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ABA - Applied Behavioral Analysis - Applied behavioral analysis employs methods based on the scientific principles of learning theory to build socially useful skills and reduce behavioral excesses and deficiencies. Various treatment approaches under the ABA umbrella include, discrete trial teaching, verbal behavior, precision teaching, pivotal response training, and incidental teaching. The term ABA does not automatically imply an intense program. ABA uses behavioral methods to teach targeted behaviors and records data regarding the effectiveness of those methods. ABA is not synonymous with Discrete Trial Teaching or Lovaas.

AlT - Auditory Integration Training - Developed in France by Dr. Guy Berard, an otolaryngologist. AlT was originally used to rehabilitate disorders such
as hearing loss or hearing distortion. However, distortions in hearing or auditory processing also often contribute to behavioral or learning disorders, and the AlT method has been used to assist individuals with these disorders as well. For example, an individual who is hypersensitive to certain frequencies of sound may become overstimulated, disoriented or agitated in the presence of these sound frequencies. AlT is designed to normalize hearing.

Apraxia - a neurologically based disorder which often (but not always) occurs as a consequence of a stroke. The person has difficulty sequencing movements (e.g. may be able to lift and wave arm but not when consciously intending to do so). Apraxia may be related to speech or to the movement of body parts.

ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder. Includes the following (as listed in the DSM-IV): autistic disorder; Asperger’s disorder, PDD-NOS; childhood disintegrative disorder; and Rett’s disorder.

BCBA - Board Certified Behavior Analyst - A person with certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) - see

BCaBA - Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst - A person with certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) - see

CARS - Childhood Autism Rating Scale: a diagnostic tool for autism. The child is rated in 15 areas on a scale up to four, for a total of 60. Ranges within this are considered to be non-autistic, autistic, and severely autistic.

CCC-SLP - designation for a speech language pathologist who has been nationally certified by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).

CDRC - Child Development and Rehabilitation Center. Clinical services for persons with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs.

CHAT - CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers; a diagnostic tool for autism.

Direct instruction (DI) - A set of teaching materials published by SRA where the teacher follows a script to guarantee that the teacher is communicating to the student clearly and without ambiguity (the reason for doing discrete trials). The script, however, is secondary to other teaching procedures including explain, model, guide, and practice that are used to ensure that each student responds according to predetermined criteria.

DTT - Discrete Trial Teaching - The UCLA or Lovaas approach incorporates DTT, especially in the beginning stages, as a primary technique within a hierarchical teaching program. The child is presented with tasks broken into very easy steps. For example, the instructor may say “Do this” and the child is to imitate a gross motor movement. If the child does it correctly, he is immediately rewarded. If he is not correct, he is prompted with the correct answer and then given an independent trial to determine if he has learned the task. Although the tasks increase in difficulty and complexity over the course of time, the program is designed to maintain a high success ratio and thus high rates of reward for the child. For most children to be successful in a DTT program it must be intense: a minimum of 30 – 40 hours a week of one-on-one instruction.

Echolalia - the repetition or parroting of words or phrases

EI - Early Intervention - the public program that provides services from birth to three years.

EIBI - Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention. An ABA approach to teaching young children.

ECSE - Early Childhood Special Education - the public program that provides services to three- to five-year olds.

ESY - Extended School Year – services provided when school is not in session.

FAPE - Free and Appropriate Public Education - One of the rights your child is entitled to under the federal law, known as IDEA. Technically, the FAPE entitlement begins at age three. However, due to the nature of autism, there have been some due process cases involving autism where the FAPE standard began immediately following diagnosis. (Gary Mayerson)

GF/CF - A diet free of gluten and casein. GF - gluten-free (gluten is found in wheat, barley, oats, and rye, among other foods). CF (c/f) - casein-free (casein is found in dairy products)

Hyperlexia - the ability to read at an early age, but often without linking words to meaning.

Hypotonia - low muscle tone.

IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Act; a law mandating free and public education to all individuals with disabilities between the ages of three and 21.

IFSP - Individualized Family Service Plan - The federal government has mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) that each state provide children with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). For Oregon children from birth to five years of age the family works with their local (EI/ECSE Program ) to develop an appropriate IFSP for their child. This is a legal document and will include an evaluation, annual goals and objectives for the child, as well as the services provided by the EI or ECSE program to help the child meet those goals and objectives. Social services such as family counseling may also be included in this document.

IEP - Individualized Education Plan - The federal government has mandated under IDEA that each state provide children with a free and appropriate public education. In Oregon, when children turn five they transition from services provided by the local EI/ECSE program to services provided by their school district. Sometimes this is the same agency but sometimes it is not. The IEP will be very similar to an IFSP except that it will not include a “family outcomes” page.

Inclusion (also called Mainstreaming) - Taking a child out of segregated settings and placing him in a regular education classroom with support (e.g. aide).

ITT - Intensive Teaching - Teaching that takes place generally at a table. Learning is usually fast paced and more intensive than NET.

NET - Natural Environment Training - Teaching in the natural environment such as the kitchen or playground with specific goals in mind.

ODE - the Oregon Department of Education

Occupational Therapy (OT) - therapist who specializes in improving the development of fine motor and adaptive skills.

PDD - Pervasive Developmental Disorder; part of the autistic spectrum disorder.

PDD-NOS - Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. A diagnosis of PDD-NOS may be made when a child meets some but not all the criteria for autism, and there is a severe and persistent impairment in specified behaviors.

PECS - Picture Exchange Communication System - A picture system sometimes used to help a child develop requesting behavior when a child is unable to speak.

PLOP - Present Level Of Performance - This is discussed at the beginning of an IFSP or IEP to aid in the development of educational goals. It is a list of the child’s current skills including any evaluation information that is pertinent. The PLOP serves as a benchmark for the difference between what the child is doing and needs to learn to do.

PRT - Pivotal Response Training - This technique is under the ABA umbrella but it is significantly different from DTT. PRT is child directed and the motivation to give a response is “built-in” to the task. There is social praise for correct responses; however in pure PRT no external rewards are used. Thus, the technique is considered more “naturalistic” than DTT.

Precision Teaching - The goal of precision teaching is to establish responding that is fluent (i.e., performed without hesitation). Fluency is and of itself is not the goal but becomes the outcome of being able to perform skills fluently. Often a skill such as naming states or even pinching a pencil is timed and charted on a celebration chart.

PT - Physical Therapy

Sensory Integration - Sensory integration focuses primarily on three basic senses—tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Their interconnections start forming before birth and continue to develop as the person matures and interacts with his/her environment. The inter-relationship among these three senses allow us to experience, interpret, and respond to different stimuli in our environment. Sensory integrative dysfunction is a disorder in which sensory input is not integrated or organized appropriately in the brain and may produce varying degrees of problems in development, information processing, and behavior.

SLP - Speech Language Pathologist - This person is trained to work with children with speech and language impairments. They may or may not have behavioral training.

Stimming - The informal term for behaviors whose sole purpose appears to be to stimulate one’s one senses. Examples might include hand flapping, rocking, or dangling an object in front of the eyes.

UCLA PROGRAM (Lovaas) - This is a reference to a landmark study done in 1987 at UCLA by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas. His 1987 study demonstrated that, provided with intensive, primarily discrete trial, one-on-one behavioral intervention, approximately 47 percent of the autistic children in his study group “recovered” from autism. The definition for “recovered” in this particular study included at least three criteria:

1. The children were mainstreamed into first grade without instructional aides.
2. The IQ’s rose from the mentally retarded range to normal ranges.
3. On multiple tests measuring a variety of social skills, adaptive behaviors, and language skills, the children were indistinguishable from normal peers, as assessed by independent evaluators who had no knowledge of the study.

Verbal Behavior (Skinner) - Based on B.F. Skinner’s 1957 book titled Verbal Behavior, outlining his analysis of verbal behavior, which describes a group of verbal operants, or functional units of language. Skinner’s thinking was that language can be analyzed into a set of functional units, with each type of operant serving a different function. He came up with terms that didn’t exist (to separate these operants from anything described by traditional linguistics) for these operants. The three that are most often discussed in popular discussion are mands (to request, or to obtain what is wanted), tacts (label of something in the environment), and intraverbals (a response to the language of another person).