Reflecting the enormous changes that have taken place in our knowledge and understanding of developmental disorders, this groundbreaking international volume brings this vast and complex field together for the first time. The editors have collected together the world’s leading academic scholars and clinicians, to explore how current research across a range of different disciplines can inform academic knowledge and clinical practice and help to improve the lives of individuals and their families.The SAGE Handbook of Developmental Disorders is a central reference in the field for all academics, researchers, clinicians and advanced students involved in the study of developmental disorders, including those in clinical psychology, child psychiatry, child mental health, child genetics and pediatrics, speech language pathology, and developmental disabilities and special education.

The Disintegrative Disorders

The disintegrative disorders
Fred R.Volkmar

The two current official approaches to diagnosis—International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) (WHO, 1994) and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn (DSM-IV) (APA, 1994, 2000)—recognize two conditions in which developmental deterioration is a prominent and defining central feature. These are childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) (previously sometimes referred to as disintegrative psychosis of Heller's syndrome) and Rett disorder. In addition to these two explicitly defined conditions it also has long been recognized that in perhaps 20% of cases children with more classical autism some degree of developmental skill loss occurs. In this chapter the primary focus is on CDD and Rett disorder, although the issue of ‘regressive autism’ and its relationship, particularly to CDD, is discussed.

Historical Perspectives

A century ...

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