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 The information may have been taken offline because it is outdated.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: 274


Genetics
Branch of biology concerned with heredity and individual characteristics.

Gluten
Protein found in wheat.

Graduated approach
A model of action and intervention in schools and early education settings to help children who have special educational needs. The approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs and that, where necessary, increasing specialist expertise should be brought to bear on the difficulties that a child may be experiencing. It i …

Grant aided school
A private school which is part funded by the Scottish Executive. There are eight grant-aided schools in Scotland, seven of which are special schools.

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.

Hanen parent programme
A training programme for caregivers of children who have early language delay. The Hanen Centre in Toronto, Canada, first developed these family-focused, early language interventions to empower direct caregivers with the knowledge and experience they need to help children develop language use. They include interactive, experiential group sessions f …

Hearing
The education appeal committee or tribunal meeting to hear and decide the outcome of appeals made by parents, and in some cases, pupils.

Home education
Some parents may choose to have their child educated at home instead of sending them to school. This is a legally recognised form of education. There may still be some involvement from an education authority, such as monitoring the education provided at home.

Homoeopathy
A system of medicine based on the theory that diseases are curable by drugs which produce effects on the body similar to symptoms caused by the disease. In administering drugs, the theory is also held that their effect if increased by giving them in minute doses obtained by substantially diluting them.

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.

Hyperkinesis
Excessive motor activity, voluntary or otherwise.

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.

Hypothalamus
Part of the brain in which there are many nerve centres that are responsible for regulating vital functions such as hunger, thirst and sex.

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

Immunoglobulin therapy
Use of immunoglobulins, which are a group of naturally occurring proteins that act as antibodies, to build active or passive immunity of people against infectious diseases such as rabies and viral infections.

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 Plan (IEP)
The IEP is a planning, teaching and reviewing tool. It is a working document for all teaching staff recording key short-term targets and strategies for an individual pupil that are different from or additional to those in place for the rest of the group or class. See information sheet at the bottom of this page.

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.

Interventions
All planned attempts to promote the welfare of exceptional individuals. There are 3 types: preventive (efforts to thwart the appearance of disabilities); remedial (the process of overcoming a deficit); compensatory (providing a means to circumvent, substitute or offset and irremediable deficit).

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.

Language disorders
Disorders, usually due to cognitive or neurological dysfunction resulting in problems in symbolisation or in delays in language and speech development.

Language skills
The use of language for communicative competence. The ability to use language as a tool to aid interaction within society, via communication with individuals and groups.

Learning disability
A permanent condition, arising during childhood or adolescence, characterised by a state if incomplete development of mind that includes significant impairments of intelligence and social functioning.

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.

Local authority
Local council made up of different parts, such as housing, social work and education.

Local Education Authority (LEA)
The part of the local council that is responsible for providing education, making assessments and maintaining statements.

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

Lovaas method
Intensive, behaviourally-based or training approach to working with young autistic children, based on the theories of Ivar Lovaas at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Macrocephaly
Excessive head size.

Mainstream school
An ordinary school.

Mainstream school
Any school which is not a special school.

Maintained school
Schools maintained by a local education authority - any community, foundation, voluntary schools, community special and foundation special schools.

Mediation
Process for resolving disagreements between parents and authorities. Involves an informal meeting between the two sides and an independent mediator to chair the discussions. Mediation is voluntary, confidential and choosing not to take part will not affect the right to challenge an authoritys decision through independent adjudication or the additio …

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.

Metabolism
This means tissue change and includes all physical and chemical processes by which the living body is maintained, and also those by which energy is made available for various forms of work.

Metarepresentation
The ability to pretend and to understand pretence in others. This generally develops in the second year of human life but perhaps may be evident earlier. Alternatively, the ability to understand the relationship between a representation and what it represents. This links with metacognition or theory of mind. If metarepresentation is impaired then t …

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

Miller Dieker syndrome
Neural migration disorder in which the convolutions of the cerebral cortex are either completely absent or reduced in number, giving the brain surface a smooth appearance. Problems include developmental delay, microcephaly and seizures.

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.

Multiple disabilities
Simply the presence of more than one disability in the same individual. There are too many possible combinations to list, eg, autism and deafness, physical disability and Down syndrome.

Myelin
A fat-like substance wrapped around nerve fibres, acting as an insulator and assisting the rapid transmission of nerve impulses.

National Curriculum
This sets out a clear, full and statutory entitlement to learning for all pupils, determining what should be taught and setting attainment targets for learning. It also determines how performance will be assessed and reported.

Neurobiology
Neurobiological issues in autism, E Schopler and G Mesibov

Neuroendocrinology
Study of the endocrine system of the nervous system, the hormones it secretes and its disorders.

Neuroleptics
Medication used to treat a wide variety of mental illness. Most affect dopamine production or absorption, some work on serotonin.

Neurological disorders
Disorders of the brain and nervous system.

Neurology
The study of the brain, its diseases and disorders.

Neuropathology
Science which deals with the causes of, and changes produced in the nervous system, by disease.

Neurophysiology
The science of life processes in the nervous system, especially the transmission and processing of nerve impulses.

Neuropsychiatry
Branch of medicine, the practitioners of which are skilled in the disciplines of both neurology and psychiatry.

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.

Neurotransmitters
Chemicals released by neurons into the synapse to communicate with each other. Some neurotransmitters are 'excitatory' and cause the next cell to fire, some are 'inhibitory' and prevent the next cell from firing.

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.

Nonverbal communication
Communication through use of facial expression, posture, gesture and body movement.

Note in lieu
A note that may be issued to the child's parents and school when, following a statutory assessment, the LEA decide not to make a statement. The note should describe the child's special educational needs, explain why the LEA does not think it is necessary to make a statement and make recommendations about appropriate provision for the child. All the …

Obsessions
Ideas, images or impulses which enter a person's mind again and again in stereotyped form. They are almost invariably distressing.

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.

Occupational therapy (OT)
Motor, sensory, perceptual, social, emotional and self-care skills are assessed. Working with the child, parents and teachers, occupational therapists use therapeutic techniques (advising on equipment and environment adaptations where appropriate) to improve a child's ability to access the physical and learning curriculum. Purposeful activities and …

Occupational therapy (OT)
Occupational therapists assess motor, sensory, perceptual, social, emotional and self-care skills. Working with the child, parents and teachers, they use therapeutic techniques (advising on equipment and environment adaptations where appropriate) to improve a child's ability to access the physical and learning curriculum. Purposeful activities and …

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.

Overselectivity
Responding to just one or two components of a stimulus rather than the large number of cues which make up a stimulus, eg, one letter of a word.

Paediatrics
Branch of medicine dealing with diseases of children.

PANDAS
Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. This is a hypothesis that when some children are exposed to the common group-A beta-haemolytic streptococcal bacteria, which occur in the throat, they develop antibodies which attack the basal ganglia in the brain as well as those bacteria.

Parent
Under section 576 of the Education Act 1996 a parent includes any person who is not a parent of the child but has parental responsibility, or who cares for him.

Parent
In education law, a parent includes any person who has parental responsibility for a child or young person or who cares for them or has a duty to maintain them (ie provide maintenance). 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 authorit …

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.

Pathological demand avoidance
An autism spectrum disorder where individuals resist and avoid the ordinary demands of life, using skilful strategies which are socially manipulative (distracting adults, using excuses, appearing to become physically incapacitated).

Pathology
Science which deals with the causes of, and changes produced in the body, by disease.

Peer interactions
Interpersonal interactions between children within the same set, age range or school.

Peripatetic teacher
Teacher who is not based in one particular school but instead works in more than one establishment. Usually teaches in a particular field, such as visual impairment.

Personal learning planning (PLP)
Process involving each individual child or young person, including those with additional support needs. PLP establishes achievable goals for educational learning and personal development and involves children/young people, parents and the school. It also aims to encourage children and young people to become more involved in their education and lear …

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

Pharmacotherapy
Treatment by means of drugs.

Phenomenology
The science of phenomena, ie, those things of which a sense or the mind directly takes note.

Phenotypes
The way a person looks or acts because of his or her genes.

Phenylketonuria
Genetic disorder that results from lack of a single gene that normally codes for the enzyme required for the body to process phenylalamine, an amino-acid present in most foodstuffs. Affected individuals, unless given a special diet with low levels of phenylalamine, present with developmental delay and often with autism.

Physiotherapy
Therapy designed for problems with movement posture and balance. A physiotherapist's main aim is to help a child function and move normally, preventing abnormal positions or movements. An assessment will be made so as to find out what stage of development the child is at in comparison to a normal child. The physiotherapist will decide treatment. Th …

Physiotherapy
Therapy designed for problems with movement, posture and balance. A physiotherapist's main aim is to help a child function and move normally, preventing abnormal positions or movements. An assessment will be made so as to find out what stage of development the child is at in comparison to a child without difficulties. The physiotherapist will decid …

Pivotal response training
Child language teaching and therapy 1999 15(1) A tool for increasing play skills in children with autism.