PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified) Case Study of a Child with PDD-NOS Consuelo (Connie) Natal Concordia College PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise specified. According to www. autismspeaks. org, PDDNOS became the diagnosis applied to children or adults who are on the autism spectrum but do not fully meet the criteria for another autism spectrum disorder (sometimes called “classic” autism) or Asperger Syndrome (www. autismspeaks. org/whatautism/pdd-nos, pg. 1). The diagnosis of PDD-NOS is still new, and only dates back about 15 years. What Are the Types and Symptoms PDD-NOS?
According to www. webmd. com, there are five types of Pervasive Development Disorders. The five types of PDD are Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett Syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorder. The symptoms of children with Autism are problems with social interaction, pretend play, and communication. Children with Autism also have a very little interests in activities, may have seizures and low muscle tone, and have anxiety and may not be able to handle change well. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome also have problems with social interaction and communication, and also have very limited interests.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome also are on average or above average intelligence. Child with Asperger’s Syndrome have poor coordination and difficulty concentrating. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is a rare form of PDD. The symptoms of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder are the loss of many skills including language, social, and bodily functions like bladder control that between the ages of 2 through 10. The symptoms of Rett Syndrome are similar to the symptoms of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome but also include problems with physical development and motor or movement skills like walking and the use of hands.
The symptoms of Pervasive Development Disorder are major problems with communication and play, difficulty interacting with others, but are too social to be categorized as autistic. Observation of Cameron and Theories Related to PDD-NOS I was given the opportunity to meet and observe a 10 year old child diagnosed with PDD-NOS named Cameron. Cameron relates to the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Piaget believed that children go through cognitive developmental stages.
The stages that Piaget believed children go through are: sensorimotor from birth through two years old, pre-operational from two through seven years old, concrete operation from seven through eleven years old, and the formal operational stage from adolescence through adulthood (Charlesworth, 2014). Vygotsky believed that learning for young children comes from the support of adults and advanced peers, which he also referred to as the Zone of Proximal Development. According to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, knowing the area of what a child knows and can do with help can be done through the use of scaffolding.
An example of how Cameron relates to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development is the way he plays with his cousins. Cameron and his cousins play in his room together. Cameron sits at his desk, opens Microsoft Word and begins typing the word types the word homework and the numbers 1 – 3. Cameron’s cousins play video games while he is at his computer. Cameron’s Mom mentions to me that he likes to pretend to be a teacher and that the children he is playing with are the students. Cameron’s desire to pretend to teach during play relates to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development because he is learning by teaching his cousins a pretend lesson.
Another example of how Cameron relates to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development is his current reading level. Cameron is a good reader and currently reads on a first grade reading level. Cameron can read a story but he struggles to comprehend what he has read. If Cameron reads a story and encounters a few words that are unfamiliar, he focuses on those words instead of what the story was about. Some examples of how Cameron relates to Piaget’s cognitive development stages is his wearing pull-ups to bed, his extreme tantrums and his current grades in social studies.
Cameron’s Mom informed me that he wears pull ups to bed because when he sleeps he does not go to the bathroom when he needs to. Cameron’s Mom also shared her experience when Cameron had an extreme tantrum. Cameron and his parents were traveling in the car and he needed to charge his Ipad. Cameron picked up the car charger in the car and plugged it into his Ipad without asking. Cameron’s Mom noticed that his Ipad was connected to the charger and asked if he asked permission to use it. Cameron answered his Mom and said no and questioned why he needed to ask for permission.
Cameron’s Mom told him that he should ask permission again to use the charger, but Cameron replied and said he would not ask for permission. Cameron’s Mom removed his Ipad from the charger and told him that he could not charge it. Cameron immediately and began screaming that it was an emergency and that he needed to charge his Ipad. Cameron also received his first grade of an A this year in social studies. All of the examples, demonstrate Cameron being between Piaget’s preoperational and concrete stages. Conclusions/ Recommendations
I learned a great amount of information by observing Cameron and speaking with his Mom. The research done for this case study also enhanced my understanding of PDD-NOS and that even two students diagnosed with the same learning disability can be completely different. Cameron is highly functioning and does not appear at first sight to have a learning disability. I believe this is attributed to Cameron’s parents, because they noticed that something was different about Cameron when he was a toddler and received a diagnosis right away.
Cameron’s Mom expressed her passion in being an advocate for other students and families struggling with this learning disability. Cameron’s Mom explained how difficult it was before Cameron’s diagnosis to understand his behavior because she was the only person in her immediate family at the time with a small child, and she had no one to ask if any of the behaviors Cameron displayed were normal. Cameron’s Mom also genuinely expressed her desire for Cameron’s school to cooperate with her to ensure he receives the support and services he needs from his school without any resistance.
Cameron’s Mom also said that she would just like to wake up one day and have a normal day of getting Cameron ready for school that does not involve an argument with him. She said it’s very overwhelming because Cameron’s school expects her and his Dad to monitor him at all times. She believes this unrealistic because she has other things to do each day that require her attention. I would recommend that Cameron’s parents continue to support Cameron and continue to fight for all the resources and treatment that facilitate Cameron’s everyday routine and progress.
I would also recommend that Cameron’s parents seek positive strategies to support positive behavior to deal with his tantrums. Cameron’s parents have already taken a major step to secure this. Cameron’s Mom informed me that she has progressive care for Cameron. Progressive care allows Cameron to receive the same services he currently has if anything happens to his parents and into adulthood. Cameron should also continue to paint, draw and use the computer to enrich his learning experience and make it intera Cameron’s Mom has accepted his learning disability and believes will grow up to be someone great like Bill Gates.
Cameron’s Mom said that when he does she will be extremely proud and boast about it to all the people who believe he will not be successful. Case Study Field Notes Question: At what age was Cameron diagnosed with PDD-NOS and were there any other disabilities that he was diagnosed with? Answer: Cameron was diagnosed at the age of three with PDD-NOS, OCD and ODD and possible Asperger’s. Question: What made you notice that something different about Cameron? Answer: Cameron displayed extreme tantrums including hitting, kicking and biting that were uncontrollable.
Question: Has Cameron’s school been supportive in the services and support he needs? Answer: The school has not been supportive. The Principal made three calls to DYFUS (Division of Youth and Family Services). Question: How did you and Cameron’s other family members handle his diagnosis? Answer: It took Mom time to accept child’s learning disability but Dad accepted it right away. His maternal Grandparents and Aunt accept his learning disability but his paternal Grandparents. Question: How do you deal with Cameron’s tantrums? Answer: Cameron’s Mom uses a submissive hold that his special education teacher taught her.