1. Atypical or inappropriate social behavior.
Pervasive developmental disorder symptoms can include atypical or inappropriate social behavior. This may manifest as difficulty interacting with others, preferring to be alone, or having difficulty understanding social cues.
2. Uneven skill development.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder may have difficulty with motor skills, sensory processing, visual-spatial organization, cognitive functioning, social skills, academic performance and/or behavior.
3. Poorly developed speech and language comprehension skills.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder may demonstrate poorly developed speech and language comprehension skills. This can manifest as difficulty understanding instructions or using appropriate language to communicate needs or wants.
4. Difficulty with transitions.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder may be particularly sensitive to changes in routine or environment and demonstrate extreme distress when transitioning to a new activity or setting.
5. Deficits in nonverbal & verbal communication.
It is common for children with pervasive developmental disorder to demonstrate deficits in nonverbal and/or verbal communication. This may manifest as difficulty making eye contact or using facial expressions, gestures, body language, intonation when speaking, or appropriately responding to others.
6. Increased or decreased sensitivities to taste, sight, sound, smell & touch.
Many children with pervasive developmental disorder experience heightened sensitivity to their environment. This can manifest as an aversion to certain textures of food, loud noises or bright lights. Others may have decreased sensitivity and not be aware of pain or temperature changes.
7. Perseverative interests.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder often display intense interest in specific topics that they will continue to talk about despite lack of interest from others.
8. Repetitive behaviors (stereotypic, ritualistic behavior).
Children with pervasive developmental disorder may engage in repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping, rocking, head banging or body spinning. These behaviors may be soothing to the child but disruptive to others.
9. Aggressive or self-injurious behavior.
Some children with pervasive developmental disorder demonstrate aggression towards themselves or others and may exhibit self-injurious behaviors such as biting, hitting, or head banging.
10. Limited play skills with peers.
Children with pervasive development disorder often have difficulty engaging in age-appropriate activities with their peers and/or initiating social interactions. They may instead rely on solitary play or adult-directed activities.
11. Difficulty making and maintaining friendships.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder often have difficulty initiating, maintaining and/or understanding friendships. They may appear disinterested or lack the social skills necessary to interact appropriately with others.
12. Lack of imaginative play.
Many children with pervasive development disorder demonstrate limited creative or imaginative play skills due to their focus on routines and rituals. This can manifest as a lack of interest in pretend play or an inability to follow through on stories or games that require flexibility and creativity.
13. Unusual reactions to people, objects or situations.
Children with pervasive developmental disorder may respond differently than their peers when interacting with new people, objects, or situations. This could manifest as an intense reaction to something that is typically seen as a minor annoyance.