occurring in 3 to 4 year olds which is characterized by a deterioration,
over several months of intellectual, social, and language functioning.
Also known as; disintegrative psychosis or Heller's syndrome.
This rather rare condition was described many years before autism
but has only recently been 'officially' recognized. With CDD children
develop a condition which resembles autism but only after a relatively
prolonged period of clearly normal development. This condition
apparently differs from autism in the pattern of onset, course,
and outcome. Although apparently rare the condition probably has
frequently been incorrectly diagnosed. The following is prominent
with the condition:
Loss of social skills.
Loss of bowel and
Loss of expressive
or receptive language.
Loss of motor skills.
Lack of play.
Failure to develop
Impairment in nonverbal
Delay or lack of
Inability to initiate
or sustain a conversation.
Disintegrative Disorder is usually associated with severe
mental retardation. But
this may not always be present. There also appears be an increased
frequency of EEG abnormalities and seizure disorder.
have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore,
in his/her diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against
the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish
a precise diagnosis.
etiology is unknown but several lines of evidence suggest that
it arises as a result of some form of central nervous system pathology.
More boys than girls appear to be affected. Childhood disintegrative
disorder is perhaps 10 times less common than more strictly defined
is the same for autistic disorder (autism)
because of the similarity in the two disorders. Treatment is
can be very difficult and prolonged. Parents, teachers, and
therapists work together in coordinated efforts to encourage
social adjustment and speech development in the child. Positive
reinforcement techniques for appropriate behavior or language
responses have been successful in promoting skills. Family members
may also need counseling because they often feel guilty or inadequate.
and Psychotherapy [ See
Therapy Section ]:
behavior modification programmes such as; Behavior Analysis
and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).