Photo Credit: Rifka Schonfeld

Fragile X:

  • In males, a decreased IQ; in females, variable IQ.
  • Social anxiety when placed in situations in which they are forced to interact with others.
  • Spoken language often characterized by stuttering and omitted sounds in a sentence.

 

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At this time there is no consensus amongst physicians as to when exactly a child should be diagnosed with PDD-NOS, autism or Aspergers syndrome. Therefore, it is possible for the same child to receive different diagnoses from different doctors, even as he exhibits exactly the same symptoms.

Regardless of the diagnosis, research has shown that children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders have significantly better results when treated from an early age. In fact, studies conducted showed that children who began treatment at the age of two had fewer than half of the symptoms as compared to children who began treatment after the age of eight.

Treatments for PDD-NOS vary depending on the range and severity of the symptoms. However, some typical and effective treatments include:

  • Play therapy: Through play (a child’s natural mode of expression), children learn to cope with emotional issues. In this way, children can manipulate the world on a smaller scale, something that cannot be done on everyday basis.
  • Sensory integration therapy: Through a gradual introduction of averse stimuli, children become used to situations that might have otherwise made them uncomfortable. (For example, some children with PDD might not tolerate the noise scissors make during a haircut. A trained specialist would slowly integrate the scissors noise near the child’s head in order to make haircuts more bearable).
  • Social skills training: Coaching in non-verbal communication and everyday interactions can help children gain the essential skills to make friends and pay attention to teacher that do not come naturally because of PDD. This can greatly improve the child’s social experience for the rest of his life.
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An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.