Peggy HallidayPeggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.
Host: What is PDD/NOS? Peggy Halliday: For all intents and purposes PDD/NOS, it means Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and it should be treated just as you would treat autism, in terms of interventions. It just means that the characteristics are not quite as clear cut, as they are in classic autism. Autism is a spectrum disorder and it really is a continuum of behaviors and so you are going to see children that have any of the behaviors that you are talking about to a lesser or a greater degree. So PDD/NOS is often thought to be a milder form of autism, that may or that may not be true. It just means that they do not have as many of the characteristics that they would have, if they were diagnosing Classic Autism. Now, a lot of times doctors who are diagnosing very young children are reluctant to give a diagnosis of autism, and they will give the diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder, because that will allow children to receive intervention services, perhaps later they will receive a diagnosis of Classic Autism, perhaps they wont, but at least they are able to receive services with that diagnosis.