Diseases & Conditions


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Asperger's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified


These pervasive developmental disorders are closely related to autism but are less severe.

Children with Asperger's disorder have impaired social interactions similar to those of children with autism, as well as stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and mannerisms and non-functional rituals. However, language skills are normal and sometimes superior to those of an average child, and IQ is normal.

Children who have significantly impaired social interactions or stereotyped behaviors without all of the features of autism or Asperger's disorder are considered to have pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (abbreviated as PDD-NOS). Children with Asperger's disorder or PDD-NOS tend to function at a higher level than children with autism and may be able to function independently. Children with Asperger's disorder often respond well to psychotherapy.

Last full review/revision February 2003

Source: The Merck Manual Home Edition