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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Q. I am an intern looking for information regarding treatment for pervasive developmental disorders. Most of the information obtained on the internet is on autism and does not address the other disorders. Can you direct me to the right resources?

A. Your best bet for information on pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) is the excellent website maintained by the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders. You can log on to http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical /disorders/asperger_doc.htm for information and links related to

Asperger's Syndrome, which is a milder form of PDD than autism. The book, Psychoses and Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence, edited by Fred R. Volkmar, M.D. (American Psychiatric Press, 1996) will also provide you with scholarly information on this issue.

Another excellent source of information is the DSM-IV, which provides concise descriptions and criteria for the various PDDs--but it does not discuss treatment. You can find a general review of diagnosis and treatment (both pharmacological and psychosocial) in the article by PE Tanguay, in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2000 Sep;39(9):1079-95.

April 2003

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