Pervasive developmental disorders are disorders in which there is a qualitative impairment of reciprocal social interactions and patterns of communication with a lack of socio-emotional reciprocity, with scarce, repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behavior, interest and activity as well as deficits in the development of verbal communication. The main symptoms are most often shown as a disruption or delay in the development of verbal and non-verbal communication skills, but it may also be in the form of a lack of empathy as well as stereotipic behavior.
Pervasive characteristics of personality are visible in all life situations. They can vary in degree of expression and are often accompanied by intellectual deficits.
A pervasive developmental disorder is a diagnostic category (according to ICD-10, F84), which refers to a set of disorders characterized by the slow development of basic functions such as socialization and communication. In clinical practice, the following manifestations of pervasive disorders are differentiated:
- Childhood autism (F84.0) or classic autism is characterized by a pronounced qualitative deficit of social interactions and speech-language abilities, but a disorder in the phantasmatic and imitative game. Sterotypes, perseverance and a limited circle of interest and activity are present. There is also a lack of an emotional response to the verbal and non-verbal messages of other people, as well as rigidity and routine in everyday functioning.
- Atypical Autism (F84.1) occurs in deeply mentally retarded people, in the disorder of receptive speech. Emotional collapse is present.
- Rett’s syndrome (F84.2) is accompanied by partial or complete loss of hand and speech skills, especially characteristic of stereotypical movements of the hand, the child makes movements as if washing his hands. There is a common occurrence of microcephaly and the inability to have good chewing and mental retraction.
- The second disintegrative childhood disorder (F84.3) in childhood, between the second and tenth years of life, is a typical occurrence of regression, usually with the decline of speech-language, cognitive, social and motor abilities. All this is accompanied by severe forms of autism.
- hyperkinetic disorder associated with mental retardation and stereotyped movements (F84.4). In addition to motor stereotypes and mental retardation, severe hyperactivity and attention problems are present.
- Asperger’s syndrome (F84.5) is characterized by qualitative impairments of reciprocal social interactions, stereotyped forms of behavioral interest and activity. Their speech is preserved as well as cognitive powers.
- The second pervasive developmental disorder (F84.8) implies a autistic repertoire of behavior that does not correspond to any other disorder from the autistic spectrum.
- The unspecified developmental disorder (F84.9), includes disorders that correspond to the general description of pervasive developmental disorders,with lack information or the findings are contradictory.
A child with pervasive disorder is very important to recognize, correctly diagnose and include in the appropriate rehabilitation program. Otherwise, the optimal development of individual functions at an early age can be unjustifiably missed, and the loss will be irreversible later.