Glossary

(ADHD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobiological condition affecting 5-8% of school age children with symptoms persisting into adulthood in as many as 60% of cases (i.e. approximately 4% of adults). It is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity (CHADD).

(AS) Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome exhibit social awkwardness and problems with commucation and social skills. Perhaps the most striking feature of this disorder is an all-absorbing (at times obsessive) interest in specific topics. Children with AS typically gather enormous amounts of information about their favorite subjects and seize every opportunity to learn more and talk about them, incessantly if given an audience. AS is one of a number of conditions that fall along the autism spectrum, with AS at the milder end and severe autism at the other. It has been estimated that two out of every 10,000 children has Asperger’s, and boys are three to four times as likely as girls to have the disorder. (NCLD)

Autism

Autism is a neurobiological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of three. Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism can have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and/ or unusual, repetitive, or limited activities or interests (National Institute of Neurobiological Disorders and Stroke).

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/ or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (IDA).

(LD) Learning Disability

A learning disability (LD) is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. The term learning disability is used to describe the seemingly unexplained difficulty a person of at least average intelligence has in acquring basic academic skills. These skills are essential for success at school and work, and for coping with life in general. LD is not a single disorder. It is a term that refers to a group of disorders (NCLD).

(ODD) Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) may describe a child or teen with a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behaviors toward you and other authority figures. The child’s behavior often disrupts the child’s normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school. As many as one in ten children may have ODD in a lifetime (Mayo Clinic).

(OT) Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling conditions. Occupational therapists use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients. The therapist helps clients not only improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanant loss of function. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections).

Performance Anxiety

A state or condition of nervousness or fear which prevents or adversely affects the activity being attempted.

Speech/Language Therapy

Treatment of speech defects and disorders, especially through use of exercises and audio-visual aids that develop new speech habits.