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A theory offers an explanation of how and why something occurs and may also identify the cause. Theories are derived from research findings and also inform the ongoing development of research.
Theory of Mind (ToM)
A person’s understanding of other people’s
thoughts, knowledge, beliefs and feelings, including recognition that these may
be different from their own. Also sometimes referred to as ‘mindreading’. Many
people on the autism spectrum have difficulty with this.
Tower of Hanoi
A task in which a set
of differently sized rings have to be transferred from one peg to another in
the fewest moves but with certain constraints, such as not being able to place
a larger ring on a smaller one. Used as a test of executive function.
Treatment as usual
A common procedure in a controlled intervention study where the participants who do not receive the intervention under evaluation receive a standard intervention or one that they have been receiving previous to the evaluation.
This denotes the fact that in conversation a person generally does not interrupt what another is saying, but waits until there is a suitable gap and responds by following on from their point(s). People with autism may have difficulty with turn-taking, appearing impolite because they interrupt the other person, perhaps with a comment that seems irrelevant to the topic. (See also reciprocity.)
A research method used to evaluate how frequently a particular condition or characteristic co-occurs in both members of monozygotic (identical) twin pairs as compared with dizygotic (non-identical) twins. Higher co-occurrence (concordance) in monozygotic twins provides evidence that the condition or characteristic is genetically inherited. Used in exploring the genetic basis for autism.
Typically developing (TD)
Term used (e.g. in research) to denote the kind of development which is seen in the majority of the population, as contrasted with the characteristics of people with a condition such as autism. It is often used in describing children as that is when most development is expected to occur, and when certain key milestones (such as walking and the onset of speech) are typically attained in a broadly regular sequence. (See also neurotypical.)