Autism Spectrum Glossary And Definitions

Autism Spectrum Glossary And Definitions

There are several terms that you may encounter while dealing with autism. This page is going to cover some of the more commonly used of them.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
The purpose of ABA is to help shape the behavior of the autism sufferer over time. By making small steps, the autism sufferer will learn how to cope and behave in various situations.
Adaptive Behavior

The person will learn how to deal with new situations that may rise in their life.
Assistive and Augmentative Communications
This will allow the autism sufferer to communicate in ways which may not be possible by their spoken language. This, normally, takes the form of electronic devices or display cards.
Assistive Technology
Various pieces of equipment which will enable the autism sufferer to live their day-to-day life. This technology helps the sufferer communicate, move around, or just thrive while living in their own home.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
This is common among autism sufferers. A person will have difficulty concentrating and may be easily distracted.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Similar to ADD, although this normally includes disruptive behaviors too.
Auditory Memory
The ability to store and recall information.
This is the cognitive ability of the autism sufferer before the behavior is shaped.
Behavior Modification
A collection of techniques which are used to shape the behavior of the autism sufferer.
Behavioral Therapy
The method in which behaviour shaping techniques will be introduced to the autistic persons life. Behavioural therapy will include conditioning and positive reinforcement to help shape the behaviour of the sufferer.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
This is rare. An autism sufferer may start to learn their language and social skills after the age of three. Up until this point, it seemed as though they were developing normally.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
An attempt to shape the behavior of an autism sufferer by changing up the way in which they think, normally through making small changes in the child’s routine.
A physical or verbal gesture which gives a person the ‘go ahead’ to speak or act in a certain way. Many autism sufferers may be unable to recognise these cues.
Developmental Delay
Where the child is not developing as fast as they should for their age. This ties into Developmental Disability (DD)
Fine Motor Skills
These skills relate to the movement of the hands to accomplish a variety of different activities.
Functional Behavioral Assessment
A process where a therapist will look at the behaviors of the autism sufferer and work out how they can be shaped to the point of improvement. The plan that they come up with will be personalised to the autism sufferer.
Where the autism sufferer may ‘overreact’ to normal stimuli. For example; many autism sufferers out there are not the biggest fans of loud noises.
Mental Age
The age at which the autism sufferer seems to be functioning on a cognitive level. This will be measured against how somebody would normally be expected to act at that age. For example; if an autism sufferer has a mental age of 3, then they will be acting similar to the way in which a 3 year old is expected to act.

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