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Glossary Item Description
Achieve! programme

The Achieve! programme is a points and level system adapted to meet the needs of children and young people with mild learning disabilities.

Across-Task Schedule

Across-task schedule is another name for visual schedule, a set of pictures that communicates a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity.

Action Research

Action research is either research initiated to solve an immediate problem or a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a 'community of practice' to improve the way they address issues and solve problems.

Active Support

Active support, is a person-centred model of support for people with learning disabilities that is grounded in applied behaviour analysis.


Activism is the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, and so on.


Actos is 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.


Acupressure is an intervention which involves placing physical pressure on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body.


Acupuncture is a therapy which involves inserting and manipulating needles into "acupuncture points" on the body.

Adapted Responsive Teaching

Adapted responsive teaching is a 6-month relationship-focused, home based intervention aimed at improving parental responsiveness and child developmental outcomes that is based on the responsive teaching curriculum.

Adaptive Behaviour

Adaptive behaviour is sometimes defined by the extent to which a person is capable of being self-sufficient in real-life situations, including the functional use of communication, socialisation, daily living and motor skills.


Adderall is a brand name of a stimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts, which is used to treat inattention and hyperactivity.

Additive-Free Diet

The additive-free diet requires you to avoid additives, such as colourings, flavour enhancers, sweeteners and preservatives.


Additives are substances that are added to foodstuffs to preserve their flavour and/or enhance their taste and appearance.


ADH is an acronym for antidiuretic hormone, which is another term for vasopressin.


ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a condition in children who have three main kinds of problems, overactive behaviour (hyperactivity), impulsive behaviour, and difficulty in paying attention.


ADI is an acronym for the the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI) is a clinical diagnostic instrument for assessing autism in children and adults.


ADI-R is an acronym for the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, a clinical diagnostic instrument for assessing autism in children and adults.


ADOS is an acronym for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, a diagnostic tool designed to assess behaviours related to autism spectrum disorders.

Adrenergic Agonists

Adrenergic agonists are a type of drug used to treat a range of conditions including high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart disease.

Adrenergic Antagonists

Adrenergic antagonists are a class of drug used to treat a range of conditions including hypertension, angina, irregular heart beat, heart failure and heart attack.

About This Glossary

This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook 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 info@researchautism.net


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.