Asperger syndrome Asperger\'s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.
Hans Asperger Hans Asperger (February 18, 1906 – October 21, 1980) was an Austrian pediatrician, after whom Asperger syndrome (AS) was named. He wrote over 300 publications, mostly concerning autism in children.
ABA Therapy Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific method for predicting and controlling human behavior. ABA Therapy uses empirical, and observable evidence through functional behavioral assessments of particular cognitive, behavioral, or communicative activities to develop a treatment plan to help develop and maintain practical skills in children with ASD. ABA uses a prompting and fading method, where children are gradually taught how to develop and perform skills on their own. ABA Therapy remains one of the most successful skill development programs, helping students achieve a very high rate of skill maintenance, repeatability, and development.
ADH Acronym for antidiuretic hormone, which is another term for vasopressin. This is a hormone which plays an important role in increasing water re-absorption in the kidneys. It has also been implicated in social behaviours and in reducing anxiety.
ADHD Acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a condition in children who have three main kinds of problems, overactive behaviour (hyperactivity), impulsive behaviour, and difficulty in paying attention.
ADOS Acronym for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, a diagnostic tool designed to assess behaviours related to autism spectrum disorders.
Advocate An advocate represents the interests of the child with a disability in a number of different settings. Advocates may be hired to testify in hearings and appeals, before funding institutions, in an accountancy role in developing budgeting and scheduling, before a state or local government Autism society, before teachers and school boards in developing and negotiating IEPs and ISPs.
AEDs Acronym for anti-epileptic drugs – which is another term for anti-convulsants – a group of drugs designed to prevent or reduce the severity of fits (convulsions) in various types of epilepsy.
Affective / Mood Disorders Mental disorders characterized by dramatic changes or extremes of mood.
Affective Attunement Another term for holding therapy, an intervention which consists of forced holding by a therapist or parent until the child stops resisting or until a fixed time period has elapsed
Auditory Integration Training An intervention in which a person with autism listens to a selection of music which has been modified.
Autism Spectrum Disorders Autism is an umbrella term for a wide spectrum of disorders referred to as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The terms PDD and ASD are used interchangeably. They are a group of neurobiological disorders that affect a childs ability to interact, communicate, relate, play, imagine, and learn. These disorders not only affect how the brain develops and works, but may also be related to immunological, gastrointestinal, and metabolic problems. Signs and symptoms are seen in early childhood. The term spectrum is important to understanding autism because of the wide range of intensity, symptoms and behaviors, types of disorders, and considerable individual variation. Children with ASD may have a striking lack of interest and ability to interact, limited ability to communicate, and show repetitive behaviors and distress over changes, as in the case of many with classic autism, or Autistic Disorder. On the other end of the spectrum are children with a high-functioning form of autism who may have unusual social, language, and play skills, as in Asperger Syndrome. The autism spectrum consists of the following disorders: Autistic Disorder or Classic Autism, Retts Disorder or Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Aspergers Disorder or Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
Babbling Typically by six to nine months, a child begins to vocalize repeated consonant-vowel combinations, like ba ba ba, da da da, called babbling. As vocal development continues, babbling sounds take on the characteristics of adult speech even though the child may not have specific meanings in mind. Babbling precedes real speech, and is necessary in the process of learning to talk.
Behavior Any activity performed by a living organism, and that can be detectable in interaction with its environment. In humans this includes not just actions but thinking and feeling. Behaviors in terms of behavioral therapy can be individual skill sets or can refer to broken down, simple actions that a child or student may need to develop more complex skills.
Body Postures Body postures or movements and positioning of the body are nonverbal ways of conveying information or expressing emotions without the use of words.
Communication Any process in which a message containing information is transferred, especially from one person to another, via any of a number of media.
Compulsions Compulsions are deliberate repetitive behaviors that follow specific rules, such as pertaining to cleaning, checking, or counting. In young children, restricted patterns of interest may be an early sign of compulsions.
Deep sedation is a controlled, pharmacologically-induced state of depressed consciousness from which the patient is not easily aroused and which may be accompanied by a partial loss of protective reflexes, including the ability to maintain a patent airway independently and/or respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command.
Discrete Trial A discrete trial is a single cycle of a behaviorally-based instruction routine. A particular trial may be repeated several times in succession, several times a day, over several days – or even longer – until the skill is mastered.
Developmental Milestones Developmental milestones are markers or guideposts that enable parents and professionals to monitor a babys learning, behavior, and development. Developmental milestones consist of skills or behaviors that most children can do by a certain age. While each child develops differently, some differences may indicate a slight delay and others may be a red flag or warning sign for greater concern.
Diagnosis Since there is no biological way of confirming a diagnosis of ASD at this point in time, diagnosis should be based on the observation of the behavioral features using the DSM-IV-TR® framework. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is the instrument considered to be the current gold standard for observing features of ASD and should be used in making a diagnosis, along with information from parents. A diagnosis should include information about the childs developmental and medical history, current activities, and behaviors, and is often done by an inter- or multi-disciplinary team of professionals from several different specialties. Often, this will include at least one physician, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist, or developmental pediatrician; a psychologist specializing in child development; a speech-language pathologist; an occupational and/or physical therapist; a social worker; and special educator. Although a diagnosis of ASD is not necessary to get intervention, in some states the differences in the services provided to children with and without a diagnosis of ASD can be huge. Once a child has had a diagnostic evaluation and is determined eligible for services, additional assessments may be completed to better understand the childs strengths and needs in order to plan intervention goals and strategies.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR®) DSM-IV-TR® or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, is a handbook used widely by medical professionals in diagnosing and categorizing mental and developmental disorders. It is published by the American Psychiatric Association and lists the criteria, or characteristics, of many disorders. The Fourth edition of the DSM was published in 1994 with text revisions that were completed in 2000. The DSM-IV-TR uses the term Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in other sources, as the umbrella term that includes 5 disorders: Autistic Disorder, Retts Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Aspergers Disorder, and PDD-Not Otherwise Specified. According to the DSMIV-TR, an ASD diagnosis is given if a child has impairments (defined as problems that limit development or participation in everyday activities) in social interaction, impairments in communication, and restricted interests and/or repetitive behaviors. It is important to understand that while some children may show many or most of these features, other children will show only some of these features. The DSM is expected to be updated with a fifth edition to be published in 2011. (Adapted from American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
Discriminative Stimulus The instruction or environmental cue to which the teacher would like the child to respond to.
Echolalia Echolalia is the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others. Children with ASD often display echolalia in the process of learning to talk. Immediate echolalia is the exact repetition of someone elses speech, immediately or soon after the child hears it. Delayed echolalia may occur several minutes, hours, days, or even weeks or years after the original speech was heard. Echolalia is sometimes referred to as movie talk because the child can remember and repeat chunks of speech like repeating a movie script. Echolalia was once thought to be non-functional, but is now understood to often serve a communicative or regulatory purpose for the child.
Emotional Regulation Emotional regulation is a childs ability to notice and respond to internal and external sensory input, and then adjust his emotions and behavior to the demands of his surroundings. Emotional regulation includes the bodys involuntary reactions (heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.) to events or perceptions, as well as voluntary responses. Voluntary responses may be behaviors that the child does to soothe, or excite himself, such as spinning the wheel of a toy car, rubbing a smooth surface, rocking, or hand flapping. This may also include the use of communication to get help modulating emotion, such as reaching to request comfort when afraid. Many children with ASD have difficulties with emotional regulation and often have abnormal or inappropriate responses to the ordinary demands of their surroundings. They may also have problems adjusting to change, and transitioning from one activity to another, responding with strong negative emotions, tantrums, stereotyped, or even self-injurious behaviors.
Environment The entire state of circumstances in which an organism exists and behaves. The environment affects the organism through stimuli, and an organism effects the environment through behaviors. The environment takes into account place, time, other individuals, objects, movements, internal circumstances within the subject or child, and how these things may or may not be changing.
Expressive Language Expressive language is the use of verbal behavior, or speech, to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others. Language involves learning many levels of rules - combining sounds to make words, using ordinary meanings of words, combining words into sentences, and using words and sentences in following the rules of conversation. Expressive language is the ability to produce or say words and sentences.
Extinction Extinction is the technical term for discontinuing reinforcement, whether intentionally or not, from a child resulting in the decrease of that behavior. Extinction procedures should be carefully and are usually implemented on a strict schedule due to the common association with extinction bursts.
Extinction Burst Extinction bursts are the temporary increase in frequency, intensity, and/or duration of a behavior targeted for extinction. Extinction bursts can sometimes see a rise in problem behaviors,a great deal of resistance, and generally a bad attitude from the child.
Eye Gaze Eye gaze is looking at the face of others to check and see what they are looking at and to signal interest in interacting. It is a nonverbal behavior used to convey or exchange information or express emotions without the use of words.
Facial Expressions Facial expressions are movements of the face used to express emotion and to communicate with others. They are nonverbal behaviors used to convey or exchange information or express emotions without the use of words.
Fading Fading is the process of slowly phasing out prompts that are used to elicit desired behavioral responses from a child. Through fading, usually a child is prompted with less intrusive prompts and fewer prompts in frequency when learning a new behavior or skill. Fading should be something that is pre-programmed into a particular skill building plan so that the child does not become overly dependent on a given prompt.
Fixed Interval Schedules It is to reinforce an individual after a fixed amount of time. Fixed interval schedules typically produce a stair-stepped pattern of behavior, that is, after the presentation of reinforcement the production of responses levels off until just before the time for the next presentation, when the level of behavior increases rapidly, then levels off again, and so on.
Fixed Ratio Schedules To reinforce an individual after a fixed number of correct responses. Fixed ratio schedules produce a stair-stepped pattern similar to a fixed interval schedule, only with a high rate of behavior production.
Functional Play Functional play is done to complete a task or achieve certain goals. This is often performed during a therapy session.
General Anesthesia Is an induced state of unconsciousness accompanied by partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including the ability to independently maintain an airway and respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command.
Generalization Generalizing is the expansion of a students performance ability beyond the initial conditions set for acquisition of a skill so that the skill can be readily performed in alternative or multiple environments. Generalization attempts to get the child to perform a behavior independent of materials, antecedents, others, and other objects in various time settings.
Gestures Gestures are hand and head movements, used to signal to someone else, such as a give, reach, wave, point, or head shake. They are nonverbal behaviors used to convey or exchange information or express emotions without the use of words.
Healthy Development Healthy (or typical) development describes the physical, mental, and social development of a child who is acquiring or achieving skills according to the expected time frame.
Hyperresponsiveness Hyperresponsiveness is abnormal sensitivity or over reactivity to sensory input. This is the state of feeling overwhelmed by what most people would consider common or ordinary stimuli of sound, sight, taste, touch, or smell. Many children with ASD are over reactive to ordinary sensory input and may exhibit sensory defensiveness which involves a strong negative response to their overload, such as screaming at the sound of a telephone. Tactile defensiveness is a specific sensory defensiveness that is a strong negative response to touch.
Hyporesponsiveness Hyporesponsiveness is abnormal insensitivity or under reactivity to sensory input, in which the brain fails to register incoming stimuli appropriately so the child does not respond to the sensory stimulation. A child who appears as if deaf, but whose hearing has tested as normal, is under reactive. A child who is under reactive to sensory input may have a high tolerance to pain, may be sensory-seeking, craving sensations, and may act aggressively, or clumsily.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
Idiosyncratic Language Idiosyncratic language refers to language with private meanings or meaning that only makes sense to those familiar with the situation where the phrase originated.
Individualized Education Program An IEP is a program designed specifically addresses a students particular learning needs, expectations, planning, and program reviewing. An IEP outlines how the school and individual learning service providers will meet expectations through appropriate special education programs and services. IEPs must also incorporate a program for transition to higher education levels, or occupational training.
Individualized Support Program An Individualized Support Program is a program designed for students with profound developmental and learning needs who may also have need of physical, sensory, behavioral, or medical support due to existing conditions. ISPs often act as supplementary programs to IEPs, and care coordination can often be aided or developed by IEP consultants.
Insistence on Sameness Insistence on sameness refers to a rigid adherence to a routine or activity carried out in a specific way, which then becomes a ritual or nonfunctional routine. Children with ASD may insist on sameness and may react with distress or tantrums to even small changes or disruptions in routines. Sometimes such reactions are so big they are described as catastrophic. A childs response of insistence on sameness may reflect difficulty with change in activities or routines or being able to predict what happens next, and therefore, may be a coping mechanism. Young children with ASD may also show some repetitive movements with objects, such as lining things up, collecting objects, or clutching similar small toys.
Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual rather than from any external or outside rewards, such as money or grades.
Joint Attention Children seek to share attention with others spontaneously during the first year of life. Joint or shared attention is first accomplished by the caregiver looking at what the infant is looking at. Infants learn early to seek joint attention spontaneously by shifting gaze between an object of interest and another person and back to the object (also called 3-point gaze), following the gaze or point of others, and using gestures to draw others attention to objects (e.g. holding out and showing an object or pointing to an object), either by pointing to it or by eye gaze. This desire to share attention on objects builds to sharing enjoyment by looking at others while smiling when enjoying an activity, drawing others attention to things that are interesting, and checking to see if others notice an achievement (e.g., after building a tower of blocks, looking up and clapping and smiling to share the achievement). Ultimately, children learn to talk and use language to share enjoyment, interests, and achievements and later to share ideas and experiences. Impairment in joint attention is a core deficit of ASD.
Make-Believe Play Make-believe play is where children pretend to do things and to be something or someone else. This kind of play typically develops between the ages of 2 and 3 years.
Manding Manding is another word for requesting by the child. A child who has mastered manding is capable of requesting objects or stimuli from others.
Nonfunctional Routines Nonfunctional routines are specified, sequential, and apparently purposeless repeated actions or behaviors that a child engages in, such as always lining up toys in a certain order each time instead of playing with them. Children with ASD may follow routines that appear to be senseless, but may have significance to the child.
Nonverbal Behaviors Nonverbal behaviors are those things people do to convey or exchange information or express emotions without the use of words. These include eye gaze (looking at the face of others to check and see what they are looking at and to signal interest in interacting), facial expressions (movements of the face used to express emotion and to communicate with others nonverbally), body postures (movements and positioning of the body in relation to others), and gestures (hand and head movements to signal, such as a give, reach, wave, point, or head shake). In the first year of life, children learn to coordinate nonverbal behaviors to regulate social interaction so that they can use their eyes, face, body, and hands together to interact. At the same time, children learn to read or understand the nonverbal behaviors of others. For example, they learn to follow gaze and look where someone else is looking, understand if others show with their face or tone of their voice that they are happy, sad, or angry, or look at what someone is pointing at. Before learning to talk, children can take turns with nonverbal behaviors in back-and-forth interactions.
Nothing per Orem Is a diet that means the patient cannot take anything by mouth. It is usually presribed before and after diagnostic procedures.
Obsessions Obsessions are repetitive thoughts that are persistent and intrusive. In young children, preoccupations with specific kinds of objects or actions may be an early sign of obsessions.
Operant Conditioning Operant behavior are those behaviors determined by its consequence through reinforcement or punishment. Operant conditioning applies to behaviors that are performed as voluntary responses in order to deliberately attain a desired outcome.
Over Reactivity to Sensory Input Over reactivity to sensory input is abnormal sensitivity or hyperresponsiveness. This is the state of feeling overwhelmed by what most people would consider common or ordinary stimuli of sound, sight, taste, touch, or smell. Many children with ASD are over reactive to ordinary sensory input and may exhibit sensory defensiveness - a strong negative response to their overload, such as screaming at the sound of a telephone.
Perseveration The term perseveration refers to repeating or getting stuck carrying out a behavior (e.g., putting in and taking out a puzzle piece) when it is no longer appropriate.
Perseverative Speech Children with ASD who learn to talk usually have repetitive use of language. Perseverative speech refers to repeating the same phrase or word over and over or bringing up the same topic repeatedly with a sense of getting stuck when it is no longer appropriate.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) is an umbrella term for a wide spectrum of disorders referred to as Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The terms PDD and ASD are used interchangeably. They are a group of neurobiological disorders that affect a childs ability to interact, communicate, relate, play, imagine, and learn. These disorders not only affect the development and function of the brain, but may possibly be related to differences in the immunological, gastrointestinal, and metabolic systems. Signs and symptoms are seen in early childhood and are visible in differences in very basic aspects of social interaction and communication, and in restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. The term spectrum is important to understanding autism because of the wide range of intensity, symptoms and behaviors, types of disorders, and considerable individual variation. Children with PDD may have a striking lack of interest and ability to interact, limited ability to communicate, and show repetitive behaviors and distress over changes, as in the case of many with classic autism, or Autistic Disorder. On the other end of the spectrum are children with a high-functioning form of autism characterized by idiosyncratic social, language, and play skills, as in Asperger Syndrome. The autism spectrum consists of the following disorders: Autistic Disorder or Classic Autism, Retts Disorder or Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Aspergers Disorder or Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
Pointing Pointing is an important gesture of the index finger used to request an object (called protoimperative pointing) or to draw attention to an object to comment on it or share interest in it (called protodeclarative pointing). The ability to make pointing gestures typically develops by the age of 12 months.
Pragmatics Pragmatics are social rules for using functional spoken language in a meaningful context or conversation. Challenges in pragmatics are a common feature of spoken language difficulties in children with ASD.
Preoccupation with Parts of Objects A preoccupation with a part of an object is a persistent unusual interest or fixation in one aspect of something that is usually to the exclusion of interest in people, or in using the object in social interactions or in a functional way. Young children with an ASD may manipulate parts of an object, such as spinning the wheel of a toy car, flicking a handle, or opening and closing a door, rather than use the whole object functionally or in pretend play. Like preoccupations with restricted interests, preoccupations with parts of objects can interfere with a childs normal activity or social interaction, and can be related to anxiety.
Prompting Prompting is what care providers or you as parents do to cue or assist your child to elicit a desired response.
Prosody Prosody is the rhythm and melody of spoken language expressed through rate, pitch, stress, inflection, or intonation. Children with ASD can range from having no functional language (do not use words conventionally for communication) to having very proficient vocabulary and sentence structure. Usually, those who talk have odd intonation (flat, monotonous, stiff, or sing songy without emphasis on the important words), and those who do not yet talk make unusual sounds.
Protodeclarative Pointing Protodeclarative pointing is an important gesture of the index finger used to draw someones attention to an object to comment on it or share interest in it.
Protoimperative Pointing Protoimperative pointing is an important gesture of the index finger used to request an object.
Punishment Punishment is anything that follows a particular behavior that decreases the likelihood of that behavior being repeated in the future. Punishments are not necessarily detrimental consequences, but the process of using punishments is secondary to reinforcement methods in ABA Therapy. Punishment stimuli are often referred to as an event and if the event is added to the punishment process, it is known as a positive punishment, and if the event is something subtracted from the punishment process, it is known as a negative punishment.
Receptive Language Receptive language is the ability to understand or comprehend words and sentences that others use. Typically by 12 months a child begins to understand words and will respond to his/her name and may be able to respond to familiar words in context. By 18 to 20 months a child will be able to identify familiar people by looking when named (e.g., Wheres mommy?), give familiar objects when named (e.g., Wheres the ball?), and point to a few body parts (e.g., Wheres your nose? Wheres your mouth?). Receptive language skills commonly emerge a little ahead of expressive language skills, but it is easy to overestimate what a child understands. Often young children figure out the message by responding to nonverbal cues (e.g., pointing gestures, or situational cues), and this may make it appear like they understand the words.
Red Flags for ASD Red flags for ASD are the early indicators or warning signs for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Regulatory and Sensory Systems The regulatory and sensory systems control a childs ability to take in or register and respond to internal sensory input (such as thoughts and feelings, heart rate, etc.), and external stimuli (sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch, and balance), and then adjust his emotional and behavioral response to those stimuli and the demands of his surroundings. Many children with ASD have regulatory and sensory deficits, but other children do as well, so the presence of this kind of impairment is not part of the criteria for a diagnosis of an ASD. Regulatory and sensory deficits are associated features that are common in children with ASD, but not necessarily indicative of the disorder.
Reinforcement Reinforcement is the process by which behavior is strengthened, through direct association of a stimulus in close proximity in time to any given behavior a child may perform. It is a key principle to ABA Therapy and behavioral assessments. Reinforcement stimuli are often referred to as an event and if the event is added to the reinforcement process, it is known as a positive reinforcement, and if the event is something subtracted from the reinforcement process, it is known as a negative reinforcement.
Reinforcing Stimulus A reward designed to motivate the child to respond and respond correctly
Relationship Development Intervention is one of the several therapies developed in helping children with Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD).
Repetitive Behaviors and Restricted Interests Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests are common in children with ASD. Children with ASD may appear to have odd or unusual behaviors such as a very strong interest in a particular kind of object (e.g., lint, peoples hair) or parts of objects, or certain activities. They may have repetitive and unusual movements with their body or with objects, or repetitive thoughts about specific, unusual topics.
Repetitive Motor Mannerisms Repetitive motor mannerisms are stereotyped or repetitive movements or posturing of the body. They include mannerisms of the hands (such as handflapping, finger twisting or flicking, rubbing, or wringing hands), body (such as rocking, swaying, or pacing), and odd posturing (such as posturing of the fingers, hands, or arms). These mannerisms may appear not to have any meaning, or function, although they may have significance for the child, such as providing sensory stimulation (also referred to as self-stimulating behavior), communicating to avoid demands, or requesting a desired object or attention, or soothing when wary or anxious. These repetitive mannerisms are common in children with ASD.
Repetitive Use of Language Children with ASD who learn to talk usually have repetitive use of language. Repetitive language is seen in the use of echolalia, which is the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others. Children with ASD often display echolalia in the process of learning to talk. Immediate echolalia is the exact repetition of someone elses speech, immediately or soon after the child hears it. Delayed echolalia may occur several minutes, hours, days, or even weeks or years after the original speech was heard. Echolalia is sometimes referred to as movie talk because the child can remember and repeat chunks of speech like repeating a movie script. Echolalia was once thought to be non-functional, but is now understood to have a communicative or regulatory function for the child. Repetitive use of language can also be seen in stereotyped phrases that are used repetitively. Stereotyped or stereotypy refers to an abnormal or excessive repetition of an action or phrase over time. The term perseveration is a related term and refers to an adaptive behavior that is repeated beyond when it is needed and reflects getting stuck. Thus, the term perseverative speech is also used to refer to repetitive phrases. Children with ASD may have idiosyncratic use of language, which refers to language with private meanings or meaning that only makes sense to those familiar with the situation where the phrase came from.
Respondent Conditioning Respondent conditioning uses manipulation and knowledge of response based behavior. Respondent behavior are those actions that are performed due to an antecedent stimulus, as opposed to a consequential stimulus.
Restricted Patterns of Interest Restricted patterns of interest refer to a limited range of interests that are intense in focus. This may also be referred to as stereotyped or circumscribed patterns of interests because of the rigidity and narrowness of these interests. This may be particularly apparent in very verbally fluent children with autism or Asperger Syndrome who often become obsessed with a single topic for months or even years. Restricted interests, obsessions, and compulsions can interfere with a childs normal activity or social interaction, and can be related to anxiety. In young children with ASD, similar restricted patterns may be evident in repetitive movements with objects. Rather than playing with toys in simple pretend play, or using objects in appropriate ways, children with ASD line up or stack toys or objects in the same way over and over again, persistently knocking down and rolling objects, or wobbling or spinning objects, and/or may show an intense focus and interest in how these actions or objects look.
Rituals Rituals are specific and seemingly meaningless behaviors that a child performs repeatedly in certain situations or circumstances, such as turning the lights on and off several times when entering a room.
Screening Screening is a quick and simple way to monitor a childs typical development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends routine developmental screening and surveillance of all children from birth through school age to identify those at risk for atypical development. Screening tools are brief measures (often in the form of a parent questionnaire) that distinguish children who are at risk for developmental delay or disorders, such as ASD, from those who are not. Screening can be conducted by healthcare providers, clinicians, educators, childcare providers, and parents. A screening should be used on all children whether or not they are showing obvious signs of developmental delay or disorders, in order to determine whether the child should be evaluated for a specific diagnosis. A screening is not a diagnosis but indicates a childs need for further assessment and follow-up. A complete list of the most accurate developmental and ASD screening tools can be found at here.
Scripting Echolalia, sometimes referred to as scripting, is the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others, sometimes taken from movies, but also sometimes taken from other sources such as favorite books or something someone else has said. Children with ASD often display ?scripting? in the process of learning to talk.
Self-Injurious Behavior About 10% to 15% of individuals with ASD engage in some form of self-injurious behavior (SIB), causing self-inflicted bodily harm, such as bruises, redness, or cuts. The most common forms of SIB include head banging, hitting the face, biting the hand or arm, and excessive scratching or rubbing. SIB can range from mild to severe, and can potentially be life threatening. A child who engages in SIB may be seeking attention, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, seeking self-stimulation, or may be hypersensitive to certain sounds. SIB may be biologically or neurologically based.
Sedation Sedation is the utilization of medications called sedatives to create a state of relaxation or induce unconsciousness.
Sedative Is a pharmacological agent that depresses excitability and irritability.
Self-Stimulating Behaviors or Stimming Self-stimulating behaviors or stimming are stereotyped or repetitive movements or posturing of the body. They include mannerisms of the hands (such as handflapping, finger twisting or flicking, rubbing, or wringing hands), body (such as rocking, swaying, or pacing), and odd posturing (such as posturing of the fingers, hands, or arms). Sometimes they involve objects such as tossing string in the air or twisting pieces of lint. These mannerisms may appear not to have any meaning or function, although they may have significance for the child, such as providing sensory stimulation (also referred to as self-stimulating behavior), communicating to avoid demands, or request a desired object or attention, or soothing when wary or anxious. These repetitive mannerisms are common in children with ASD.
Sensory Defensiveness Sensory defensiveness is an abnormal reaction to ordinary sensory input. Children who are over reactive may display strong negative emotions to stimuli.
Sensory Input Sensory input includes both internal (e.g., heart rate, temperature) and external (e.g., sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch, and balance) sensations. A childs response to sensory input depends on his ability to regulate and understand these stimuli and to adjust his emotions to the demands of his surroundings.
Sensory Stimulation Children with ASD often have odd behaviors, such as finger flicking and toewalking, which may be related to anxiety, tactile defensiveness (aversion to touch), or may be self-stimulatory. These mannerisms may appear not to have any meaning, or function, although they may have significance for the child, such as providing sensory stimulation (also referred to as self-stimulating behavior -also called stimming), communicating to avoid demands, or request a desired object or attention, or soothing when wary or anxious. These repetitive mannerisms are common in children with ASD. Many children with ASD who have trouble responding to and regulating internal and external stimuli are over reactive to ordinary sensory input, and may exhibit sensory defensiveness, or engage in self-stimulating behaviors to soothe or comfort themselves.
Serotonin A neurotransmitter, i.e. brain chemical that plays a part in communication within the nervous system. It has been noted that the level of seratonin measured in autistic people is sometimes higher than that in typical people. Some of the drugs that have been tested for use with autistic people have been drugs already known to affect seratonin.
Shared Attention Children seek to share attention with others spontaneously during the first year of life. Shared or joint attention is first accomplished by the caregiver looking at what the infant is looking at. Infants learn early to seek joint attention spontaneously by shifting gaze between an object of interest and another person and back to the object (also called 3-point gaze), following the gaze or point of others, and using gestures to draw others attention to objects (e.g. holding out and showing an object or pointing to an object), either by pointing to it or by eye gaze. This desire to share attention on objects builds to sharing enjoyment by looking at others while smiling when enjoying an activity, drawing others attention to things that are interesting, and checking to see if others notice an achievement (e.g., after building a tower of blocks, looking up and clapping and smiling to share the achievement). Ultimately, children learn to talk and use language to share enjoyment, interests, and achievements and later to share ideas and experiences. Impairment in joint attention is a core deficit of ASD.
Social Interaction Social interaction is the use of nonverbal or verbal behavior to engage in interaction with people. This can involve eye gaze, speech, gestures, and facial expressions used to initiate and respond to interactions with others.
Social Reciprocity Social reciprocity is the back-and-forth flow of social interaction. The term reciprocity refers to how the behavior of one person influences and is influenced by the behavior of another person and vice versa. Social reciprocity is the dance of social interaction and involves partners working together on a common goal of successful interaction. Adjustments are made by both partners until success is achieved. The skills involved in social reciprocity in very young children begin with showing interest in interacting with others and exchanging smiles. This builds to being able to share conventional meanings with words, and later topics, in conversation. Impairment in social reciprocity may be seen in not taking an active role in social games, preferring solitary activities, or using a persons hand as a tool or a person as if they are mechanical objects. This may lead to not noticing another persons distress or lack of interest in the focus or topic of conversation.
Social Stories Are used to teach communal skills through the use of precise and sequential information about everyday events that your child may find difficult or confusing, thus preventing further anxiety on the part of your child.
Social-Imitative Play Social-imitative play is pretending to act out the actions of daily routines (e.g., stirring food or brushing hair) or the actions of others (e.g., a parent talking on the telephone) in the context of play. In typical development by about 18 - 24 months a child should be engaging in simple pretend play, like feeding a doll, or putting it to bed. This forms the foundation for make believe play. The lack of spontaneous social imitative or make-believe play appropriate to a childs age or developmental level is one of the criteria for a diagnosis of ASD. Children with ASD may become preoccupied with the toy itself or parts of a toy or object (like spinning the wheels on a car over and over) rather than engaging in pretend play or social imitation.
Spoken Language Spoken language (also referred to as expressive and receptive language) is the use of verbal behavior, or speech, to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others. Language involves learning many levels of rules - combining sounds to make words, using conventional meanings of words, combining words into sentences, and using words and sentences in following the rules of conversation.
Stereotyped Behaviors Stereotyped behaviors refer to an abnormal or excessive repetition of an action carried out in the same way over time. This may include repetitive movements or posturing of the body or repetitive movements with objects.
Stereotyped Language Stereotyped or stereotypy refers to an abnormal or excessive repetition of an action or phrase over time.
Stereotyped Patterns of Interest Stereotyped or restricted patterns of interest refer to a pattern of preoccupation with a narrow range of interests and activities.
Tactile Defensiveness Many children with ASD are over reactive to ordinary sensory input and may exhibit sensory defensiveness, a strong negative response to a sensation that would not ordinarily be upsetting, such as touching something sticky or gooey or the feeling of soft foods in the mouth. Tactile defensiveness is specific to being touched or touching something or someone.
Tantrum For most typically developing children, a tantrum is an expression of intense, immediate frustration that occurs most often at an age when a child is unable to express his or her emotions due to inadequate verbal skills. However, many children who have ASD are unable to communicate in a way most typically developing children do. Instead, they may develop inappropriate ways to communicate, through aggression, self-injurious behavior (SIB), or tantrums. The tantrums may be much more intense and more frequent than those of typically developing children. Often, a tantrum may be due to a child seeking attention, feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or hypersensitive to the environment, or the child may be trying to escape from a difficult task, protesting against a change in routine or schedule, or trying to regulate himself in a more predictable way.
Three-term Contingency Three-term contingency places the relationship of the behavior with its context, the antecedent environment, and the consequences of the behavior. Three-term contingency describes the relationship as A - B - C, Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence. Both antecedent conditions and consequences are said to affect the behavior, its frequency, repeatability, and intensity.
Token Economy System is where an individual earns tangible things for good behavior. It is also used as a means to acquire primary reinforcements or more secondary reinforcements.
Transition Planning is a term used when you, as a parent, and your child set up a plan on how your child will deal with the upcoming life decisions he or she will encounter during their adult years.
Typical Development Typical (or healthy) development describes the physical, mental, and social development of a child who is acquiring or achieving skills according to the expected time frame. A child who is developing in a healthy way pays attention to the voices, faces, and actions of others, showing and sharing pleasure during interactions, and engaging in verbal and nonverbal back-and-forth communication.
Under Reactivity to Sensory Input Under reactivity to sensory input is one aspect of abnormal insensitivity to sensory input, or hyporesponsiveness, in which a child does not respond to sensory stimulation. A child who appears as if deaf, but whose hearing has tested as normal, is under reactive. A child who is under reactive to sensory input may have a high tolerance to pain, may be clumsy, sensation-seeking, and may act aggressively.
Variable Interval Schedule It is to reinforce an individual after a random and unpredictable amount of time. Variable interval schedules produce regular responses but not at a particularly high rate.
Variable Ratio Schedule reinforce an individual after a fixed number of correct responses. Variable ratio schedules produce a steady pattern of behavior at a high rate.
Video Modeling Is a form of observational learning, wherein desired skills and behaviors are learned by watching and observing a video demonstration and then imitating of the behavior of the model/s in the video afterwards.
Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Test sometimes used to evaluate students possibly requiring special education.
Visual Cues are used to help in enhancing communication and social skills in children with autism. Usually these are picture cards with words.
Waiver A waiver is a set plan of services that is provided to the waiver enrollee and are provided in the home or community by a state certified provider such as an agency or individual at home or in a community setting with support. Waivers are an alternative to institutions of ICF/MRs and allows participants to live. The person with the disability that is enrolling on the waiver will have his/her financial situation reviewed yearly, and there could be a patient liability if they are determined to be over income/resource guidelines. There is often a lengthy waiting list for waivers. Some common waivers provided by states are Home Care waivers, Transitions Waiver, Individual Options (I/O) Waiver, and Level One (small) Waiver.
Individual Family Service Plan Individual Family Service Plans are programs for special services for very young children with special needs, developmental disabilities, or ASD. IFSPs apply only to children from birth to age three. IFSPs are geared to services that support the whole family, as well as development treatment plans for the child. After turning three, the child usually transitions over to an IEP geared toward their particular needs.
Early Intensive Behavior Intervention Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) refers to an ABA intervention application that focuses on very young children diagnosed with ASD, usually under the age of three. The intensity of the intervention program refers to the number of hours and time spent directly with the child by the instructor. EIBI is thought to drastically improve functionality about children with ASD, demonstrating the importance of getting children diagnosed and treated as early as possibly.
Diet Is the sutomary allowance of food and drink regularly provided or consumed.
Cognitive Pertaining to the mental processes of comprehension, judgement, memory and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.
Theory An abstract statement formulated to predict, explain or describe the relationships among concepts, constructs or events. Theory is developed and tested by observation and research, usiang factual data.
Deficit Any deficiency or difference from what is normal.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder A serious diagnosis that is characterized by at least two years of normal childhood development followed by a gradual loss of language, social and motor skills before the age of ten.
Denial An unconscious defense mechanism in which emotional conflict and anxiety are avoided by refusal to acknowledge the thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses or facts that are consciously tolerable.
Gluten An insoluble protein constituent of wheat and other grains.
Casein A white powder protein that occurs naturally in milk. It contains phosphorous and sulfur and is regarded as the \"complete protein\" because it contains all essential amino acids. It is precipitated when milk turns sour.
Epilepsy A group of neurologic disorders characterized by recurrent episodes of convulsive seizures, sensory disturbances, abnormal behavior, loss of consciousness or all of these.
Symptom A subjective indication of a disease or a change in condition as perceived by the patient.
Absolute Indicators Absolute Indicators are the initial signs of autism that professionals usually notice.
Regression A retreat or backward movement in conditions, signs or symptoms such as in language regression.
Echopraxia Imitation or repetition of body movements of another person.
Least Restrictive Environment Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is about your child’s right to go into a mainstream school.
Therapy The treatment of disease of any pathological symptom.
Commorbid conditions Commorbid conditions are other medical conditions that may occur along autism.
Chromosomes Chromosomes are large DNA-containing structures in the heart of a cell called nuclei.
Intelligence Quotient Intelligence quotient is a numerical representation of an individual’s mental strength and capacity.
Performance Intelligence Quotient PIQ stands for Performance Intelligence Quotient. PIQ test is a test to rate an individual\'s mental capacity in terms of nonverbal skills.
Range of Motion Any body actions involving the muscles. joints and natural movements such as abduction, adduction, extension, flexion, pronation, supination and rotation. It is movement of a joint through its full range in all the appropriate planes
Verbal Intelligence Quotient Verbal Intelligence Quotient (VIQ) is a numerical measurement of a person\'s ability to use language and speech skills to reason and understand verbal concepts.