Education Trends

Decoding Autism

By November 6, 2012December 27th, 2018No Comments

While researching autism over these past few months, I occasionally found myself drowning in alphabet soup. A very strong community has formed to support those affected by autism, one that uses a jumble of words, acronyms and abbreviations unfamiliar to outsiders. To help you sort out the soup, I’ve some of the most common terms and abbreviations you need to know when it comes to autism. (If you’d care to submit some other useful definitions to add to this list, please do!)

  • AAC – Augmentative and Alternative Communication: communication using devices that utilize pictures or recorded messages to convey needs, when language skills are insufficient
  • ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis: therapy methods that address behavioral issues, language, communication and social skills
  • AT – Assistive Technology: tools, both electronic and conventional, used to help disabled people with daily tasks
  • Autie/Aspie – a community term used in reference to an individual with autism or Asperger’s
  • Autistic savant – an individual with autism who possess extraordinary skills most people don’t have (e.g., Raymond in the movie Rain Man displayed an incredible ability to remember ball player statistics, portions of the telephone book, etc.)
  • Dyspraxia – the condition when an individual’s brain is unable to plan muscle movements and carry them out
  • Floortime therapy – a treatment approach that aims to enhance the social, emotional and intellectual capacities of individuals with ASDs, rather than focusing on isolated behaviors
  • EBI – Early Behavioral Intervention: a written treatment plan for an individual to address autism as early as possible
  • IEP – Individualized Education Program: a written educational program adapted specifically for a child with a disability
  • IFSP – Individualized Family Service Plan: a written program of early intervention services for children from birth to age three
  • HFA – High-functioning Autism: refers to individuals with ASDs who have near- to above-average cognitive abilities and can communicate through language
  • NT – Neurotypical: refers to anyone without a diagnosable disorder