Warning Signs and Behaviors of Childhood Disorders, Part IV: P.D.D. & A.D.H.D.

  How could I know the difference between a warning sign and an appropriate behavior?
answer: Know the warning signs.

IV-A.Warning Signs and Behaviors:
Pervasive Developmental Disorder, PDD

Diagnosis of this disorder is used when there is a severe and pervasive impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction or verbal and nonverbal communication skills, or when stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities are present, but the criteria is not met for other disorders. (DSM IV) Symptoms are similar to that of Autism.

Warning Signs and Behaviors of Autism:
• impaired use of nonverbal behaviors in socialization
(eye contact, facial expressions, body postures, gestures)
• failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to
development level
• lack of seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or
achievements spontaneously with others
• lack of social or emotional expression/ reciprocity
• delay or total lack of verbal language development
with attempts to compensate
• impairment in ability to initiate or sustain a conversation
with others (in children who have adequate speech)
• lack of various, spontaneous make-believe play or
social imitative play appropriate for age/level
• significant preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and
restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal by
intensity or focus.
• stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms
(hand or finger flapping or twisting, complex whole
body movements)
• persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

IV-B.Warning Signs and Behaviors:
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is significant for the display of a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typical for level of development.

Warning Signs and Behaviors of ADHD:
• often fails to give close attention to details, makes
careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
• often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
• often does not seem to listen when spoken directly
• often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks
that require sustained mental effort
(schoolwork, homework, etc.)
• often easily distracted by external stimuli
• often forgetful in daily activities
• often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
• often leaves seat in classroom/other situations
where remaining seated is expected
• often runs about/climbs excessively in inappropriate situations
• often has difficulty playing or engaging in
leisure activities quietly
• often talks excessively
• often blurts out answers before questions
have been completed
• often has difficulty awaiting turn
• often interrupts or intrudes on others
(butts into games, conversations, for example)

Note: The above lists are not intended for the use of diagnosing disorders. Disorders are diagnosed by the severity, frequency and a combination of many factors. Please seek professional advice should any of the above listed criteria cause any concern.

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