, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 525-549

Pervasive developmental disorders: From DSM-III to DSM-III-R

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The present paper provides a brief history of the development of the DSM-II-R (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1987) section on Pervasive Developmental Disorders. It describes the process by which the contents of the text and criteria for Autistic Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified were decided and gives the reasons for the changes from DSM-III (APA, 1980) categories and criteria. The paper concludes with a short discussion of critical diagnostic issues.

We gratefully acknowledge the valuable critical commentary on drafts of this paper provided by Donald Cohen, Howard Demb, Deborah Fein, Michael Rutter, David Shaffer, Theodore Shapiro, Peter Szatmari, and Fred Volkmar. Waterhouse's work on this paper was supported by research grant MH26805 from the National Institutes of Mental Health and by research grant NS20489 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke. Siegel's work on this paper was supported by NIMH MH39437 and by the John Merck Fund.