Common Abbreviations, Definitions, Slang and Idioms Used in Autism

AAC Assistive Augmentative Communication
AANE Asperger’s Association of New England
ABA Applied Behavior Analysis
ABA Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavioral therapy
ABC Autism Behavior Checklist
ABI Adaptive Behavior Inventory
ABLE Adult Basic Literacy Education
ABLLS Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills test
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
AD Attachment Disorder
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADOS Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale
AIT Advanced Individual Training
AIT Auditory Integration Therapy
AMA American Medical Association
APD Auditory Processing Disorder
APE Adaptive Physical Education
ARC Association of Retarded Citizens
ARD Admission, Review, Dismissal (used in Texas)
ARI Autism Research Institute
ARRI Autism Research Review International, Quarterly publication from the ARI
AS Asperger’s Syndrome (DSM IV 299.80)
AS Autistic Spectrum
ASA Autism Society of America
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder
ASHA American Speech & Hearing Association
ASL American Sign Language
ASPEN Asperger Syndrome Parent Education Network
ASPEN of New Jersey (not affiliatied with ASPEN of America)
ASPIE A person with Asperger’s Syndrome (friendly)
AUTIE A person with Autism (friendly)
BBB Blood Brain Barrier
BBRS Burks’ Behavior Rating Scale
BCBA Board Certified Behavioral Analyst
BD Behavioral Disorder
BD/ED Behavior Disordered Emotionally Disturbed.
BED Body Ecology Diet
BIC Behavior Improvement Class.
BIP Behavior Improvement Plan
BMP Behavior Management Plan
BOCES Board of Cooperative Educational Services
BP Bi-Polar (formerly called “manic-depressive”)
BSC Behavioral Specialist Consultant
BSU Base Service Unit
BSU Behavioral Services Unit
CADDRE Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities Research & Epidemiology
CAO County Assistance Office
CAP Client Assistance Program administered by the Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services
CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CARD Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (used in Florida)
CARD Center for Autism and Related Disorders (used in Maryland and many other states)
CARD Committee for Admission, Review, Dismissal (used in Texas)
CARS Childhood Autism Rating Scale (diagnostic and evaluation tool)
CASSP Child and Adolescent Service System Program
CAT or CT Scan Computer Axial Tomography - a scan using an xray machine linked to a computer that produces a scan in cross sections using iodine (BEWARE if you are allergic to shellfish)
CBH Community Behavioral Health
CCBH Community Care Behavioral Health
CD Conduct Disorder
CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention
CF Casein Free
CFIDS Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
CFS Chronic fatigue syndrome
CH.A.D.D. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
CHARGE Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment
CHAT Checklist for Autism in Toddlers
CHOP Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
CI Community Integration
CLA Community Living Arrangement
CLO Cod Liver Oil
CMMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CMS Children’s Medical Services
CNS Central Nervous System
COSAC Center for Outreach and Services for the Autistic Community (New Jersey)
COTA Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
CP Cerebral Palsy
CPEA Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism
CPS Child Protective Services
CPT Current Procedural Terminology (Procedure codes used for insurance billing)
CSE Committee for Special Education (called “MDT” in some states)
CST Child Study Team
CVPD Central Vision Processing Disorder
CYA California Youth Authority
DAN Defeat Autism Now! (
DAS Developmental Apraxia of Speech
DAS Differential Abilities Scales.
DCD Development Coordination Disorder
DD Department of Disabilities
DD Developmentally Delayed
DD Developmental Disabilities
DD Developmental Disorder
DDD Department of Developmental Disabilities
DH Developmentally Handicapped
DHHS Department of Health and Human Services
DMG DiMethylGlycine-See also TMG
DOH Department of Health
DPT A triple inoculation given to kids: Diptheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus
DPW Department of Public Welfare
DR Disability Rights
DREDF Disability Rights Education Defense Fund
DS Developmental Services
DS Down’s Syndrome
DSM Diagnostic Statistical Manual
DSM-IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition
DSMR Diagnostic Statistical Manual (Revised) - preceded DSM-IV
DTT Discrete Trial Training
DTVMI Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration
DV Domestic Violence
DX Diagnosis, diagnosed
EASe Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect
EBD Emotional Behavioral Disorder
ECG ElectroCardioGram
ECSE Early Childhood Special Education
ECT ElectroConvulsive Therapy (electroshock)
ED Emotionally Disturbed
EEG ElectroEncephaloGram
EFA Essential Fatty Acids
EFD Executive Functioning Disorder.
EH Emotionally Handicapped
EI Early Intervention
EIBI Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
EKG ElectroCardioGram (basically, a graph of the heart’s electrical activity)
EMH Educable Mentally Handicapped
EMS Emergency Medical Services
EOH A listserve on named after the book, Evidence of Harm by David Kirby
EPD Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization
EPSDT Early & Periodic Screening, Diagnosis & Treatment Program
ERIC Educational Resources Information Center, a computer database of educational information
ESD Educational Service District
ESE Exceptional Student Education
ESL English as a Second Language
ESY Extended School Year
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions (an info sheet in Q&A format)
FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
FC Facilitated Communication
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FDSS Family Driven Support Services
FERPA Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FFP Federal Financial Participation
fMRI Functional MRI (brain scan test)
FNS Fuzzy Neuron Syndrome (associated with FADD)
FOIA Freedom Of Information Act
FRAX Fragile X Syndrome
FSP Family Support Plan
FSS Family Support Services
GAF Global Assessment of Functioning scale.
GARS Gilliam Autism Rating Scale
GED General Education Development (a test in place of High School Diploma)
GFCF Gluten-free, casein-free diet
GFCFSF Gluten-free, casein free, soy-free diet
GI Gastrointestinal
HCBW Home and Community Based Waiver
HELP Hawaii Early Learning Profile Test
HFA High Functioning Autism
HFS Health Food Store
HH Hard of Hearing
HH Household
HI Hearing Impaired
HMO Health Medical Organization
HSLDA Home School Legal Defense Organization
IACC InterAgency Coordinating Committee
IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome
ICD-9 International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (used for billing insurance) which classifies diseases by numbers.
ICF Intermediate Care Facility
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP Individualized Education Plan
IFSP Individualized Family Service Plan
IgG Immunoglobulin G
IHP Individualized Habilitation Program
IME Independent Medical Examination
InLv Independent Living (support group)
IQ Intelligence Quotient
IRB Institutional Review Board
IRWE Impairment-Related Work Expense
ITM Interagency Team Meeting
JADD Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
LD Learning Disability, Learning Disabled
LEA Local Education Agency
LKS Landau Kleffner Syndrome
LOD Low Oxalate Diet
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
M-D Manic Depression (now called bipolar depression)
MDO Major Depressive Disorder
MDT Multi-Disciplinary Team (called “CSE” in some states)
MEG Magnetoencephalogram, used in LKS
MFC Marriage and Family Counselor
MFCC Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor
MFE Multi-Factored Evaluation
MH Mental Health
MH Mentally Handicapped; Mentally Retarded (IQ less than 70)
MMR Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination
MPD Multiple Personality Disorder
MR Mental Retardation, Mentally Retarded (IQ less than 70)
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MSDD Multi-system developmental disorder
MT Mobile Therapist
NACD National Academy of Child Development
NBAC National Bioethics Advisory Commission
NBD Neurobiological Disorder
NDA Not Diagnosed with Anything
NICHCY National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
NIDS NeuroImmune Deficiency Syndrome
NIEHS National Institute of Environmental Health Services
NIH National Institute of Health
NIMH National Institute of Mental Health
NINDS National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
NJCOSAC New Jersey Center for Outreach & Services for the Autism Community
NOD Not Otherwise Defined, Often appears alot with DX by psychologists
NOD Not Otherwise Diagnosed
NORD National Organization for Rare Disorders
NOREP Notice of Recommended Educational Placement
NOS Not of Specific Origin
NOS Not Otherwise Specified, usually seen as PDD-NOS
NPD Normal Person Disorder (used jokingly)
NPND National Parent Network on Disabilities
NT Neurologically Typical
NT Neurotypical
NVLD Non-Verbal Learning Disability
NYD Not Yet Diagnosed (informal usage)
OAAC Office of Advocacy for Autistic Children.
OASIS On-line Asperger’s Syndrome Information and Support (organizational site at
OB Specific to
OBRA Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
OCB Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD Office of Child Development
OCD Oppositional Conduct Disorder
OCR Office of Civil Rights
OCYF Office of Children, Youth and Families
ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder
OHI Other Health Impaired.
OIM Office of Income Maintenance
OMHSAS Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
OMR Office of Mental Retardation
ORS Office of Rehabilitation Services
OSEP Office of Special Education Programs
OSERS Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
OSP Office of Social Programs
OT Occupational Therapist or therapy
OVR Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
P&A Protection & Advocacy
PA Parents’ Auxiliary
PANDAS Pediatric Autoimmune Neurological Disorder Associated with Strep.
Part B References parts of IDEA which covers education of ages 3-22, ie. school system
Part C References parts of IDEA which covers birth to 3; Early intervention
PCA Personal Care Assistant
PDD Pervasive Developmental Disorder
PDDNOS Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified
PDR Physician’s Desk Reference
PECS Picture Exchange Communication System
PEN Parent Education Network
PERS Personal Emergency Response Systems
PET Positron Emission Tomography Scan
Pica (not an abbreviation) means the eating of non-food stuff
PKU Phenylketonuria
PL94-142 Public Law 94-142. Education for Handicapped Children Act, Revised in 1990 to become IDEA.
POA Power of Attorney
POHI Physically or Otherwise Health Impaired
PPO Preferred Physician Organization
PPO Preferred Provider Option
PPS Pupil Personnel Services
PQ Performance IQ
PRT Pivotal Response Training
PT Physical Therapist or Therapy
PTIC Parent Training and Information Center
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PUNS Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services
PwD People with Disabilities
Q&A Question-and-Answer, generally referring to a document format.
QEEG Quantitative ElectroEncephaloGram
RA Rheumatoid Arthritis
RDI Relationship Developmental Intervention
SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka “Wintertime Depression”)
SBH Severe Behavior Handicap
SCD Specific Carbohydrate Diet
SD School District
SED Severely Emotionally Disturbed
SELPA Special Education Local Plan Area (used in CA)
SERRC Special Educational Regional Recourse Center
SI Sensory Integration.
SID Sensory Integration Dysfunction
SIB Self-injurious behavior
SIPT Sensory Integration and Praxis Text
SLP Speech and Language Pathologist
SM Selective Mutism.
SNT Special Needs Trust
SNT SuperNu Thera - by Kirkman Labs
Sped special education
SSA Social Security Administration
SSD Social Security Disability
SSDI Social Security Disability Income
SSI Supplemental Security Income
SSRI Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (class of meds, incl: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox.)
SST Student Study Team (used in CA)
STAART Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment
STRANS Survey of Teenage Readiness And Neurodevelopmental Status
TACA Talk About Curing Autism
TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
TEACCH Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Disorders
TEC Transitional Employment Consultant
TMG TriMethylGlycine (see also DMG)
TMH Trainable Mentally Handicapped
TOPL Test of Pragmatic Language
TS Tourette’s Syndrome
TS Tuberous Sclerosis
TSS Therapeutic Support Staff
VAERs Vaccine Adverse Experience Reports (published by FDA)
VB Verbal Behavior
VE Varying Exceptionalities
Voc-Ed Vocational Education
VQ Verbal IQ
VR Vocational Rehabilitation
WAIS Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (an IQ test)
WIIA Work Incentives Initiative Act
WISC Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (an IQ test)
WPPSI Weschler Preschool Primary - testing for under age 6
YO Year Old