Glossary of Terms

In the Autism world, MANY acronyms are used and we understand this can be completely foreign and confusing. We have compiled an alphabetical list of commonly used acronyms and will work to keep the list up to date. Feel free to reach out with updates!


AAC: Assistive Augmentative Communication

ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis
ABC: Autism Behavior Checklist – a diagnostic tool
ACA: Affordable Care Act
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADI: Autism Diagnostic Interview
ADOS: Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale
AGRE: Autism Genetic Resource Exchange

AIA: Autism, Intolerance and Allergy Network

AIT: Auditory Integration Training
ANDI: Autism Network for Dietary Intervention

ARI: Autism Research Institute

AS: Asperger Syndrome

ASA: Autism Society of America
ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASL: American Sign Language

AUTCOM: Autism National Committee

BCaBA: Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst
BCAT: Board Certified Autism Technician
BCBA: Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst
BCBA-D: Board Certified Behavior Analyst PhD

BICC: Behavioral Intervention Certification Council
BIP: Behavior Intervention Plan
BT: Behavior Technician
CAN: Cure Autism Now

CARS: Childhood Autism Rating Scale|
CBCL: Achenbach Childhood Behavior Checklist – a diagnostic tool
CBS: Center Based Session
CDC: Center for Disease Control

CE: Continuing Education
CHAT: Checklist for Autism in Toddlers – a diagnostic tool
CHIP: Individual’s Health Insurance Program
DAS: Developmental Apraxia of Speech

DD: Developmental Disabilities
DDS: Department of Developmental Services

DMG: Dimethylglycine (Amino acid sometimes used in autism treatment)

DSM:Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

DVD: Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia
DTI: Discrete Trial Intervention

DTT: Discrete Trial Training
EAHCA: Education for All Handicapped Children Act - (The original name of IDEA).

EEG: Electroencephalogram
ELAP: Early Learning Accomplishment Profile - (Evaluation Checklist).
EHB: Essential Health Benefits
EIBI: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
EO: Establishing Operation
EPSDT: Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Testing
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education
FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FBA: Functional Behavioral Assessment
FBI: Fluency-Based Instruction
FC: Facilitated Communication
FCT: Facilitated Communication Training
FEAT: Families for Early Autism Treatment - (Autism Advocacy organization dedicated to applied behavioral analysis and techniques as intervention for autism).

GARS: Gilliam Autism Rating Scale - (Autism rating scale/checklist for diagnosis).
GF:Gluten Free

HFA: High Functioning Autism

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
IBT: Institute for Behavioral Training
ID: Intellectually Disabled

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - (The federal law that governs special education.)
IEP: Individualized Education Program
IOA: Interobserver Agreement
IFSP: Individualized Family Service Plan
IHP: Individualized Habilitation Program
IMR: Independent Medical Review
INS: Insurance
IPP: Individual Program Plan
IRO: Independent Review Organization
LBA: Licensed Behavior Analyst
LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
LD: Learning Disability or Learning Disabled

LEA: Licensed Education Agency
LKS: Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (A specific neurological disorder).

LRE: Least Restrictive Environment (Under the law (IDEA), children must be educated in the LRE for that child).
M-CHAT: Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers - (Autism screening tool).

MHPAEA: Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
MOOP: Maximum Out of Pocket
MSDD: Multi-System Developmental Disorder - (Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s term for autism-like symptoms).
NAS: National Autistic Society - (UK advocacy organization).

NET: Natural Environment Training
NICHCY: National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

NT: Neurologically Typical or Neurotypical - (Used to describe a person who does not have an autism spectrum disorder).
NOS: Not Otherwise Specified - (Part of PDD-NOS an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis).
OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCR: Office for Civil Rights - (US Government agency, part of Health and Human Services, that deals with discrimination and civil rights.).

ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
OEP: Open Enrollment Period
OT: Occupational Therapy/Therapist
PDD: Pervasive Developmental Disorder
PDDBI: Pervasive Developmental Disorder Behavior Inventory
PDD-NOS: Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
PECS: Picture Exchange Communication System
PEP: Psycho-educational Profile - (Profile of a child’s educational issues).
PEP-R: Psycho-educational Profile Revised
PHI: Protected Health Information
PRT: Pivotal Response Training
PSI: Parent Stress Index
PT: Physical Therapy/Therapist
RBT: Registered Behavior Technician
RM: Reliable Measurement
SAS: Specialized Autism Services
SD: School District
SI: Sensory Integration
SIB: Self-Injurious Behavior
SID: Sensory Integration Disorder

SIT: Sensory Integration Therapy

SLP: Speech-Language Pathologist - (A person trained to diagnose and treat speech and language disorders).

SSI: Social Security Income

ST: Speech Therapy/Therapist

Stereotypy (stimming) : Frequent repetition of the same, typically purposeless movement, gesture, posture, or vocal sounds or utterances.

TEACCH: Treatment and Edcuation of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children

TS: Tourette’s Syndrome

Sources: CARD, ASRC, Merriam-Webster

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