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Documentation Criteria: Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Pervasive developmental disorders are characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development including reciprocal social interaction skills, communication skills, or the presence of stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities. Several different disorders fall within this category including Asperger’s Disorder and Autistic Disorder.

Asperger’s Disorder

Asperger’s Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by qualitative impairment in social interactions and the presence of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, interests, and activities.

Specific documentation guidelines for Asperger’s Disorder include the following:

  • General documentation guidelines listed in Appendix D.

  • Diagnosis and corresponding code from the most recent DSM.

  • Assessment of the following diagnostic criteria is required and evaluation results must be included:

    • Developmental history that includes evidence of Asperger’s Disorder symptoms in childhood and documents the absence of clinically- significant general delay in early cognitive or language development.
    • Documentation of current qualitative impairment in social interaction.
    • Documentation of current restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities.
    • Assessment of broad cognitive ability and language function using standardized assessment measures with age-appropriate norms.

Autistic Disorder

Autistic Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by qualitative impairment in social interactions, qualitative impairment in communication affecting both verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and the presence of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, interests, and activities.

  • Specific documentation guidelines for Autistic Disorder include the following:

  • General documentation guidelines listed in Appendix D.

  • Diagnosis and corresponding code from the most recent DSM.

  • Assessment of the following diagnostic criteria is required and evaluation results must be included in the documentation:

    • Developmental history that includes evidence of Autistic Disorder symptoms in childhood
    • Documentation of current qualitative impairment in social interaction
    • Documentation of current qualitative impairment in communication
    • Documentation of current restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities
    • Assessment of broad cognitive ability and language function using standardized assessment measures with age-appropriate norms

Retrieved from the USG Documentation Guidelines for Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

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