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Glossary Item Description

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.


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.

Aldosterone Antagonists

An aldosterone antagonist is a compound that blocks the action of aldosterone, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that is important for maintaining salt and water balance in the body.

Alert Program

The Alert Program is an intervention based around teaching to self-regulate their level of alertness so that they can respond appropriately to a variety of situations.


Allegron is a brand name for nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant,

Allergy-Free Diet

The allergy-free diet requires you to avoid any foodstuffs, such as peanuts, which are known to cause you allergies.

Allied Health Professionals

Allied Health Professionals refers to a wide group of professionals who work alongside doctors and nurses within the health care system.

Allocation Concealment

Allocation concealment is the process used to ensure that the person deciding to enter a participant into a randomised controlled trial does not know the comparison group into which that individual will be allocated.


Allopathy is another term for standard health care or 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.

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.