ABA – This acronym stands for Applied Behavior Analysis.
It is a science which attempts to understand and predict human
behavior. ABA is the education therapy of choice for many kids
with PDD. By using reinforcement a child is provided many opportunities
to learn new behaviors. ABA is also used for modifying and/or
reducing challenging behavior.
Asperger’s Syndrome – Is a pervasive developmental
disorder that is characterized by near normal language acquisition
accompanied by marked delays in the social domain. Individuals
with Asperger’s Syndrome have normal to above normal
intelligence and tend to have restricted areas of interests.
Many people/professionals refer to High Functioning Autism
(HFA) and Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) as one in the same.
There is still a lot of controversy as to whether AS and
HFA should be two distinct disorders. It is important to
note though that some children diagnosed with classic Autism
at an early age can gain so much skills that by the time
they are adolescents they do not fit the criteria for Autism
according to the DSM IV, but Asperger’s Syndrome.
ASD – Is an acronym for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
It implies that Autism is a neurological disorder that affects
individuals differently and in varying degrees.
Autism – Is a pervasive developmental disability (PDD)
that is usually diagnosed within the first three years of
life. The major areas of development impacted are the child’s
ability to communicate, and acquire social skills.
Behavior Intervention – Is another word for Applied
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) - Is a pervasive
developmental disorder that is characterized by typical development
for at least the first two years of life followed by a marked
regression in at least two of the following areas: expressive
or receptive language; social skills or adaptive behavior;
bowel or bladder control; or play or motor skills.
CPSE – Is an acronym that stands for Committee on
Pre-School Special Education. This is the group of people
who decide on a child’s education plan at the pre-school
CSE - Is an acronym that stands for Committee on Special
Education. This is the group of people who decide on a child’s
education plan at the school-age level.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) – DTT is often times
what many people erroneously think ABA is. Discrete Trial
Training is a teaching technique that incorporates the principles
of ABA, some of which include positive reinforcement, reinforcement
schedules, shaping, prompting, differential reinforcement,
etc. It is not in itself ABA. DTT is a strategy used to teach
a child new behaviors in a one-to-one setting. In DTT, larger
concepts are broken down into smaller concepts.
DSM IV- Is an abbreviation for Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition. It was published
by the American Psychiatric Association in 1994 and is the
main diagnostic reference of Mental Health professionals
in the U.S. Although the name might imply that it only contains
information on mental disorders; it does however also contain
diagnostic information on developmental disabilities.
Educational modifications – Are modifications to a
child’s class work, homework, and/or tests based on
the child’s specific learning characteristics and style.
FAPE – As noted in the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act), FAPE stands for Free Appropriate Public Education
for all eligible students with disabilities. The key word
here is “appropriate”.
Floor Time - Developed by Stanley Greenspan, it uses play
therapy to help the child gain developmental appropriate
skills by following the child’s lead during play
activities. During the play activities, the child’s
skills in all developmental domains are gradually expanded.
IDEA – An Acronym that stands for Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act.
IEP – is an acronym that stands for Individual Education
Plan. A child with a disability is given an IEP by their
local school district once the child turns 3 years of age.
It outlines the child’s classroom setting based on
LRE, educational modifications, classification, related services,
annual goals and objectives, etc.
IFSP – Is an acronym that stands for Individual Family
Service Plan. This is the name given to the individual education
plan for children under three years old.
LRE – Is an Acronym that stands for
Least Restrictive Environment. It refers to the educational
placement of individuals
with disabilities as per the IDEA. For example, an integrative
classroom setting is a less restrictive environment
than a self-contained classroom setting.
Natural environment teaching/incidental teaching – This
refers to teaching a child while in their home or community.
It refers to teaching a child new skills while in the natural
context or “in the moment”. Teaching a child
in the natural environment helps a child to make sense of
what they learn during formal instruction and also helps
them generalize new skills.
PDD-NOS – This is an acronym that stands for Pervasive
Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. This is basically
the diagnosis that children get when they do not fit the
criteria according to the DSM IV for Autism disorder, Rett’s
disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, or Childhood Disintegrative
Disorder (CDD). PDD-NOS is also sometimes referred to as
Atypical Autism, High Functioning Autism or Mild Autism.
PDD - Is an acronym that
stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The PDD’s
Autism Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise
Specified, Rett’s Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome,
and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD).
PECS – Is an acronym for the Picture Exchange Communication
System. It is a communication program that assists children
in using words to communicate. It is widely used with non-verbal
individuals with Autism. It was developed at the Delaware
Autistic Program. It uses pictures to help a child request
for items or activities. The child initiates a request by
giving an adult a picture of what they want.
Rett’s Disorder - Is a pervasive
developmental disorder that is characterized by loss of specific
following a period of normal development after birth. The
child develops characteristic hand wringing or washing following
a period of purposeful hand movement. The child becomes more
disinterested in the social environment and has significant
delays in expressive and receptive language skills. The child’s
gross motor development worsens and the rate at which his
head grows in size slows down.
Sensory Integration Therapy - Many individuals with PDD
are either hypo or hyper sensitive to different stimuli.
For example, they might be very aversive to the noise that
scissors make when a barber cuts their hair. Sensory integration
therapy is usually given by an Occupational therapist. The
therapist attempts to de-sensitize the individual to aversive
stimuli by systematically introducing aversive stimuli to
Social Stories – Developed by Carol Gray, social stories
are simple stories that describe social events and situations
that are difficult for a child with a PDD to understand.
For example, a social story might be written about birthday
parties if the child appears to have a difficult time understanding
what is expected of him or how he is suppose to behave at
a birthday party.
TEACH – TEACH stands for (Treatment and Education
of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped). It was
developed at the School of Medicine at the University of
California in the 1970s. Its main teaching premise is that
the environment should be adapted for the child, not the
child to the environment. It also focuses on the individual’s
strengths and weaknesses. Frequent use of visual aides, schedules,
and other environmental accommodations are implemented to
promote a better learning environment.
Reference: Autism Society of America