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What does that mean?


We've put together a glossary of terms we have found useful in our journey to understanding and supporting our special kids.  This is a working page that will be updated periodically so be sure to check back with us again.

ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis.

ASD: See autism.

autism: Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

EI: Early Intervention. Early intervention refers to doing things as early as possible to work on your child’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characteristics. Early intervention for children with ASD is made up of therapies and services.

IEP: Individual Education Plan. The IEP, Individualized Education Program, is a written document that’s developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. The IEP is created through a team effort and reviewed at least once a year.

SEN: Special Education Needs program usually in schools.  This is a department in schools that provide support for students with disabilities and diverse learning needs.

Sensory Processing Disorder:  Sensory processing (originally called "sensory integration dysfunction" or SID) refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a sandwich, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires accurate processing of sensation.

SID: Sensory Integration Dysfunction, the term previously used to refer to Sensory Processing Disorder.

SPD: see Sensory Processing Disorder

Spectrum: The wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism. 




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  • Raana Smith