ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis): A very intensive behavioral modification therapy. Lovaas is the most popular form.
Absence Seizure: A type of generalized seizure usually seen in children. It is characterized by staring and specific changes on the electroencephalograph (EEG). Most children with proper treatment outgrow these seizures.
ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A condition diagnosed in children and adults characterized by excessive motor activity, impulsivity, distractibility and inattention. Some children with ADHD may have problems primarily with their attention span
Agnosia: This is a term meaning 'lack of knowledge' applied to cognitive deficits in various areas. Pure word agnosia for instance, is a condition where one cannot interpret the meaning of a particular word even if the sound of that word is heard.
Apraxia: An inability to perform a command although one may have the strength or general cognitive ability to do so. There are various kinds of apraxia such as verbal apraxia or construction apraxia.
Ataxia: A type of clumsiness that can be due to side effects from medication, seizures, brain infection or various other causes. New onset of ataxia should always be evaluated medically.
Asperger's syndrome: A high functioning form of autism where an individual typically has normal to above normal intelligence. The individual typically has narrowed interests and may be very clumsy.
Aura: A sort of warning sign that indicates a person is about to have a seizure or migraine headache. An aura can be represented for instance, by an abnormal visual change or strange feeling.
Automatism: Involuntary movements which accompany seizures, such as chewing, fumbling at a button, or pulling on clothes.
Casein: A protein found in dairy products. Some children with autism and related disorders improve when casein is completely removed from their diet. click here
Catamenial: Related to a woman's monthly period. Catamenial headaches and seizures refer respectively to headaches and seizures that are produced with the monthly cycle.
Chelation: A treatment in which a drug is administered orally, intravenously or transdermally to remove heavy metals (e.g. mercury, lead, etc.) from the body.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): A tracing of brain waves, used to search for epileptic spikes and abnormal slowing. A normal EEG does not rule out seizures. click here
Encephalopathy: A term used by neurologists to indicate brain disease or dysfunction from any number of causes. Static Encephalopathy refers to non-progressive or static conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Epilepsy: Recurrent seizures that are unprovoked (see definition of seizures below).
Gluten: A protein found in wheat, oat, and barley. Some children with autism improve when this is removed from their diet. click here
Iatrogenic: A harmful condition caused by improper medical treatment. Side effects from medication are among the most common iatrogenic conditions.
Macrocephaly: A larger than normal head size/circumference.
Meningitis: An inflammation of the coverings of the brain.
Microcephaly: A smaller than normal head size/circumference.
Mind-blindness: A theory pertaining to mental deficiencies in autism. According to this theory, individuals with autism are unable to perceive the emotions and thoughts of others.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A type of neuroimaging that is the gold standard for evaluating structural problems in the brain and other organs.click here
Neurologist: A brain specialist involved in the diagnosis and medical treatment of brain, spinal and muscular disorders.
Neurosurgeon: A brain specialist involved in the surgical treatment of brain and spine related disorders.
PDD: Pervasive Developmental Disorders. A term used to describe a class of conditions that relate to autism, ie. Rett syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Asperger's syndrome and Pervasive disorder not otherwise specified.
Pica: The habit of eating inedible things such as dirt, paper and other objects.
Placebo: An inert substance that when taken has therapeutic affects.
Psychogenic: Pertaining to the mind or psychological factors. Psychogenic disorders are ones that arise from an underlying emotional problem that gives rise to stress.
Psychologist: A specialist who treats mental dysfunctions. They are not licenced to prescribe medication but can use a variety of therapies to treat mental symptoms.
Psychiatrist: A brain specialist who treats mental disorders. Unlike psychologists, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor and therefore prescribes medications.
Seizure: An involuntary change in neurological function (e.g. jerking) caused by an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain.