ABA – Applied Behavioural Analysis, science of behavior, and principles used to develop intervention programmes for children with Autism aimed at increasing desired behaviours and decreasing undesirable behaviour.
ABC – Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence, behavior recording method used to understand when and why behaviours may be occurring.
ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder, a condition that may co-occur with Autism.
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a condition that may co-occur with Autism.
ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (or Schedule). An assessment tool used to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder.
AoN – The assessment of need (AON) allows children to be diagnosed and then apply for the resources they require in line with their disability.
APD – Auditory Processing Disorder, sometimes referred to as CAPD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Processing is “what our brain does with what the ear hears”.
ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological, developmental disorder which effects how people with ASD communicate, socialise and interact with others, also characterised by restrictive, repetitive behaviors, interests and activities.
AT – Assistive Technology, equipment or technology used to help individuals on the autism spectrum. This could include but is not limited to iPads and apps used to support communication, or laptops for those who struggle with handwriting.
Behavioural Rigidity – the tendency to need things to be, or happen in, a certain way, generally causing significant distress otherwise.
DCA – Domicilliary Care Allowance. A monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability, who require ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age.
DCD – Development Coordination Disorder- Dyspraxia is a common disorder affecting fine or gross motor co-ordination in children and adults.
DoES – Department of Education & Skills.
DO – A Deciding Officer is an officer in the Department who is authorized by law to make decisions on entitlement to benefit.
DSM -The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the standard reference that is used by healthcare providers in the United States and many other countries including Ireland to diagnose mental health and behavioural conditions, including autism.
DSP – Refers to the Department of Social Protection, which is also known as the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Echolalia – Repeating words or phrases heard. This may be immediate, as in when a child repeats a question immediately after parent asks, or delayed, such as when a child repeats conversations verbatim from a favorite cartoon or show hours or days after.
EI – Early Intervention, typically intervention delivered to children 5 and under.
EPSEN – Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 – statute to guide delivery of education for persons with additional needs; however, this has not been enacted.
Expressive Language – Expressive language is the use of words, sentences, gestures and writing to convey meaning and messages to others.
FBA – Functional Behaviour Assessment- is a process that identifies specific unwanted target behaviours, the purpose of the behaviour, and what factors maintain the behaviour.
GDD – Global Development Delay may be diagnosed when a child has not reached two or more milestones in all areas of their development.
HSE – Health Service Executive
ICD-10 – International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)a medical classification list by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
ID – Intellectual disability describes significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, as assessed using IQ or cognitive tests.
IEP – Individual Education Plan a written document which specifies the learning goals that are to be achieved by a student over a set period.
MDT – Multi-disciplinary team is a group of healthcare workers representing different fields or (e.g. psychology, SLT, OT) disciplines working together to deliver comprehensive care to an individual.
Motor Planning – the ability to approach a motor activity, plan and organize how to carry out that motor activity, and finally implement motor skills to achieve that motor activity.
NEPS – National Education Psychological Service work with both primary and post-primary schools and are concerned with learning, behaviour, social and emotional development.
NT – Neuro-typical is generally a term used to describe a person who does not have Autism Spectrum Disorder.
NVLD – Non-Verbal Learning Disorder is a learning disorder characterized by verbal strengths as well as visual-spatial, motor, and social skills difficulties.
ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a childhood disorder that is defined by a pattern of hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviors directed at adults or other authority figures.
Oral Motor – Oral-motor skills refer to the movement of the muscles of the face. Some children with Autism will have difficulties with oral motor, which may impact behaviours such as speech and feeding.
OT – Occupational Therapy or Occupational Therapist. The occupational therapist specialises in helping children with ASD improve motor skills, daily living skills (e.g. feeding and dressing),and sensory processing.
PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System is an assistive and alternative communication system involving the use of pictures or icons, usually contained in a book, to communicate with others. There is a strong emphasis on requesting, to enable the person with Autism to express basic wants and needs.
Perseveration – successive repetition of a particular behaviour.
Pica – ingestion of non-food items.
Proprioceptive Input – Sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that underlie body awareness. It can be obtained by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects, including one’s own weight.
PT – Physiotherapists typically help persons with Autism with motor skills.
SESS – Special Education Support Service. They provide training on a range of topics to teachers.
SI – Sensory Integration Therapy, a form of therapy designed to help the neurological system learn to better integrate input from the senses. Sensory Integration Therapy is delivered by Occupational Therapists trained in SI.
SID – Sensory Integration Disorder, sometimes called SPD, Sensory Processing Disorder.
SIB – Self-Injurious Behavior. Some children with Autism may engage in behaviors such as headbanging, slapping, or biting self.
SLT – Speech & Language Therapy or Speech & Language Therapist. SLT will assist children with Autism with communication, language, and social skills. They may also assist children with feeding and swallowing difficulties.
SNA – Special Needs Assistant, the SNA provides additional assistance for children in school
Social Skills – Refer to the range of skills required for individuals to engage in successful interactions and develop relationships. This may include but is not limited to how to play with others, having conversations, or understanding others perspectives.
SPD – Sensory Processing Disorder, see SID above.
Stereotypic Behaviour– repetitive, seemingly meaningless behaviour common in Autism. Some examples include flapping, rocking, repetitive vocalizations. Recognize that while these behaviours seem meaningless to the observer, they do serve a purpose for the person with ASD. Also referred to as self-stimulatory behaviour.
Stim – short for ‘self-stimulation’, a term for behaviours whose sole purpose is to stimulate one’s own senses e.g.rocking one’s body. Many people with ASD report that stims serve a regulatory function for them e.g. calming effect, assist with concentration. Also referred to as stereotypic behaviour.
TEACCH – ‘Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children’. The primary aim of TEACCH is to help to prepare people with Autism to live or work more effectively at home, at school and in the community.
ToM – Theory of Mind is the ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.— to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.