Copy of `The National Autistic Society - glossary`

The wordlist doesn't exist anymore, or, the website doesn't exist anymore. On this page you can find a copy of the original information. The information may have been taken offline because it is outdated.


The National Autistic Society - glossary
Category: Health and Medicine > Autism
Date & country: 07/01/2008, UK
Words: 129


A-Z reference book of syndromes
Learning disability due to a defect in a particular part of the X chromosome.

Additional support needs (ASNs)
The term additional support needs replaces 'special educational needs'. Any child or young person who needs more or different support in education to what is normally provided in schools or pre-schools is said to have additional support needs.

Aetiology
Study of the causes or origins of a disease or disorder.

Affective disorders
Disorders in which the fundamental disturbance is a change in affect or mood to depression (with or without associated anxiety) or to elation.

Appellant
Parent or young person who is making an appeal (eg to the additional support needs tribunal or the education appeal committee).

Appendices
The advices (or reports) given to parents and the Local Education Authority(LEA) when a child is assessed. The LEA should attach these to the final statement.

Applied behaviour analysis
An approach for changing behaviour that involves the systematic application of a set of principles derived from psychological theories of learning.

Attention
The ability to concentrate or attend.

Attention deficit disorder
Deficit in the ability to sustain attention.

Autism spectrum disorders
An autism spectrum disorder is a complex lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. The autism spectrum includes syndromes described by Kanner and Wing but is wider than these two subgroups. Many people have a mixture of features from these two syndromes but do not fit neatly into …

Autoimmunity
A reaction to an individual's own tissues to which tolerance has been lost. Autoantibodies are not necessarily harmful and are commonly encountered in healthy persons.

Behaviour disorders
Disorders characterised by persistent and repetitive patterns of behaviour that violate societal norms or rules or that seriously impair a person's function.

Behaviour therapy
Scientifically based approach to modifying and shaping behaviour by identifying and manipulating the triggers and reinforcements of specific behaviours.

Beta endorphin
Hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland which may affect memory.

Blood brain barrier
A functional semi-permeable membrane separating the brain and cerebrospinal fluid from the blood. It allows small and lipid soluble molecules to pass freely but is impermeable to large or ionized molecules and cells.

Capacity
A child or young person is considered to have capacity if they are capable of understanding the nature and possible consequences of actions and decisions. Children are generally considered to have capacity when they are 12 years old or over. If a child or young person lacks capacity any rights they had under education law would remain with the pare …

Case officer
Additional Support Needs Tribunal staff member who is appointed to liaise with parents and education authorities in relation to the Tribunal hearing.

Case statement
A case statement is the further information a parent or young person may send to the tribunal to support their reference. The case statement period lasts for 30 working days once a reference has been accepted by the tribunal.

Casein
Protein found in milk and milk products.

Casomorphin
A peptide produced by digestion of the milk protein casein.

Catatonia
Marked motor abnormalities including catalepsy (waxy flexibility - rigid maintenance of a body position over an extended period of time); stupor; apparently purposeless agitation not influenced by external stimuli; apparent motiveless resistance to instructions or attempts to be moved; mutism; stereotyped movements; echolalia and echopraxia.

Child
In education law this refers to anyone under the age of 16 years. The law gives parents the right to greater involvement in making decisions about their childs education and also in trying to resolve disagreements with an authority.

Clerk
Local authority staff member appointed to liaise with parents and education authorities in relation to the Education Appeal Committee hearing.

Clinical Psychologist
A professional who studies how people behave. They can make an assessment with regards to behavioural and emotional issues and may implement a behaviour management plan. Clinical Psychologists are able to make the initial diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. The Autism Helpline has a small list of clinical psychologists who specialise in diagno …

Clinical psychologist
A professional who studies how people behave. They can make an assessment in relation to behavioural and emotional issues and may implement a behaviour management plan. Clinical psychologists are able to make the initial diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The NAS Autism Helpline has a small list of clinical psychologists who specialise …

Co-ordinated support plan (CSP)
The Record of Needs has been abolished and a new education plan has been introduced. A co-ordinated support plan (CSP) is designed to make sure that any services providing support to a child or young person are working together. Not all children and young people will need a CSP and certain criteria must be met to be eligible for one. This is the on …

Coeliac disease
Disease affecting the small intestine due to sensitivity to gluten.

Cognitive behavioural therapy
A technique for the treatment of mental disorder that is based on the concept that how people perceive the world and themselves influences their behaviour and emotions.

Connexions Service
The service provides a single point of access for all 13-19 year olds to help them prepare for the transition to work and adult life.

Convenor
Legally qualified chair of the tribunal hearing.

Developmental disabilities
Generic terms relating to all children and adults with a substantial continuing disability originating in childhood.

DfES
The Department for Education and Skills.

Diagnosis
The skill of distinguishing one disease from another. The opinion arrived at as to the nature of a disease.

Differential diagnosis
How to differentiate one disorder from others that have some similar presenting characteristics.

Direction
An order by the president of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal which parents or the Local Educational Authority must reply to.

Domiciliary care
Care provided in the home.

Duty
Used in education law to describe an education authoritys obligation to do or provide something.

Dyskinesia
Abnormal movements of the muscles resulting from a disorder of the brain. Movements are uncoordinated and involuntary and occur in facial as well as limb muscles.

Dysphasia
Difficulty in understanding language and in self-expression.

Early education practitioners
All the people who work in early years settings whatever their qualifications.

Early years
Refers to pre-school children (generally three to four years old) and those under the age of three years.

Education authority
The part of the local council that is responsible for providing education and for providing education to children and young people with additional support needs.

Education officer
Person from the education authority who liaises with parents over educational arrangements. Some officers may have a specific responsibility for additional support needs. Their titles may vary across education authorities.

Education Welfare Officer
Person employed by a Local Education Authority to help parents and local education authorities meet their respective statutory obligations in relation to school attendance. In some areas Education Welfare Officers are known as Education Social Workers.

Education welfare officer
Person employed by some education authorities to help parents and education authorities meet their legal responsibilities in relation to school attendance. In some areas education welfare officers may be known as education social workers or school attendance officers.

Educational Psychologist (EP)
Educational Psychologists are involved in the assessment of educational needs and the statementing process. They are usually employed by the Local Education Authority to advise and help staff in schools and make recommendations with regards to the needs of a child. Some EPs work on an independent basis and can be commissioned by parents to assess a …

Educational psychologist (EP)
Educational psychologists are often involved in the identification and assessment of additional support needs. They are usually employed by the education authority to advise and help staff in schools and make recommendations on the needs of a child or young person. Some educational psychologists work on an independent basis and can be commissioned …

Endorphins
A range of naturally produced opium-like substances found in the brain which act as neurotransmitters and affect natural pain control.

Epidemiology
The study of the distribution and determinants of diseases in populations.

Event-related potential
A specific burst of measurable electrical activity by the brain when it perceives a light or a noise.

Facial recognition
Disturbances in gaze and patterns of facial interaction are prominent aspects of social dysfunction in autism; facial recognition is an aspect of visual data processing. It simply relates to the ability to recognise faces for what and who they are.

Functional analysis
Careful observation of a previously defined behaviour in a previously defined environment to understand the relationship between the behaviour and the environment.

Gaze
A gaze is a fixed look. It is used in social behaviour as part of the visual checking occurring during interpersonal interactions and usually involves looking at another person's face. Gaze aversion or abnormal eye contact have been reported in individuals with autism since Kanner's original paper in 1943.

Genetics
Branch of biology concerned with heredity and individual characteristics.

Gluten
Protein found in wheat.

Hand mouthing
Hand mouthing is a common and often chronic behaviour problem exhibited by individuals who have learning disabilities. The prevalence of hand mouthing is highest among individuals who have profound multiple disabilities.

Handedness
Learned or spontaneous differential dexterity with the tendency to use one hand rather than the other.

Hormones
Chemical messengers that are dispersed by the blood and act on target organs to produce effects distant from their point of release.

Hyperactivity
A pattern of behaviour in children who have problems concentrating and who are always overreactive.

Hyperacusis
An abnormally acute sense of hearing.

Hyperlexia
Mechanical reading skills developed in excess of comprehension and verbal expression skills.

Hypersensitivity
The abnormal immunological reaction produced in certain individuals when re-exposed to antigens that are innocuous to other individuals.

Imitation
Mimicking to learn a model's behaviour or responses.

Immunology
The study of immune responses to the environment.

Incidence
One of the main ways to measure the frequency of a disease in a particular population - it is the number of new cases that occur during a particular time.

Inclusion
Placement and education of students with disabilities in general education classrooms with students of the same age who do not have disabilities.

Independent adjudication
Process for resolving disagreements between parents and authorities. Involves a parent or young person making a written application to ask an independent third-party to review certain decisions made by an education authority. The adjudicator will then use the written information provided by the parent or young person and the education authority to …

Independent school
A school that is not maintained by a local education authority and is registered under section 464 of the Education Act 1996. Section 347 of the Education Act 1996 sets out the conditions under which an independent school may be approved by the Secretary of State as being suitable for the admission of children with statements of special educational …

Independent school
A school that is privately managed (ie not managed by an education authority). Usually fees are paid.

Individual education plans
A plan which describes targets set for an individual child and the plans made by the school to ensure that these targets are achieved.

Infants
Babies under one year old.

Inflammatory bowel diseases
These are chronic inflammatory diseases that may occur in any part of the gut.

Interpersonal interactions
Social relationships between individuals.

Joint attention deficit
Unresponsive behaviour where there is no attempt to find out whether things of interest to the child are also of interest to others. Lack of behaviours such as pointing to objects or showing and giving objects to other people.

Learning support assistant (LSA)
A widely used job title for an assistant providing in-school support for pupils with special educational needs. An LSA will normally work with a particular pupil or pupils providing close support to the individual pupil and assistance to those responsible for teaching him/her.

Lesch Nyhan syndrome
Hyperuricaemia (high serum levels of uric acid) due to a defective gene. Patients with this syndrome are prone to have uric acid kidney stones and mental retardation.

Loners
Solitary children who are unable to adapt to the social and educational demands of school life.

Macrocephaly
Excessive head size.

Mainstream school
An ordinary school.

Mainstream school
Any school which is not a special school.

Megalencephaly
Having a brain of unusually large size.

Member
Person on a tribunal with knowledge and experience of additional support needs who helps convenor decide the outcome. There are usually two members at each hearing.

Microcephaly
Defect in the growth of the brain which causes it to be smaller than a normal brain.

Monoamine oxidase
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is a naturally occurring enzyme which is concerned in the breakdown of monoamines.

Monoamines
Monoamines play an important part in the metabolism of the brain. There is some evidence that excitement is due to an accumulation of monoamines in the brain. Autistic behaviours might be related to an abnormal functional imbalance among monoamines either at a molecular level or at a system level.

Neurological disorders
Disorders of the brain and nervous system.

Neuropsychology
The clinical discipline that employs psychological concepts and tests to understand the functions of the brain and the effect of injury and disease on the brain.

Non-maintained special school
Schools in England approved by the Secretary of State under section 324 of the Education Act 1996 as special schools which are not maintained by the state but charge fees on a non-profit-making basis. Most non-maintained special schools are run by major charities or charitable trusts.

Obsessive compulsive disorder
Anxiety disorder where an individual has to perform specific actions such as washing. These activities may reach such proportions that the individual's entire life is centred upon them.

Occupational therapy
Method of treatment by means of purposeful occupation. The goals are to arouse interest and confidence and exercise mind and body.

Opiates
Naturally produced chemical in the body that has effects similar to morphine.

Opioids
Substance with pharmacological action like that of opium or its derivatives.

Order
The decision of an appeal given by the Special Educational Needs Tribunal after the hearing.

Order
The decision of an appeal given by the additional support needs tribunal after the hearing.

Paediatrics
Branch of medicine dealing with diseases of children.

Parent partnership service
A service providing advice and information to parents whose children have special educational needs. Even though it is funded by the Local Education Authority (LEA) it provides a service to parents and is often either run at arms length from the LEA or by a voluntary organisation.

Parent-child interactions
Interpersonal interactions between parents and their children.

Pathogenesis
The mode of production or development of a disease.

Pharmacology
That part of medical science dealing with knowledge of the action of drugs.

Pharmacotherapy
Treatment by means of drugs.