Common Acronyms Used in Autism


All contents of this resource were created for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, therapist, or other qualified health providers with any questions or concerns you may have.


AAC – Augmentative and Alternative Communication

ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis

ABC – Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence

ABLLS – Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills test

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act

ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

AIT – Auditory Integration Therapy

APD – Auditory Processing Disorder

APE – Adaptive Physical Education

ASD – Autistic Spectrum Disorder

AT – Assistive Technology

ATEC – Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist


BBRS – Burks Behavior Rating Scales

BCBA – Board Certified Behavioral Analyst

BD – Behavioral Disorder

BED – Body Ecology Diet

BIP – Behavior Intervention Plan

BSC – Behavior Specialist Consultant


CAPD – Central Auditory Processing Disorder

CARD – Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

CARS – Childhood Autism Rating Scale

CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CD – Conduct Disorder

CF – Casein Free

CFD – Cerebral Folate Deficiency

CI – Community Integration

CLA – Community Living Arrangement

CMMS – Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

CPT – Current Procedural Terminology (procedure codes used for insurance billing)

CVPD – Central Vision Processing Disorder


DAS – Developmental Apraxia of Speech

DAS – Differential Abilities Scales

DCD – Development Coordination Disorder

DD – Department of Disabilities/Developmentally Delayed/Developmental Disorder

DDD – Department of Developmental Disabilities

DH – Developmentally Handicapped

DHHS – Department of Health and Human Services

DIR – Developmental, Individual-differences, Relationship-based Model

DREDF – Disability Rights Education Defense Fund

DS – Developmental Services

DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (by the American Psychiatric Association)

DTT – Discrete Trial Training

DX – Diagnosis, diagnosed


EBD – Emotional Behavioral Disorder

ECI – Early Childhood Intervention

ECSE – Early Childhood Special Education

ED – Emotionally Disturbed

EFA – Essential Fatty Acids

EFD – Executive Functioning Disorder

EH – Emotionally Handicapped

EI – Early Intervention

EIBI – Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention

EMF – Electromagnetic Field

EMH – Educable Mentally Handicapped

EPSDT – Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Medicaid Program)

ESY – Extended School Year


FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education

FBA – Functional Behavioral Assessment

FC – Facilitated Communication

FCT – Functional Communication Training

FDSS – Family Driven Support Services

FERPA – Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act

fMRI – Functional MRI (examines the brain’s functional anatomy)

FMT – Fecal Mucosal Transplant – also called MTT (Microbiota Transfer Therapy)

FSP – Family Support Plan

FSS – Family Support Services

FXS – Fragile X Syndrome


GAF – Global Assessment of Functioning Scale

GARS – Gilliam Autism Rating Scale

GF – Gluten Free

GFCF – Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet

GFCFSF – Gluten-free, Casein-Free, Soy-Free Diet

GI – Gastrointestinal


HCBW – Home and Community Based Waiver


IACC – Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

IBD – Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

ICF – Intermediate Care Facility (Medicaid benefit)

ID – Intellectual Disability

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEE – Independent Educational Evaluation

IEP – Individualized Education Plan/Individualized Education Program

IFSP – Individualized Family Service Plan

IHP – Individualized Habilitation Program

IQ – Intelligence Quotient


LD – Learning Disability, Learning Disabled

LEA – Local Education Agency

LOD – Low Oxalate Diet

LRE – Least Restrictive Environment


M-CHAT – Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers

MFE – Multi-Factored Evaluation

MNRI – Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration

MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MSDD – Multisystem Developmental Disorder

MTT – Microbiota Transfer Therapy – also called FMT (Fecal Mucosal Transplant)

NLD/NVLD – Nonverbal Learning Disability


NT – Neurotypical


OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder

OHI – Other Health Impairment

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 Therapy/Therapist

OVR – Office of Vocational Rehabilitation


PALS – Peer-Assisted Learning System

PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep

PANS – Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome

PBS – Positive Behavioral Supports

PDD – Pervasive Developmental Disorder (with the release of the DSM-5, PDD is now considered an autism spectrum disorder)

PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System

PLAAFP – Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

PLOP/PLP – Present Levels of Performance

POA – Power of Attorney

PROMPT – Speech therapy technique used to teach individuals how to correctly move their jaw, lips, and tongue in order to form words.

PRT – Pivotal Response Training

PT – Physical Therapy/Therapist

PWN – Prior Written Notice


QEEG – Quantitative Electroencephalogram


RDI – Relationship Developmental Intervention

RPM – Rapid Prompting Method

RTI – Response to Intervention


S2C – Spelling to Communicate

SCD – Specific Carbohydrate Diet

SIB – Self-injurious behavior

SLP – Speech and Language Pathologist

SM – Selective Mutism

SPD – Sensory Processing Disorder

SPED – Special Education

SPM – Sensory Processing Measure

SSD – Social Security Disability

SSDI – Social Security Disability Income

SSI – Supplemental Security Income


TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury

TOPL – Test of Pragmatic Language


VB – Verbal Behavior

VMI – Beery Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration

Voc-Ed – Vocational Education

VQ – Verbal IQ

VR – Vocational Rehabilitation


WAIS – Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

WIOA – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

WISC – Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

WPPSI – Weschler Preschool Primary  (evaluation for children less than six years old)


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