Autism assessment terminology
Autsim Spectrum Disorders
A neurological disorder that effects a person’s communication, social, and behavior skills.
Asperger’s Syndrome
considered a high-functioning form of autism
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
the evaluation and modification of a child’s environment to improve behavior
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders
* Autism
* Asperger’s Syndrome
* PPerasive Developmental Disorder
Developmental Milestones
Skills or behaviors that most children can say or do by a certain age (crawling, walking, talking, etc.)
Babbling
developmental milestone by six to nine months — the repetition of consonant-vowel combinations like “da da”
Eye-gaze
nonverbal behavior used to express emotions or exchange information without the use of words
Echolalia
repeating others (words, phrases, or sounds)
Functional Play
when a child uses objects for their appropriate or usual purpose
Idiosyncratic Language
language with private meaning that only makes sense to those using it
Restricted Patterns of Interest
a limited range of interests that are intense in focus; one becomes obsessed with a single topic
Self-injurious behaviors
one causes self-inflicted bodily harm (head banging, hitting the face, biting, etc.)
Stereotypical Behaviors
an abnormal or excessive repetition of an action carried out in he same way over time
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
is the instrument considered to be the current gold standard for diagnosing ASD and, along with information from parents, should be incorporated into a child’s evaluation.
Body postures
Body postures or movements and positioning of the body are nonverbal ways of conveying information or expressing emotions without the use of words
Communication
Communication is the use of nonverbal (eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, gestures) and verbal (speech or spoken language) behavior to share ideas, exchange information, and regulate interactions.
Compulsions
Compulsions are deliberate repetitive behaviors that follow specific rules, such as pertaining to cleaning, checking, or counting. In young children, restricted patterns of interest may be an early sign of compulsions.
Diagnosis
Since there is no biological way of confirming a diagnosis of ASD at this point in time, diagnosis should be based on the observation of the behavioral features using the DSM-IV-TR® framework.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR®)
DSM-IV-TR® or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, is a handbook used widely by medical professionals in diagnosing and categorizing mental and developmental disorders.
Emotional regulation
is a child’s ability to notice and respond to internal and external sensory input, and then adjust his emotions and behavior to the demands of his surroundings. Emotional regulation includes the body’s involuntary reactions (heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.) to events or perceptions, as well as voluntary responses.
Engaging in Interaction with Adults and Peers
refers to a child’s interest in being with and interacting with adults or other children by looking at them, smiling, and communicating in verbal and nonverbal ways.
Expressive Language
is the use of verbal behavior, or speech, to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others.
Facial Expressions
are movements of the face used to express emotion and to communicate with others.
Gestures
Gestures are hand and head movements, used to signal to someone else, such as a give, reach, wave, point, or head shake
Healthy (or typical) development
describes the physical, mental, and social development of a child who is acquiring or achieving skills according to the expected time frame.
Hyperresponsiveness
is abnormal sensitivity or over reactivity to sensory input.
Hyporesponsiveness
is abnormal insensitivity or under reactivity to sensory input, in which the brain fails to register incoming stimuli appropriately so the child does not respond to the sensory stimulation.
Insistence on sameness
refers to a rigid adherence to a routine or activity carried out in a specific way, which then becomes a ritual or nonfunctional routine.
Joint Attention
Children seek to share attention with others spontaneously during the first year of life. Joint or shared attention is first accomplished by the caregiver looking at what the infant is looking at.
“Movie Talk”
Echolalia, sometimes referred to as “movie talk”, is the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others, sometimes taken from movies, but also sometimes taken from other sources such as favorite books or something someone else has said
Nonfunctional routines
are specified, sequential, and apparently purposeless repeated actions or behaviors that a child engages in, such as always lining up toys in a certain order each time instead of playing with them.
Nonverbal Behaviors
are those things people do to convey or exchange information or express emotions without the use of words.
Obsessions
repetitive thoughts that are persistent and intrusive. In young children, preoccupations with specific kinds of objects or actions may be an early sign of obsessions.
Over Reactivity to Sensory Input
is abnormal sensitivity or hyperresponsiveness. This is the state of feeling overwhelmed by what most people would consider common or ordinary stimuli of sound, sight, taste, touch, or smell.
Perseveration
refers to repeating or “getting stuck” carrying out a behavior (e.g., putting in and taking out a puzzle piece) when it is no longer appropriate.
Perseverative Speech
refers to repeating the same phrase or word over and over or bringing up the same topic repeatedly with a sense of “getting stuck” when it is no longer appropriate.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
is an umbrella term for a wide spectrum of disorders referred to as Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The terms PDD and ASD are used interchangeably.
Pointing
is an important gesture of the index finger used to request an object (called protoimperative pointing) or to draw attention to an object to comment on it or share interest in it (called protodeclarative pointing). The ability to make pointing gestures typically develops by the age of 12 months.
Pragmatics
are social rules for using functional spoken language in a meaningful context or conversation. Challenges in pragmatics are a common feature of spoken language difficulties in children with ASD
Preoccupation with Parts of Objects
is a persistent unusual interest or fixation in one aspect of something that is usually to the exclusion of interest in people, or in using the object in social interactions or in a functional way
Prosody
is the rhythm and melody of spoken language expressed through rate, pitch, stress, inflection, or intonation.
Protodeclarative pointing
is an important gesture of the index finger used to draw someone’s attention to an object to comment on it or share interest in it.
Receptive Language
is the ability to understand or comprehend words and sentences that others use.
Red Flags for ASD
are the early indicators or warning signs for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Regulatory and Sensory Systems
control a child’s ability to take in or “register” and respond to internal sensory input (such as thoughts and feelings, heart rate, etc.), and external stimuli (sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch, and balance), and then adjust his emotional and behavioral response to those stimuli and the demands of his surroundings.
Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests
are common in children with ASD. Children with ASD may appear to have odd or unusual behaviors such as a very strong interest in a particular kind of object (e.g., lint, people’s hair) or parts of objects, or certain activities.
Repetitive motor mannerisms
are stereotyped or repetitive movements or posturing of the body. They include mannerisms of the hands (such as handflapping, finger twisting or flicking, rubbing, or wringing hands), body (such as rocking, swaying, or pacing), and odd posturing (such as posturing of the fingers, hands, or arms).
Repetitive Use of Language
is seen in the use of echolalia, which is the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others
Restricted Patterns of Interest
refer to a limited range of interests that are intense in focus.
Rituals
are specific and seemingly meaningless behaviors that a child performs repeatedly in certain situations or circumstances, such as turning the lights on and off several times when entering a room.
Screening
is a quick and simple way to monitor a child’s typical development.
Scripting
Echolalia, sometimes referred to as ?scripting?, is the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others, sometimes taken from movies, but also sometimes taken from other sources such as favorite books or something someone else has said. Children with ASD often display ?scripting? in the process of learning to talk.
Self-Stimulating Behaviors or “Stimming”
are stereotyped or repetitive movements or posturing of the body. They include mannerisms of the hands (such as handflapping, finger twisting or flicking, rubbing, or wringing hands), body (such as rocking, swaying, or pacing), and odd posturing (such as posturing of the fingers, hands, or arms).
Sensory defensiveness
is an abnormal reaction to ordinary sensory input. Children who are over reactive may display strong negative emotions to stimuli.
Sensory input
includes both internal (e.g., heart rate, temperature) and external (e.g., sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch, and balance) sensations. A child’s response to sensory input depends on his ability to regulate and understand these stimuli and to adjust his emotions to the demands of his surroundings.
Sensory Stimulation
Children with ASD often have odd behaviors, such as finger flicking and toewalking, which may be related to anxiety, tactile defensiveness (aversion to touch), or may be self-stimulatory.
Shared Attention
Children seek to share attention with others spontaneously during the first year of life. Shared or joint attention is first accomplished by the caregiver looking at what the infant is looking at.
Social-imitative play
Social-imitative play is pretending to act out the actions of daily routines (e.g., stirring food or brushing hair) or the actions of others (e.g., a parent talking on the telephone) in the context of play
Social Interaction
is the use of nonverbal or verbal behavior to engage in interaction with people. This can involve eye gaze, speech, gestures, and facial expressions used to initiate and respond to interactions with others.
Social Reciprocity
is the back-and-forth flow of social interaction.
Spoken Language
is the use of verbal behavior, or speech, to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others.
Stereotyped Patterns of Interest
Stereotyped or restricted patterns of interest refer to a pattern of preoccupation with a narrow range of interests and activities.
Symbolic play
where children pretend to do things and to be something or someone else.
Tactile Defensiveness
Many children with ASD are over reactive to ordinary sensory input and may exhibit sensory defensiveness, a strong negative response to a sensation that would not ordinarily be upsetting, such as touching something sticky or gooey or the feeling of soft foods in the mouth.
Tantrum
is an expression of intense, immediate frustration that occurs most often at an age when a child is unable to express his or her emotions due to inadequate verbal skills. The ASD childs tantrums may be much more intense and more frequent than those of typically developing children
Typical Development
Typical (or healthy) development describes the physical, mental, and social development of a child who is acquiring or achieving skills according to the expected time frame. A child who is developing in a healthy way pays attention to the voices, faces, and actions of others, showing and sharing pleasure during interactions, and engaging in verbal and nonverbal back-and-forth communication.
Under Reactivity to Sensory Input
is one aspect of abnormal insensitivity to sensory input, or hyporesponsiveness, in which a child does not respond to sensory stimulation. A child who appears as if deaf, but whose hearing has tested as normal, is under reactive.
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