SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Children with childhood disintegrative disorder typically show a dramatic loss of previously acquired skills in two or more of the following areas:
- Language, including a severe decline in the ability to speak and have a conversation
- Social skills, including significant difficulty relating to and interacting with others
- Play, including a loss of interest in imaginary play and in a variety of games and activities
- Motor skills, including a dramatic decline in the ability to walk, climb, grasp objects and perform other movements
- Bowel or bladder control, including frequent accidents in a child who was previously toilet trained
Loss of developmental milestones may occur abruptly over the course of days to weeks or gradually over an extended period of time.
When to see a doctor
Children typically develop at their own pace, but any loss of developmental milestones is cause for concern. If your child has suddenly lost previously acquired language, social, motor, play, thinking (cognitive) or self-help skills, such as toilet training and feeding, contact your doctor. In addition, if you suspect that your child has gradually shown a loss in any area of development, talk with your doctor.
- Childhood disintegrative disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Jan. 21, 2013.
- Fact sheet: Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD). Illinois Autism Training & Technical Assistance Project. http://www.illinoisautismproject.org/. Accessed Jan. 21, 2013.
- Sadock BJ, et al. Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009. http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&CSC=Y&NEWS=N&PAGE=booktext&D=books2&AN=01412563/9th_Edition/5&XPATH=/OVIDBOOK%5b1%5d/METADATA%5b1%5d/TBY%5b1%5d/EDITORS%5b1%5d. Accessed Jan. 21, 2013.
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): Condition information. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/autism/conditioninfo/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed. Jan. 21, 2013.
- Charan SH. Childhood disintegrative disorder. Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences. 2012;7:55.
- Augustyn M. Terminology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 21, 2013.
- Pervasive developmental disorders information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/pdd/pdd.htm. Accessed Jan 21. 2013.
- A parent's guide to autism spectrum disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/a-parents-guide-to-autism-spectrum-disorder/what-is-autism-spectrum-disorder-asd.shtml. Accessed Jan. 21, 2013.
- Augustyn M. Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan 21, 2013.
- Huffman LC, et al. Management of symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders: A comprehensive review of pharmacologic and complementary-alternative medicine treatment. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. 2011;32:56.
- Kupfer DJ, et al. DSM-5 — The future arrived. JAMA In press. Accessed Feb. 25, 2013.
- Huxsahl JE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 5, 2013.
- Swintak CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 21, 2013.
- Rosman NO, et al. Childhood disintegrative disorder: Distinction from autistic disorder and predictors of outcome. Journal of Child Neurology. In print. Accessed Feb. 24, 2013.