About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Friday, December 26, 2008

What to Expect: The PDD Years

If only such a book existed.

Alas, it doesn't, so here I will share a few tidbits I have learned, based mostly on my experience with Brad.
  • Acquisition of speech - As indicated in my sidebar, Brad's speech was delayed; he became verbal at around 25 months. Also, Brad is acquiring language in what appears to be the "gestalt mode." See this graphic for a comparison between the gestalt and analytical modes of acquiring speech. In lay terms, he acquired speech in part by rote and repitition. Typical children do this too - indeed imitation is the building block of learning. But typical children go more quickly from rote to generalization, whereas Brad gets stuck on repetition.
  • Dysfluency - As I blogged, Brad developed dysfluency at age 2.5. At the time, I called it a stutter, but it appears that it isn't a classic stutter. Rather, it's an offshoot of his dyspraxia and motor coordination issues. Simply put, his body doesn't comply with his brain. This plays out in his walk and his talk.
  • Stimming - For the uninitiated, "stimming" refers to actions taken to self-stimulate. Common examples include flapping and spinning. I didn't observe Brad stim at all until...just last week (2 years 11 months). He's flapping more now, not just when he's excited. Sometimes, it's just when he's walking. Note that there's nothing wrong with stimming, and I don't intend to take any actions to reverse this trend. However, this marks a new stage of symbolic importance to us: People take notice of him when we're out.


Quirky Mom said...

I've never heard the term "dysfluency" before... Something for me to google!

Patience said...

Wow Brad is soooo young. My dd was 4 before we even saw a doctor (also because she was mostly making the milestones and we only ran into problems when we tried to enroll her in preschool. (she related to and got along with her older brothers fine)
My only regret after all these years is that I didn't do baby sign; with her hearing problems; I think her speech aquisition would have been much faster and less frustrating for her. I did do it with my youngest (adopted from Haiti at 10 months) and she had her first spoken word at 11 months.

Laura said...

Quirky Mom - there's a "dys" for everything now...

Patience - yeah, that's the thing. In 2007, American Pediatrics Association published a report recommending autism screening at 18 and 24 months. That's in part why parents like me and others are getting the diagnosis so young. Interesting note regarding your daughter...was it a hearing or processing problem, receptive of expressive? Sign doesn't help for receptive delay, does it? I belong to a dyspraxia group, and one of the parents there sent her daughter to a school for the deaf for a while. It's fascinating. Brad has a motor integration/processing problem, but I don't know if it's auditory or whatnot. He passed his hearing test. ps you should blog!

Patience said...


You can pass a hearing test but still have extensive auditory processing problems. I do think my dd's receptive must have been pretty good as when her speech improved; she would relate incidents from her earlier non speech years.
I would use sign on virtually any child as it's a form of communication. If it worked for Helen Keller with all her deficits; I think it would work for most if they have the motor ability to make the signs.
I do have a blog but it's mostly as a communication device for my adult sons who don't live at home any more.
I have a livejournal called cheese_fairy2 (or sometimes cheese-fairy2.
Autism and stuff like that is not so central in my life anymore but I am still interested in people in the heart of the journey.

~ April ~ said...

I've been wondering if/when such traits start to develop, or if they are always there with kids with PDD, but I guess not.

The comparison chart is interesting. My brain is too tired to make sense of it, though, right now, but I'll look at it tomorrow and try again. Hehe

China said...

I haven't heard the term dysfluency either. Where do learn all your best info and terms? You've learned a lot in a short amount of time, it seems.