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What is the prognosis for pervasive developmental disorders?

Joane Goodroe
Nursing

There is hope for improvement of pervasive developmental disorders (PVD).  I have a son who was diagnosed with PVD twenty years ago.  At the time, his problems seemed overwhelming. 

There are a few things that seemed to make a difference. 
  • Constant attention to improvement in motor function. He was in therapy for this for two years and then started a strict karate class.  He was unable to keep up with a class; but one on one, he very slowly made progress. This seemed to improve his motor skills and auditory processing. Ten years later, he earned his black belt. Others earned a black belt in 5 years. 
  • We found that music therapy was very helpful. Piano lessons were painful but important to help motor coordination and overall brain function. In the process, we found that he had a strength: singing.  In his teens he began singing classical music.  
  • We set one goal at a time to help him focus and not feel overwhelmed. School was always hard. The goal was to learn. Writing and reading were too hard so we would carefully focus on the goal of learning.  
When he was 15, they changed his diagnosis to Aspergers. He will graduate from college in May. He has learned to drive which we never thought was possible. He lives about two hours away in an apartment near the University. He definitely has a learning disability but works very hard to learn. 

Every child is different, but there is hope for children with all types of autism including PVD. The positive changes happened slowly. His karate sensei always said, “Never Give Up”.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.