Copy of `The National Autistic Society - glossary`

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The National Autistic Society - glossary
Category: Health and Medicine > Autism
Date & country: 07/01/2008, UK
Words: 271

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

Additional support
Every education authority has a duty to identify, assess and offer 'adequate and efficient' education to children and young people with additional support needs. The exact type and level of support available depends on the individual child or young person, school and education authority. Types of support can include a particular teaching approach o …

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.

Person who supports parents and young people to express their views. Some advocates may speak or act on a parents behalf at meetings with an education authority, appeal committee or at Tribunal.

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.

Angelman syndrome
Chromosomal disorder characterised by microencephaly, feeding and sleep problems, developmental delay, lack of speech and jerky movements.

Annual review
The review of a statement of special educational needs which a Local Education Authority must make within 12 months of making a statement or, as the case may be, of the previous review. See information sheet on Annual reviews at the bottom of this page.

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

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.

Appropriate agencies
Organisations and departments who must assist education authorities with their legal responsibilities, including other education authorities, health boards, further/higher education institutions and Careers Scotland.

Asperger syndrome
An autism spectrum disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others. A number of traits of autism are common to Asperger syndrome including: -difficulty in communicating -difficulty in social relationships -a lack of imagination and creative play. However, people with Asperger syndrome usually have fewer problems with lan …

A systematic and thorough evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses and problems of a person.

Assistive technology
A wide range of highly specialised mechanical, electronic and computer-based tools commonly used in rehabilitation and special education settings.

The ability to concentrate or attend.

Attention deficit disorder
Deficit in the ability to sustain attention.

Auditory training
Use of a special device to exercise the whole hearing apparatus - the ear drum, the small bones in the ear, the cochlear membrane, etc, as a form of physical therapy.

A lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. Children and adults with autism are unable to relate to others in a meaningful way. Their ability to develop friendships is impaired, as is their capacity to understand other people's feelings. All people with autism have impairments in …

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 …

Autoimmune diseases
A collection of conditions in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues, identifying them as foreign substances. Genetic factors may play a part in this abnormal function, but the causes are not clear.

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.

Basal ganglia disorder
Degeneration in the basal ganglia region of the brain, causing disturbances of motor function.

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.

Behavioural techniques
Psychotherapeutic approaches which use classical conditioning and operant learning techniques in an attempt to eliminate or modify problem behaviour, addressing the client's overt behaviour rather than their thoughts, feelings, or other cognitive processes.

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.

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 …

Care plan
All children who are looked after by the local authority must have a care plan. The plan contains details of the childs needs, arrangements that are to be made for the child and the responsibilities for all involved in the childs wellbeing. Although a care plan is not an educational plan it should take into account the childs educational needs and …

Careers Scotland
Organisation which provides services, information and support on career planning to individuals. Careers Scotland must have regard to the Code of Practice in order to help young people prepare for leaving education and entering work and adult life.

Family members, professionals or paraprofessionals who provide constant care.

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.

Protein found in milk and milk products.

A peptide produced by digestion of the milk protein casein.

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.

Central coherence
The drive, in normal development, to try to piece things together, to look at them as details in a whole.

The 'little brain' which sits just above the brain stem. It was previously thought to control movement and coordination but is now known to be involved in 'higher functions' as well, particularly shifting and orienting attention and predicting and preparing biologically for upcoming movements (eg, by altering cerebral blood flow levels).

Challenging behaviour
Behaviour of such intensity, frequency or duration that the physical safety of the person or others is likely to be placed in serious jeopardy, or behaviour which is likely to seriously limit or deny access to or use of ordinary community facilities, or impair a child's personal growth, development and family life.

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.

Childhood disintegrative disorder
This refers to a rare occurrence of normal early development until at least age 24 months, followed by a rapid neurodevelopmental regression that results most often in autistic symptomatology. CDD usually occurs between 36 and 48 months of age but may occur up to 10 years of age.

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 …

Code of Practice
It provides practical advice to Local Education Authorities (LEAs), schools and others on carrying out their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for children with special educational needs. LEAs, schools, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and others such as health and social services must have regard to it.

Code of Practice
This document provides guidance and practical advice to education authorities, schools and others on carrying out their legal responsibilities in relation to educating children with additional support needs. Although it is not law, education authorities, schools and others such as health and social work must have regard to it.

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.

Communication disorders
Impaired ability to communicate usually due to speech, language or hearing disorders.

Stereotyped behaviours that are repeated again and again. They are not inherently enjoyable, nor do they result in the completion of inherently useful tasks.

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.

Legally qualified chair of the tribunal hearing.

Crohn's disease
Inflammatory condition affecting the digestive tract which can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus, but it usually occurs in the small or large intestine and inflammation extends throughout the whole thickness of the intestinal wall.

Daily life therapy
An educational methodology, framed within normal development, based upon group dynamics, physical education, art, music and academic activity, and vocational training.

DAMP syndrome
A combination of severe dyspraxia and attention deficit disorder characterised by deficits of attention, motor control and perception.

Developmental delay
An abnormal, slower rate of development in which a child demonstrates a functioning level below that observed in normal children of the same age.

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

The Department for Education and Skills.

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.

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

Dispute resolution
Processes for resolving disagreements between education authorities and families (see also Mediation, Independent adjudication and Additional support needs tribunal).

Letters or reports, including a statement of special educational needs.

Domiciliary care
Care provided in the home.

A catecholamine and a precursor to noradrenaline. Its highest concentration is in the basal ganglia part of the brain, where its function is to convey inhibitory influences to the extrapyramidal system of the brain.

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

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.

A significant difficulty with or impairment in reading ability, when reading is compared with other aspects of psychological functioning. Dyslexia can be of various types and have a variety of causes.

Difficulty in understanding language and in self-expression.

Impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement with associated problems of language, perception and thought.

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

Early education settings
Providers in receipt of government funding to deliver early education including - maintained mainstream and special schools, maintained nursery schools, independent schools, non-maintained special schools, local authority day care providers such as day nurseries and family centres, other registered day care providers such as pre-schools, playgroups …

Early intervention
Action taken utilising medical, family, school, social or mental health resources and aimed at infants or children at risk of, or in the early stages of mental, physical, learning or other disorders.

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

Early Years Action
When the early education practitioner who works day-to-day with the child, and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), identify that a child has special educational needs, together they provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of what the settings usually offers in its curriculum and strategi …

Early Years Action Plus
The early education practitioner who works day-to-day with the child and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) are provided with advice or support from outside specialists, so that alternative interventions and additional or different strategies to those provided for the child through Early Years Action can be put in place. A new Indi …

Education appeal committee
The committee is made up of three, five or seven people from different backgrounds (including local councillors and parents). It is set up by an education authority to hear and decide exclusion and placing request appeals.

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 …

Elective mutism
Condition in which children talk in one situation, for example, at home, but remain silent elsewhere, eg, at school.

Emotion recognition
Ability to recognise how different expressions of particular emotions, such as facial expressions, gestures and sounds, are associated with each other.

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

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.

Evoked potential
Evoked potential is an electrical potential recorded from the scalp in response to transient acoustic stimuli. Typically, voltage measurements are obtained for a period of about 10msec following acoustic stimulus, which is repeated and summed several hundred or thousand times to permit extraction of the response from ongoing nonauditory neural acti …

When a pupil is removed from school for a period of time or on a permanent basis, often as a result of their behaviour. Schools must provide alternative education 'without undue delay' to an excluded pupil.

Executive function
Ability to plan complex cognitive tasks, this ability is interfered with by dysfunction in the frontal lobes of the brain.

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.

Facilitated communication
Approach to assist people with no speech or with dysfunctional speech to find alternative means of communication. The facilitator normally supports a client's hand, wrist or arm while that person uses a communicator to spell out words, phrases or sentences.

False belief
Theory of mind is defined as the ability to infer other people's mental states (their thoughts, desires, intentions, etc) and the ability to use this information to interpret what they say, make sense of their behaviour and predict what they will do next. The acid test of whether an individual is able to mind-read arises in situations involving fal …

Foundation stage
The foundation stage begins when children reach the age of three. Many children attend an early education setting soon after their third birthday. The foundation stage continues until the end of the reception year and is consistent with the National Curriculum. It prepares children for learning in year 1, when programmes of study for key stage 1 ar …

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

Future needs assessment
Process under the previous special educational needs system for helping young people of school leaving age with a Record of Needs prepare for the transition into adulthood, such as further or higher education, employment or adult services. Future needs assessments have been abolished but education authorities still have legal responsibilities to yo …

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.