Autism and Asperger's Syndrome Acronyms

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • If you have a child with autism or Asperger's syndrome (AS) you probably have come across acronyms that you don't understand. I have compiled a list of some of the most common acronyms to help you better understand when talking with medical professionals and educators.

     

    AAC - Assistive Augmentative Communication - communication using a picture board, recorded messages and other non-verbal communication methods

     

    ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis - analysis and tracking of behavior to help develop strategies

     

    ABC - Applied Behavior Checklist - checklist used during applied behavior analysis

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    ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act - Federal law protecting the rights of those with disabilities in the workplace and other institutions who receive federal funding

     

    ADD - ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - a neurobiological disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity

     

    ADOS - Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale - test used by medical professionals to screen for autism

     

    AIT - Auditory Integration Training -  a type of therapy used to improve symptoms of auditory processing problems

    AS - Asperger's syndrome - An autism spectrum disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, repetitive behaviors and special interests

    ASA - Autism Society of America - a national advocacy organization

     

    ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorders - a umbrella term used to describe the five types of autism disorders, from mild to severe

     

    ASL - American Sign Language - a language using sign patterns consisting of hand gestures and shapes

     

    CARS - Childhood autism rating scale - test developed by TEACCH to diagnose autism

     

    CHAT - Checklist for Autism in Toddlers - a checklist used by General Practitioners at around the age of 18 months to screen for autism

     

    DAS - Developmental Apraxia of Speech - a motor speech disorder

     

    DD - Developmental Disabilities - general term used for all developmental disabilities, including autism and Asperger's syndrome

     

    DH - Developmentally Handicapped - cognitively impaired or intellectual functioning significantly below average

     

    DSM - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - extensive manual published by the American Psychiatric Association listing all mental illnesses with diagnostic criteria

    EEG - Electrocephalogram - a test recording brainwaves used to test and identify seizures

     

    EI - Early Intervention - Services provided by counties and states beginning at birth and continuing until the age of 3

     

    FAPE - Free and Appropriate Education - educational, special educational and related services provided to students at no cost based on state and federal laws

     

    FC - Facilitated Communication - communication through a keyboard or other device to communicate with the help of a facilitator supporting the hand or arm

     

    GARS - Gilliam Autism Rating Scale - a rating scale used to diagnose autism

     

    HFA - High Functioning Autism - individuals who are academically capable and verbal but still have symptoms of autism

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    IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Act - federal law mandating a free and appropriate education for all students with disabilities from the age of 3 up to 21

     

    IEP - Individualized Education Plan - a written document written by parents and educational professionals detailing services needed to help a child with disabilities in school

     

    IFSP - Individualized Family Service Plan - A written plan used in early intervention services

     

    LD - Learning Disabled - classification of a number of conditions which result in difficulty learning

     

    LRE - Least Restrictive Environment - used in educational purposes, a child is entitled to be educated in the least restrictive classroom

     

    MR - Mentally Retarded - a term referring to cognitive impairment along with deficits in adaptive behaviors

     

    NICHCY - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities - a national information source for children with disabilities

     

    NIH - National Institutes of Health - U.S. medical research center

     

    NT - Neurologically typical - term used to refer to those individuals who do not have autism or AS

     

    OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - an anxiety disorder characterized by compulsions and obsessions

     

    ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder - disorder characterized by ongoing uncooperative, defiant or hostile behaviors

     

    OT - Occupational Therapy - therapists who may work with children with autism using play therapy, find ways for coping with sensory processing disorder and other daily activities

     

    PDD - Pervasive Development Disorder - a group of five disorders characterized by delays in development of basic functioning

     

    PECS - Picture Exchange Communication System - a form of communication using pictures and symbols

     

    PEP or PEP-R - test to assess for autism and provide information on treatment strategies

     

    PT - Physical Therapy - therapy for those with limited abilities to move and perform functional actiities

     

    RDI - Relationship Development Intervention - a therapeutic approach where therapists and parents take on the role of coach

     

    SI - Sensory Integration - therapy to help those with sensory difficulties better manage these issues

     

    SLP - Speech Language Pathologist - a speech therapist with at least a master's degree and who is certified and licensed

     

    SPD - Sensory Processing Disorder - commonly seen disorder in children with autism spectrum disorders

     

    SPED - Special Education - special education services provided by schools

     

    TEACCH - Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children - An educational approach developed for children with autism

     

    References:

     

    Medical Abbreviations Dictionary: http://www.medilexicon.com/medicalabbreviations.php

     

    "Medical Acronyms, Abbreviations and Symbols," Date Unknown, Staff Writer, The University of Memphis: http://www.memphis.edu/hss/clnt/pdfs/MS-ClinicalNutrition-MedicalTerm.pdf

     

    "Some Common Abbreviations," Date Unknown, Staff Writer, MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/appendixb.html

     

Published On: March 20, 2012