Glossary

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Satiation
The state of being satisfactorily full and unable to take on more. Giving one reinforcer often can lead to the student becoming tired of it and the reinforcer losing its effectiveness.

Self-Injurious Behaviour (SIB)
Behaviours that are harmful to oneself, such as head-banging or scratching or biting oneself. 

Self Stimulatory or Self Stimulation
To rouse to activity or heightened action, excite; to increase temporarily the activity of (a body organ or part); to excite or invigorate (a person, for example) with a stimulant; such as rocking, flapping hands (See stimming or stim).

Sensory
Of or relating to the senses or sensation; transmitting impulses from sense organs to nerve centres.

Shaping
Reinforcing the approximation of behaviour; for example, a child learning to speak may say “bah” when requested to repeat the word “ball”. When first teaching, you would reinforce the approximation of the word. 

Serotonin
A neurotransmitter that plays a part in communication within the nervous system; the level of serotonin measured in individuals with ASD is sometimes higher than that in typical people. 

SI (Sensory Integration)
Sensory integration is a neurological process that occurs in all of us. We all take in sensory information from our bodies and the world around us. Our brains are programmed to organize or “integrate” this sensory information to make it meaningful to us. This integration allows us to respond automatically, efficiently, and comfortably in response to the specific sensory input we receive.

Special Education (Special Ed or Spec Ed)
Instruction or education that is required to meet the needs of children with special needs that cannot be supplied through some modification in the regular education program

Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP)
A registered professional with a Master's degree in the assessment and treatment of communication disorders; skills include assessment and intervention planning and implementation; may provide consultation to communication helpers in a variety of settings.

Stereotypical
Conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image; action that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.

Stim or Stimming
Short for self-stimulation, like rocking or tapping.

Stimuli
Objects, actions, or conditions that draw out an activity or response. 
Stimulus
Something causing or regarded as causing a response; agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response; something that incites or rouses to action; an incentive.

Stimulus/Discriminative (SD)
Request or Antecedent portion of one discrete trail.

Stress
Mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression (note that stress can result from positive feelings as well as negative).

Syndrome
A cluster of symptoms that occur together and can be taken as indicative of a particular disorder.

Task Analysis
Process of breaking a skill down into smaller steps.

Theory of Mind
The ability to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own. 

Therapy
Treatment; in ASD, sometimes also referred to as ‘intervention’.

VB (Verbal Behaviour)
Method of treatment for children with ASD based upon B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behaviour.

Variable Ratio (in reinforcement) 
Reinforcers are distributed based on the average number of correct behaviours. A variable ratio of 1:3 means that on average, one out of every three behaviours will be rewarded.

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