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Question?: Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder In Children

Lizzie asks…

Can you have PDD-NOS and not be on the autism spectrum?

Our son has a huge line-up of testing that is scheduled to be done, but the neurologist said that he more than likely has PDD-NOS. Our speech therapist said that PDD isn’t autism, it’s just a delay, is that true? I thought they both go hand in hand.

admin answers:

In short no.

PDD-NOS is on the autism spectrum, it is NOT classic autism, but it is still an ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Long answer-

Your son might end up with a provisional diagnoses of PDD-NOS- meaning they will diagnose him with that, but then later might drop it. Its very difficult especially at a young age to properly diagnose a child if they have classic autism, or Aspbergers, or a general developmental problem. It can take years for them to know for sure what your son has- but it doesn’t change what type of help he is going to need, however for most state/school programs as well as insurance cases, they need some form of diagnoses to pay for speech/occupational therapy whatever they determine he needs. Because the treatment plan decided on will be individual to your son, it doesn’t really matter what “label” he has as long as he is getting the help he needs.

The name PDD-NOS literally means- Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified, meaning they just don’t have enough data to decided how to specify it. While he has the diagnoses of PDD-NOS he is considered to be on the autism spectrum- however in time they may decided it was a general delay and he won’t be considered on the spectrum anymore.

Right now, my son, has just gone through a bunch of tests, and has a couple more lined up in the fall. He has PDD-NOS, but they feel he will end up being either classic autism or Asbergers, or even OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) but right now he shows signs of all three, so they aren’t sure which he has. His neurologist describes it this way- when a plant is very small, sometimes you aren’t sure what type of flower is going to grow on it, however once it blooms it is obvious what kind of plant it was- but it doesn’t change that it is a plant. Meaning my son has something, we aren’t sure what, but it doesn’t change the fact he has something. The main concern is how do you help him get better.

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