Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

(Also Known As: Heller’s Syndrome, Disintegrative Psychosis, Autism, Mental Retardation, Aspergers)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?

Also known as disintegrative psychosis or Heller's syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) is a rare condition in which children develop normally until age 3 or 4 and then intellectual, social, communication, and other skills will deteriorate or be lost.

Often times confused with autism, CDD has some similarities. However, it is often considered a low functioning form of autism. Late-onset autism and CDD is when normal development of a child will eventually be followed by loss of skills in language, social, play, motor, and other skills. These 2 kinds of disorder are known as pervasive developmental disorders or autism spectrum disorders. 1

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) which is also called Heller's syndrome was named after an Austrian educator Theodore Heller. It was named after his last name in 1908 which is 35 years after Leo Kanner described autism, although it has not been well-known until lately. 2

Could You Have Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Asperger's Syndrome – autism, impaired social interaction, restricted behavior, atypical use of language, clumsiness
Autism – impaired social interaction and communication, delayed brain development, repetitive behaviors, restricted interests
Rett's Disorder – absence of verbal skills, cognitive impairment, delayed motor skills