Terms and Definitions

Click on the terms below to see each definition.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):
 Not a formal diagnostic classification, ASD is used to refer to any disorder in the array of pervasive developmental disorders including Autism, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Hyperlexia, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Autism:
 A developmental disorder characterized by marked difficulty in communication and social relations and by the presence of atypical behaviours such as unusual responses to sensation, repetitive movements and insistence of routine and sameness

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA):
 An applied science that develops methods of changing behaviour and is a profession that provides services to meet diverse behavioural needs. It is based on the scientific study of principles of operant and respondent conditioning and interventions using these principles have been proven effective for individuals with Autism

Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI):
 A therapy that uses systematic methods derived from principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis to promote development and change behaviour. This therapy is intensive and typically involves between 20 and 40 hours of direct 1:1 service per week

Discrete Trial Training (DTT):
 An instructional strategy to teach children with Autism or other Pervasive Developmental Disorders that emphasizes distinct and repeated practice of correct responding to a signal, followed directly by reinforcement. A single trial is defined as a signal, the child’s response and the consequent feedback and is discrete because it has a clear beginning and a clear end

Verbal Behaviour (VB):
 A term first introduced by B.F. Skinner (1938) for any behaviour (vocal, written, gestural, and other) that achieves its reinforcement through the mediation of another person’s behaviour. Expressive language is seen as a behaviour that can be taught and each function of the of the word is taught explicitly

Natural Environment Teaching (NET):
 Teaching in an everyday setting in the home or community that includes routines and activities for individuals and their families, such as mealtime, interacting and shopping. NET uses structured learning situations in familiar settings allowing increased opportunity for generalization of skills

Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills- Revised (ABLLS-R):
An assessment, curriculum guide, and skills tracking system for use with children who have autism or other developmental disabilities. It allows you to identify deficiencies in language, academic, self-help, and motor skills and then implement and monitor individualized intervention

The Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP):
 a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with Autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. The VB-MAPP is based on B.F. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior, established developmental milestones, and research from the field of Behavior Analysis

Respite:
 Care to individuals with a developmental disorder provided in their home, community or at the centre of a service provider in order to provide temporary relief to their caregivers

(All definitions are retrieved from Neisworth, J.T. and Wolfe, P.S. (2005). The Autism Encyclopedia. York, PA; Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.)