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The case of a 5-year-old child diagnosed as having pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), autistic type, from age 1 is reported. After surgery of vegetation in middle ear for repetitive otitis, the child presented an improvement in autistic behaviours, previously expressed as impaired social interactions, qualitative abnormalities in communication, a marked delay in language development, echolalia, stereotypies and self-aggressive behaviours. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to occurrences of misdiagnosis of PDD, which can occur when an adequate screening of the autistic syndrome is not realised. The result of the surgery was an improvement in autistic behaviours, despite the persistence of less severe autistic traits that may be more closely related to Asperger’s syndrome.