Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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Understanding autism

Glossary


Browse the glossary using this index

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A

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

A condition characterised by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Although not linked to intelligence, ADHD may disrupt learning.


Attention to detail

A cognitive style especially associated with autism characterised by focusing closely on the specifics or details of task rather than the overall picture.


Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised (ADI-R)

An interview designed for use with the parents of children or adults who are being assessed for an autism spectrum diagnosis. The ADI comprises questions about the offspring’s current skills and behaviours, as well as how these behaviours were manifested at age four to five years or at any point during development. The original version of the instrument (the ADI) was often used to verify diagnoses for research purposes. The revised version, designed for diagnosis in clinical settings, was published in 2003.


Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

An interactive assessment tool used in making autism spectrum diagnoses. It consists of four separate modules, each comprising tasks designed for use with children of different ages and different levels of development and language.


Autism Rights Movement

A network of people with autism that advocates that autism is a form of human variation (a neurodiversity), rather than a disorder to be cured, and that society needs to be accepting of autistic behaviours, teaching coping skills rather than trying to make autistic people neurotypical. The movement also organises social events where autistics can ‘be themselves’.


Autism Spectrum

A description of the fact that whilst all individuals with autism share some core characteristics, they also have their own unique profile of strengths and weaknesses.


Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC)

A term favoured over Autism Spectrum Disorder by some professionals and people in the autism community as it avoids the negative connotations of ‘disorder’.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The term used in formal diagnosis, and by many professionals in the context of clinical practice for diagnoses on the autism spectrum. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by moderate to profound difficulties in social communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests.


B

BAP

See broader autism phenotype.


Behaviour modification

The application of principles of learning and conditioning to influence or improve a person's behaviour, by eradicating “maladaptive behaviours” and promoting the learning of new ones through reinforcement of behaviour. Based on the work of B.F. Skinner, and pioneered in the autism field by Ivar Lovaas.



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