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Helping A Child With Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is a finding usually given to 3-year old toddlers. Children who have PDD are often puzzled with their thoughts and are disintegrated with their perception of the world. PDD is a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many fundamental skills, specifically the ability to communicate and interact with others and the use of imagination. It consists of 5 disorders namely:

  • Asperger’s Syndrome - difficulty with social interaction and communication but with above average intelligence
  • Autism – deficient in social, communication and thinking skills, interests are limited
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) – a rare circumstance that occurs from age 2 to 10 wherein a toddler can lose many of the skills he has grown
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) – toddlers who have communication and play deficiency but are too social to be believed autistic
  • Rett’s Syndrome – a very unusual disorder with signs related to PDD but with problems of physical abnormalities and poor dexterity skills

How to Help A Toddler With PDD

There is no known treatment for pervasive developmental disorder. But, the most effective way to address this condition is by having a treatment program that tackles a toddler’s needs at home and in school. With a PDD program, parents, teachers, doctors and therapists should work jointly to help improve skills and decrease actions that can hinder toddler development.

1.) Special Education

A toddler with PDD highly benefits from special education. To help balance and somehow modify a child’s deficiencies, a focused classroom (either a one-on-one or small sized class setting) is essential. Varied learning systems are given so in this way, lessons and activities are set in a direct manner. Thus, adequate attention is given to the different scholastic strengths and weaknesses of the child.

2.) Open Communication Lines

Having a close parent-child relationship is really significant in this situation. To help a toddler with his journey, constant talking is essential. Facing the problem is better than running from it. When both parent and child acknowledge the special condition, open communication take place, and with this, parents can openly discuss the situation and the toddler can better comprehend. Moreover, the toddler will be more willing to accept and adjust. He becomes determined to set and reach realistic goals for himself to help improve his condition.

3.) Classes or Workshops

A toddler with PDD only lacks people skills. To help him enhance it, find a group where he can be a part of. If he is a good swimmer, enroll him in a swimming class. This new setting allows the toddler’s special skills to shine in a way they do not in a classroom. Plus, it is the perfect opportunity for him to meet other children who share his interests. As a result, he gets to focus on his strengths, divert his condition into something productive and gain friends who accept him, imperfections and all.

4.) Therapy

Cognitive, language and physical treatments are essential. These are designed to increase the toddler’s functional abilities. With a professional counselor, he gets to do certain exercises that are directed in enhancing undeveloped skills. Activities like building things from toy blocks improve his movements giving him dexterity. While audio and visual drills modify his level of speech and thinking.

5.) Support Groups

Involving in a PDD support group is an excellent way to meet other families facing the same challenges. Parents can exchange information, gather advice and lean on one another for emotional support. By being with others in the same boat and sharing experiences, you not only find personal comfort but a lot of ideas that can help you assist your toddler.

6.) Do Fun Activities Together

A toddler dealing with PDD is still a child. For toddlers and parents, there must be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your toddler is most conscious and alert. Look for ways to have fun together by assessing the things that make your toddler laugh, smile and self-assured. Without a doubt, he will enjoy this break. There are a lot of positive outcomes that result from your toddler’s happiness of spending a relaxing time with you.  Play is imperative in a toddler’s learning and should not feel like work.

7.) Create A Safe Abode

Have a private space in your home where your toddler can rest and feel protected. Organize his space in ways your toddler can understand. Child-proof you home and create visual signs (e.g. colored tapes for off-limit areas, pictures for indexing objects, etc.).

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November 2017
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