A Comparison of
and PDD NOS and
Behavior Disorder Resources
A diagnosis of autism is appropriate when significant delay or abnormal development
is found in at least one of the areas below. Onset occurs before the child is
three years old.
- Poor nonverbal communication skills.
- Inability to relate to peers.
- Inability to interact in a positive way with others.
Language used for communication:
- Absence or delay of spoken language, with no attempt to communicate in
- Inability, for children who can speak, to sustain a conversation with
- Stereotyped or repetitive use of language.
Symbolic or imaginative play.
- Absence of developmentally appropriate play, whether "make believe" or
Rigidly repetitive or stereotyped behavior patterns:
- Abnormal preoccupation with restricted patterns of interest or behavior.
- Abnormal preoccupation with nonfunctional routines or rituals.
- Stereotyped, repetitive movements, such as hand-waving, body-rocking.
- Abnormal preoccupation with parts of objects.
Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.
The category of PDD, NOS includes "atypical autism," and is used in situations
when late age of onset, unusual symptoms, or milder ("subthreshold") symptoms
are present. This diagnosis is appropriate when there are impairments in the
development of social or communication skills, or when rigid behaviors --
stereotypy, repetitive behavior -- are present.
Behavior Disorder Resources: On-line resources: PDD and Autism.
Autism Society of America
Family Village (Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin)
Services for Individuals with Behavior Disorders.
IOWA COMPASS provides information about and referral to local, state,
regional, and national services and supports for Iowans with disabilities, and
for their families. If you need referral information about services for Iowans
with behavior disorders, please call IOWA COMPASS at 1-800-779-2001.
The Disability Resource Library is a lending library with materials on a wide range of disability-related topics, including autism, PDD, and other behavior disorders. Individuals with disabilities and members of their families can borrow materials -- which include books and other publications, videotapes, training curricula, and other materials -- at no cost. Others may purchase a yearly subscription, or pay a per-use borrower's fee.
Two outpatient clinics at the University of Iowa provide functional
analyses. The University Hospital School Biobehavioral Service works with clients up to 35 years of age who have both severe developmental
and behavioral disorders. The Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic works
with children, generally age eight and younger, who display tantrums or noncompliant
behavior. Call 319-353-6456, or e-mail disABILITY-RESOURCES@uiowa.edu
for more information.