This glossary is designed to explain some of the scientific terminology, abbreviations etc. used by some people when they talk about autism or research.
You may be able to find more information, including links to other parts of this website, by clicking on the title of an item.
If you can’t find the word you are looking for, or you know of a word we should include, please email email@example.com
The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.
Over time we hope to evaluate each of the interventions listed in this glossary, providing a ranking which tells you the level of scientific evidence which supports or does not support its use. For more information please see Treatments and Therapies for Autism Currently Under Scientific Evaluation by Research Autism
ω−3 fatty acids is another term for omega 3 fatty acids, which are sometimes taken as a supplement.
Another term for DMPS, a synthetic chemical used as a chelating agent to remove heavy metals from the body.
Another term for folinic acid, an active form of folate, which is another term for Vitamin B-9, which is one of the B-group of vitamins
5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is another term for serotonin, a hormone and neurotrasmitter found in many tissues, including blood platelets, intestinal mucosa, the pineal body, and the central nervous system.
Another term for Melatonin, the hormone which regulates our biological clock.
A form of video modeling, in which videos are used to teach a range of skills to individuals with autism, such as how to interpret facial expressions.
Acronym for alternative and augmentative communication, which refers to the different ways (other than speech) that people use to communicate with each other.
Acronym for Animal Assisted Therapy. Any therapy that involves a person interacting with animals.
ABA is an acronym for Applied Behaviour Analysis, an approach in which behavioural interventions are used to build positive behaviours – such as talking to other people – and to suppress unwanted behaviours – such as being aggressive towards other people.
ABA is also sometimes used to refer to any of the specific interventions which use the principles of applied behaviour analysis, especially early intensive behavioural interventions such as the Lovaas method.
Acronym for Autism Behaviour Checklist, a checklist developed to help diagnose autism spectrum disorders.
Brand name for aripiprazole, a type of anti-psychotic medication sometimes used to treat problem behaviours in people with autism spectrum disorders.
Acamprosate is a drug which is used, along with counselling and social support, to help people who have stopped drinking large amounts of alcohol and to help them avoid drinking alcohol again.
Another name for carnitine, a compound which helps in the consumption and disposal of fat in the body and which is sometimes taken as a nutritional supplement
Acetylcholine is a natural chemical which acts as a neurotransmitter in the peripheral nervous system and also in the central nervous system.
Another term for cysteine, an amino acid that can be found in many proteins throughout the body.
The Achieve! programme is a points and level system adapted to
meet the needs of children and young people with mild learning disabilities.
Another name for Visual Schedule, a set of pictures that communicates a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity.
Active Support, is a person-centred model of support for people with learning disabilities that is grounded in applied behaviour analysis.
A brand name for Pioglitazone, a drug which is used with a diet and exercise programme and sometimes with other drugs to treat type 2 diabetes.