Glossary of Terms
Not sure what a certain term on our site means? Here we’ve listed definitions for all the medical, legal and therapeutic terms you’ll find on our webpages.
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Applied Behavioral Analysis. A is For Apple’s ABA Therapy program uses one-on-one, structured instruction for children with autism. We use evidence-based techniques based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to help children “learn how to learn.”
Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD or ADHD) is a developmental disorder. Children with ADD/ADHD are mainly characterized by “the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone” and symptoms starting before seven years of age. ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a child’s age and development.
Autism Spectrum Disorders. Also called “the autism spectrum” or autism spectrum conditions (ASC), with the adjective autistic sometimes replacing the noun autism, is a spectrum of psychological conditions characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication as well as restricted interests and repetitive behavior.
Behavior Analyst Certification Board. A nonprofit established in 1998 to provide training standards and credentialing for behavior analysts, therapists and their customers (e.g. governments, schools, parents). BACB certification is required for A is For Apple therapists. BACB Website
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. A professional certification given & regulated by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. BCABAs assist BCBAs with conducting behavioral assessments, and helps with conducting a child’s ABA therapy under the BCBA’s supervision.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst. A professional certification given & regulated by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. A BCBA conducts behavioral assessments for children with ASD, and determines the appropriate therapy plan for the child with the results.
A genetic disorder that causes lifelong mental retardation, developmental delays and other problems. Down syndrome varies in severity, so developmental problems range from moderate to serious. It is the most common genetic cause of learning disabilities in children. Increased understanding of Down syndrome and early interventions make a big difference in the lives of both children and adults with Down syndrome.
Part of ABA therapy, DTT breaks down complex skills into small, easily manageable steps so that skills can be more easily mastered by an individual with an ASD. Each trial is a sequence composed of three parts: a direction, a behavior and a consequence.
Functional Behavioral Assessment. Used as part of ABA therapy, an FBA helps therapists determine why a problematic behavior is occurring.
Once the behavior’s reason (called “function”) is understood, your A is For Apple behavioral program supervisor will create interventions to both reduce the problematic behavior’s occurrence, and guide the child toward an appropriate alternative behavior.
Individualized Education Program. A therapy plan developed specifically for you and your family based on your child’s needs. IEPs are used for children over 3 years of age.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). A therapy plan developed specifically for you and your family based on your child’s needs. IFSPs are used in early intervention cases, for children under 3 years of age.
Speech-language therapy is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.
NET is a method of teaching a child away from the structured teaching setting. In NET, the teacher does have a curriculum, but they look for ways to incorporate the curriculum’s lessons into the child’s natural environment (home, childcare center, etc.). Good ABA programs usually include both NET and normal structured teaching lessons, since certain skills are hard to teach in a natural environment (e.g. math).
Occupational Therapy is the therapeutic use of self-care, work and play activities to increase independent function, enhance development and prevent disability. Therapy may include the adaptation of a task or the environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life. The term “occupation,” as used in occupational therapy, refers to any activity engaged in for evaluating, specifying and treating problems interfering with functional performance.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a form of augmentative and alternative communication. It is typically used as an aid in communication for children with autism and other special needs. The system has been used with a variety of ages including preschoolers, adolescents and adults who have a wide array of communicative, cognitive and physical difficulties. Current literature reviews support PECS as an evidence-based practice.
“Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets.” A training approach for treating speech production disorders. All A is For Apple speech-language pathologists are trained & certified in PROMPT. Maintained by the PROMPT Institute.
A Regional Center is a state-run organization which serves people with developmental disabilities. Established by the Lanternman Developmental Disabilities Act, Regional Centers assist schools, counties and families with assessments, coordination for treatments and educational resources.
Sensory integration disorder or dysfunction (SID), or Sensory Processing disorder (SPD), is a neurological disorder that results from the brain’s inability to integrate, process, and respond to certain information received from the body’s five senses. These sensory systems are responsible for detecting sights, sounds, smell, tastes, temperatures, pain and the position and movements of the body. The brain then forms a combined picture of this information in order for the body to make sense of its surroundings and react to them appropriately. The ongoing relationship between behavior and brain functioning is called sensory integration (SI). Sensory integration provides a crucial foundation for later, more complex learning and behavior.
Social Stories are short stories written or tailored to an individual with autism to help them understand and behave appropriately in social situations. The stories have a specifically defined style and format. They describe a situation in terms of relevant social cues, the perspective of others, and often suggest an appropriate response. They may also be used to applaud accomplishments; roughly 50% of all Social Stories are targeted to be used for this reason. Social Stories are a relatively straightforward intervention.
Speech-language therapy, or “Speech Therapy”, is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.