious health conditions among infants. Autism is generally detected at a very early age.

Here, the child has to go through various challenges both mentally as well as physically. And this includes things such as lack of social skills, depression, poor communication skills, etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPDDAutism
Alternate Name The alternate name for PDD is Dysthymia. Autism is also widely known to be Autism Spectrum Disorder.
SpecialistThe best Specialists for PDD are Primary Care Provider (PCP), Clinical Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. Several Specialists look up to Autism and it includes Child Psychiatrist, Pediatric Neurologist, and Developmental Pediatrician.
Age Of DiagnosisAround 15 months to 3-year-old children are seen diagnosed with PDD. Generally, Autism has been traced between children aged 2-3 years and it stays a lifetime.
SymptomsWhen a child is diagnosed with PDD, we can notice some strange and unusual behavior in the child such as bad communication skills, problems while transitions, poor language skills, etc, and these are the symptoms of PDD.There are various symptoms of Autism and that includes delayed language skills, delayed movement, mood swings, crying, violence, etc.

What is PDD?

PDD is a common disorder that is generally seen in children. This disorder comes along since the child’s birth but its main diagnosis is determined after a few months when the child starts developing itself.

PDD refers to Pervasive Development Disorder. It is also also known to many people as Dysthymia. PDD is determined in a child when their parents start feeling some unusual behavior or actions done by the child.

Mainly the child lacks communication skills, poor language, aggressiveness, sadness, etc. And gradually, these symptoms start to develop more and more.

Majorly, the symptoms are diagnosed in children aged between 15 months to 3 years. It is not a curable disorder and hence the child has to challenge themselves every single day.

It is considered that there are no specific reasons behind the occurrence of such a disorder but the specialists have assumed that such disorders are caused because of some genetic history/problem, some neurological abnormalities, etc.

The child not only faces problems with the communication or language skills but they also develop certain other complications as well.

And these might include things like depression, anxiety, anti-social behavior, suicidal thoughts, etc. And such complications can be deadly as well.

Hence, the child needs proper care not only from his/her parents, siblings, relatives, etc but also from medications and therapies as well.

There have been several therapies designed for such special kids to calm themselves mentally.

What is Autism?

Autism is a mental disorder that only affects mental health but also physical health as well. It is also commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Here, the child has to deal with a lot of struggles from communicating to its behavior. Generally, Autistic children are very friendly but during their meltdown, they become very aggressive and start to hit themselves.

Only their near and dear ones, especially their parents can control them. Such disorders are diagnosed in between the children of 2-3 years.

The cause of Autism depends upon some genetic disorder, environmental toxins, low birth weight, etc. But doctors are still unaware of the main root of such diseases.

Children with this disorder find it difficult to process their feelings and hence lacks behind in society. They only need love, care, attention, and some external help such as therapies.

As we know, autism affects the physical body as well, hence it develops some other complications such as tumors, seizures, bad posture, etc.

Therefore, physiotherapy is also a must since it will keep the child active and fresh. There are also some special schools for their development of basic learning.

Dancing and singing can also play a great role in their lives as well.

Main Differences Between PDD and Autism

  1. PDD has an alternative name and that is Dysthymia and on the other hand, for many people, Autism is also commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  2. Primary Care Provider (PCP), Clinical Psychologist, and Psychiatrist are some Specialists who deal with PDD and on the other hand, some Specialists who look after the department of Autism are Child Psychiatrist, Pediatric Neurologist, and Developmental Pediatrician.
  3. At the early age of 15 months to 3-year-old babies are generally diagnosed with PDD and on the other hand, the age limit between children who get diagnosed with Autism is 2 to 3 years old.
  4. Bad communication skills, problems while transitions, poor language skills, etc are the common symptoms of PDD. On the other hand, autism is diagnosed at a very early stage and here children are seen with symptoms such as bad communication, delayed movement, mood swings, etc.
Difference Between PDD and Autism
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-009-0723-6
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856714000446
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