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Glossary Item Description
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Analog

Adrenocorticotropic hormone analog is a synthetic form of adrenocorticotropic hormone.

Adult Day Services

Adult day services provide a coordinated programme of services for adults in a community-based group setting.

Advancing Social-Communication and Play

Advancing Social-Communication and Play (ASAP) is an intervention designed help preschool children with autism learn and practice joint attention and play in a peer-led programme run in mainstream schools.


Advocacy means taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.


An advocate is someone who helps other people to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.


AEDs is an acronym for antiepileptic drugs - which is another term for anticonvulsants - a group of drugs designed to prevent or reduce the severity of fits (convulsions) in various types of epilepsy.


Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines in order to improve an individual's fitness.


Aetiology is the science that deals with the causes or origin of disease, the factors which produce or predispose toward a certain disease or disorder

Affective Atunement

Affective Atunement is another term for holding therapy, an intervention which consists of forced holding by a therapist or parent until the child stops resisting or until a fixed time period has elapsed

Affective or Mood Disorders

Affective disorders (also known as mood disorders) are mental conditions (such as depression) characterised by dramatic changes or extremes of mood.


Ageing is the process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environmentally modulated.


Agitation is an unpleasant state of extreme arousal, increased tension, and irritability.


Agoraphobia is a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult, or help wouldn't be available if things go wrong.

Aided Language Modelling

Aided language modelling is an intervention which consists of engaging the child in interactive play activities and providing models of use of augmentative and alternative communication symbols during play.

Aided Language Stimulation

Aided language stimulation is the term used for interventions designed to teach language and communication skills using alternative and augmentative modelling.


AIM HI is a combined, multi-component package of parent-delivered and child-focussed strategies designed to reduce behaviour problems in children on the autism spectrum aged 5-13.


AIT is an acronym for auditory integration training, an intervention in which a person with autism listens to a selection of music which has been modified.

AIT Plus

AIT Plus is a form of therapy which combines AIT with light therapy and sound modulation.


Aldactone is a brand name for spironolactone, a type of medication called an aldosterone receptor antagonist.


Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that is important for maintaining salt and water balance in the body.

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.