What is the difference between Autism and PDD?
PDD is often used interchangeably with the term autism or to describe a less involved form of autism. There actually is no official diagnosis of “PDD.” Autism is one of a number of disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under the umbrella term of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Under that umbrella term of PDD, there are three disorders commonly referred to as “Autism Spectrum Disorders.” These are “Classic Autism,” “Asperger’s Syndrome” and “Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).” The specific label or diagnosis given to an individual depends upon how that individual presents at the time of diagnosis.
To receive any of these three Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses, an individual must exhibit symptoms in the areas of social ability, communication and behavior. It’s important to remember that how autism presents itself in an individual is more important than which label an individual is given.