The aim of the study was to compare social initiatives and gaze behavior in low-functioning children with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), high-functioning children with a PDD, children with a language disorder, and normally developing children. Behavior of the children was observed while they watched television and performed a playful task with a parent. Compared to the high-functioning children, the low-functioning children with a PDD showed fewer social initiatives. The high-functioning children with a PDD did not differ from the non-PDD control children in the number of social initiatives and gazes. However, in children with PDD, timing of social gaze proved to be different in that they had lower levels of visual checking before but not after a declarative pointing gesture. Furthermore, they had lower levels of returning gaze.