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500+ entries for parents and professionalsThe only A-Z reference available on autism spectrum disorders and pervasive developmental disorders, this comprehensive encyclopedia includes more than 500 terms, alphabetically listed and clearly described. Today's most respected autism experts have contributed essential terminology from various disciplines-including pediatrics, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, education, psychology, and psychiatry-to bring you reliable information on classification systems, signs and symptoms, causes, incidence and prevalence, diagnosis, screening and assessment, interventions, behavior, education, assistive technology, daily living, medical issues, and legislation.Synonyms and relevant cross-references are included for the terms, and the two appendixes describe assessment tools and instruments and list autism-related study centers and organizations. Every professional whose work involves autism spectrum disorders needs a copy of this essential reference-to keep on hand for instant information and to share with parents of children who have these complex disorders.
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John T. Neisworth is Professor of Special Education and Director of the Early Intervention Training Program at Pennsylvania State University. Pamela S. Wolfe is Associate Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Excerpted from The Autism Encyclopedia, edited by John T. Neisworth, Ph.D., & Pamela S. Wolfe, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2005 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
See augmentative and alternative communication. See alsoalternative communication.
See antecedent-behavior-consequence analysis.
A term used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), its amendments, and its regulations (Assistance to States, 2003) to refer to environmental changes related to the education of an individual with disabilities, especially with regard to assessment of learning. See alsoadaptation, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). John T. Neisworth & Pamela S. Wolfe
Adrenocorticotropic hormone; seehormone therapy.
activities of daily living (ADLs)
Self-care tasks such as grooming, bathing, eating, bowel and bladder management, toilet hygiene, functional mobility, and device care. These basic life functions are used as benchmarks for independence. More complex life functions are clustered into instrumental activities of daily living, including care of others, community mobility, financial management, home management, shopping, and emergency and safety procedures. See alsofunctional limitations, functional outcomes, self-help skills. Winnie Dunn
Also called activity-based intervention. See embedded skills, naturalistic interventions.
Degree of clarity of sensory stimuli; physical ability of the sensory organs to receive input. The term acuityis used with reference to hearing and vision. Visual acuity is the accuracy of the eyes to see both close and distant objects (normal visual acuity is 20/20). Auditory acuity is the ability to hear with measured decibels. Normal auditory acuity (in which there is no negative impact on communication) is 0–15 decibels. Acuity can be corrected with glasses (for vision) and hearing aids (for hearing). Winnie Dunn
See Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336).
A change made to typical or standard environments or materials to accommodate differences in children's functioning. Adaptations can range from simple rearrangements of classroom furniture, to alterations to instructional materials, to more elaborate or high-technology adjustments designed to minimize the effect of a disability and optimize performance. See alsoaccommodations. John T. Neisworth & Pamela S. Wolfe
Typical performance on daily tasks and activities related to personal and social sufficiency. As individuals age, the types of adaptive behaviors they exhibit typically increase in complexity. Examples in young children include self-care (e.g., dressing), communication (e.g., verbal expression and reception), and socialization (e.g., relating to peers). Examples of adult adaptive behaviors include self-care (e.g., holding a job, managing money), communication (e.g., advanced reading and writing), and socialization (e.g., acting responsibly toward others) (Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 1984b). See alsoactivities of daily living (ADLs), adaptive skills, daily living skills, self-help skills. Krista Dalbec-Mraz & Julie Wolf
Conceptual, practical, and social skills that permit a person to function in everyday life and to deal with, and change in response to, everyday environmental demands. Individuals with autism show a unique pattern of adaptive skills as compared with normative groups (Schatz & Hamdan-Allen, 1995). Such individuals typically have strong daily living skills but only intermediate communication skills and significantly low scores in socialization skills. Adaptive skills can be assessed using one of many standardized measures of adaptive behavior such as the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS; Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 1984a, 1984b) that have been normed for individuals with autism (Carter et al., 1998). Adaptive skills must be assessed to diagnose mental retardation, a disorder commonly found in individuals with autism (American Association on Mental Retardation, 2002). See alsoadaptive behavior, daily living skills, self-help skills. Leah Bucknavage
See attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
See activities of daily living.
Person who speaks, writes, or acts in support of or in defense of a person or cause. Individuals with disabilities and their families may act as their own advocates or appoint others to secure appropriate services and programs. See alsoAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (PL 101-336), selfadvocacy. John T. Neisworth & Pamela S. Wolfe
Matching of activities, materials, and environments to a child's age. Depending on the child's development (delayed or typical), either chronological or developmental age (DA) may be used to guide decisions regarding appropriateness. See alsodevelopmental age (DA). John T. Neisworth & Pamela S. Wolfe
See auditory integration therapy.
A term coined in 1906 by Austrian pediatrician Clemens Von Pirquet that originally referred to a maladaptive persistent altered reactivity to substances (allergens) that did not similarly affect most people. Although there are many mechanisms for persistent altered reactivity (e.g., congenital and acquired enzyme deficiencies, operant and respondent conditioning), current medical convention restricts the term allergy to altered reactivity of cellular and antibody (immunoglobulin) components of the immune system. Unfortunately, there is minimal research in the area of immunologic allergy, particularly food allergy, as a cause of autism (Lucarelli et al., 1995). There is robust evidence, however, that elimination diets may substantially improve the behaviors associated with autism. In this area of food-induced illness, current popular as well as older medical literature frequently use allergyin its original connotation, incorporating both immune (food allergy) and nonimmune (food intolerance) mechanisms. Although the underlying biobehavioral cause of altered reactivity to dietary constituents may remain undiscovered, longterm treatment for either immune or nonimmune adverse food reactions involves primarily the reduction or elimination of offending foods from the diet. See alsodiet therapy, food intolerance, immunoglobulin. Robert A. Da Prato
Methods and materials for gathering information regarding a child's status that can supplement, complement, or replace traditional assessment that is based on normative and criterion referencing. Alternate assessment includes surveys of a child's environment (ecological assessment), how a child accomplishes or attempts activities (qualitative measures), appraisals of parent stress and family needs, informed clinical opinion, and authentic procedures (measures of child skills in natural, ongoing routines and situations rather than "tabletop testing"). John T. Neisworth & Pamela S. Wolfe
See augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
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