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
The ‘M’ technique® is a simple method of structured touch.
Magnesium is a mineral found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources are green leafy vegetables (such as spinach) and nuts. Good sources include bread, fish, meat and dairy foods. It is sometimes taken as a supplement.
A chemical, also known as magnesium sulfate, which is used for a variety of medicinal purposes including as an anti-convulsant, a cathartic, and an electrolyte replenisher.
Another term for conventional medicine, the medicine practiced by doctors and by allied health professionals – such as nurses, occupational therapists etc – which is based on sound scientific evidence.
Another term for antipsychotics, a class of psychoative drugs used to treat a range of mental health problems including psychosis, anxiety and dementia.
Language programme which uses signs and symbols to teach communication, language and literacy skills to people with communication and learning difficulties
An old term for bipolar disorder, a condition that affects someone’s moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.
Manipulative and body-based practices focus primarily on the structures and systems of the body, including the bones and joints, the soft tissues, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Another term for sign language, any language which uses manual communication instead of sound to convey meaning
Acronym for monoamine oxidase inhibitor – a type of anti-depressant.
The act of making a visible mark on a surface, sometimes used by individuals with autism with limited motor skills
Another term for blinding, the process of preventing those involved in a trial from knowing to which comparison group a particular participant belongs.
Massage is the practice of applying pressure, tension, motion, or vibration to the skin, muscles and other soft tissues of the body.
The use of massage to obtain therapeutic effects.
A form of early intensive behavioural intervention for autism run by the May Institute in Rochester, Massachusetts.
MBCT is an acronym for Melodic Based Communication Therapy, an intervention designed to make use of the musical strengths of the child with autism in order to increase verbal output.
An average value, calculated by adding all the observations and dividing by the number of observations.
A type of Visual Stress, a condition in which an individual cannot see clearly so the world seems disjointed, confused and scary. Unlike long or short sight, the problems are not caused by refractive error.
Educational programme based on the idea that because intelligence is plastic and changeable, not fixed, it can be “taught” within a mediated learning environment
Medication is any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.