Glossary

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DD (Developmental Disability)
A severe, chronic disability of a person five years of age or older which is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental or physical impairments; is manifested before the person attains age twenty-two; is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more areas of major life activity.

Developmental
Having to do with the steps or stages in growth and development, the act of developing.

Developmental Delay
Used to describe the development of children who are not able to perform the skills other children of the same age are typically able to perform; another term for mental retardation.

Developmentally Disabled
See “DD”.

DH (Developmentally Handicapped)
Children with intellectual functioning that is significantly below average and with deficits in adaptive behaviour, which include a child's ability to take care of himself independently and communicate with others; these traits must have been present at birth or when the child was young and must affect his or her current functioning; children with developmental handicaps used to be referred to as "mentally retarded".

Diagnosis (DX, Dx)
The act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data; opinion derived from such an evaluation.

Discrete Trial Methods
Term used for some behavioural methods, for example, the Lovaas Method (discrete trial training, discrete trial teaching, discrete trial therapy). See “ABA”.

Discrimination: Differential response to two or more stimuli. E.G. Student in an ABA program is able to choose a requested item from 3 or more items in total.

DSM-III, DSM-III-R, & DSM-IV
Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals.

DSM-IV
Fourth edition of the manual published by the American Psychiatric Association to set forth diagnostic criteria, descriptions and other information to guide the classification and diagnosis of mental disorders.

DTT
Discrete Trial Teaching (see “ABA”).

Dx or dx
See “Diagnosis”.

Dysfunction
Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or social group.

Echolalia
Repetition of words or phrases; may occur immediately after the phrase has been said, or may be delayed and occur some time afterward.

Error
Incorrect response to SD.

Escape
Behavioural response that occurs after specific stimuli are presented. E.G. Child attempts to leave program area when presented with a task he or she does not wish to undertake.

Etiology: Cause or origin of disorder as determined by medical diagnosis.

Expressive Language: Speech; output.

Extinction
Eliminating or decreasing behaviour by removing reinforcement from it.

Extinction Burst
Increase in behaviour when access to a reinforcer or reinforcing behaviour is denied during Extinction. A tantrum might escalate in intensity or duration; typically a sign that the intervention is effective.

Fight-Flight-Fright
A set of physiological changes, such as increases in heart rate, arterial blood pressure, and blood glucose, initiated by the sympathetic nervous system to mobilize body systems in response to stress; stress response

Fixed Ratio
(In reinforcement) if a behaviour is performed X number of times, there will be one reinforcement on the Xth performance. For a fixed ratio of 1:3, every third behaviour will be rewarded.

Functional Analysis of Behaviour (Functional Assessment)
The examining of behaviours to determine what happens before, during and after behaviours occur. Behaviours are examined in terms of the purposes and functions they serve for the individual who exhibits them. Also known informally as an ABC Assessment (A=Antecedent, B=Behaviour, C=Consequence).

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