The world of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) is full of acronyms.  Here we’ve listed many of the common ones in use by medical, therapeutic and educational professionals.

Acronym: AAC

Name: Assistive Augmentative Communication

Definition: A speech-language therapists’ term for communication using a picture board or recorded messages activated by buttons, etc.

Acronym: ABA

Name: Applied Behavior Analysis


Acronym: ADA

Name: Americans with Disabilities Act

Definition: US Federal law governing the rights of persons with disabilities with regard to employment and other issues

Acronym: ADD

Name: Attention Deficit Disorder


Acronym: ADHA

Name: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Acronym: ADI

Name: Autism Diagnostic Interview

Definition: Diagnostic scale for autism.

Acronym: ADOS

Name: Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale

Definition: Autism diagnostic tool

Acronym: AGRE

Name: Autism Genetic Resource Exchange

Definition: Program that collects and reviews DNA samples

Acronym: AIA Network

Name: Autism, Intolerance and Allergy Network

Definition: Goup looking at issues of autism and food allergies

Acronym: AIT

Name: Auditory Integration Training


Acronym: ANDI

Name: Autism Network for Dietary Intervention


Acronym: ARI

Name: Autism Research Institute


Acronym: ARRI

Name: Autism Research Review International

Definition: newsletter

Acronym: AS

Name: Asperger Syndrome


Acronym: ASA

Name: Autism Society of America


Acronym: ASD

Name: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Definition: Refers to the group of autism diagnosis

Acronym: ASL

Name: American Sign Language


Acronym: AUTCOM

Name: Autism National Committee

Definition: Organization dedicated to social justice

Acronym: CAN

Name: Cure Autism Now

Definition: Autism advocacy organization now part of Autism Speaks

Acronym: CARS

Name: Childhood Autism Rating Scale

Definition: Autism rating scale/diagnostic tool

Acronym: CDC

Name: Center for Disease Control


Acronym: CF

Name: Casein Free


Acronym: DAN

Name: Defeat Autism Now


Acronym: DAS

Name: Developmental Apraxia of Speech


Acronym: DD

Name: Developmental Disabilities

Definition: Term used to refer to all developmental disabilities including autism

Acronym: DDS

Name: Department of Developmental Services

Definition: CT state agency

Acronym: DMG

Name: Dimethylglycine

Definition: Amino acid used in autism treatment

Acronym: DSM

Name: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

Definition: Book listing the criteria for autism disgnosis. Currently edition IV-R.

Acronym: DSS

Name: Department of Social Services

Definition: CT State Agency

Acronym: DTI

Name: Discrete Trial Intervention

Definition: A method of teaching based on behavioral techniques breaking content into small chunks and teaching individual tasks through trials. See also DTT

Acronym: DTT

Name: Discrete Trial Training

Definition: A method of teaching based on behavioral techniques breaking content into small chunks and teaching individual tasks through trials. See also DTI

Acronym: DVD

Name: Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia

Definition: See Developental Apraxia of Speech (DAS)

Acronym: EAHCA

Name: Education for All Hanidcapped Children Act

Definition: The original name of IDEA

Acronym: EEG

Name: Electroencephalogram

Definition: Test used to detect seizures

Acronym: EFA

Name: Essential Fatty Acids


Acronym: ELAP

Name: Early Learning Accomplishments Profile

Definition: Evaluation Checklist

Acronym: FAPE

Name: Free and Appropriate Public Education


Acronym: FC

Name: Facilitated Communication


Acronym: FEAT

Name: Families for Early Autism Treatment

Definition: Autism advocacy organization dedicated to applied behavioral analysis and techniques as intervention for autism

Acronym: GARS

Name: Gilliam Autism Rating Scale

Definition: Autism rating scale/checklist for diagnosis

Acronym: GF

Name: Gluten free


Acronym: HFA

Name: High Functioning Autism

Definition: Descriptive term for someone with autism who usually has language skills and intact IQ

Acronym: ID

Name: Intellectually Disabled

Definition: The more appropriate term for someone with an IQ of less than 70.

Acronym: IDEA

Name: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Definition: The federal law that governs special education.

Acronym: IEP

Name: Individualized Education Plan

Definition: The plan that is developed by the team (IEP team or PPT team) that describes the educational programming for a child with a disability

Acronym: IFSP

Name: Individualized Family Service Plan

Definition: The plan put together in the Birth-3 system for services to be provided to a child under the age of 3 with a disability

Acronym: LCSW

Name: Licensed Clinical Social Worker


Acronym: LD

Name: Learning Disability or Learning Disabled


Acronym: LKS

Name: Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Definition: A specific neurological disorder

Acronym: LRE

Name: Least Restrictive Environment

Definition: Under the law (IDEA), children must be educated in the LRE for that child.

Acronym: M-CHAT

Name: Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers

Definition: Autism screening tool

Acronym: MR

Name: Mentally Retarded

Definition: Usually refers to a person with an IQ of under 70. More appropriately referred to as ID (intellectually disabled)

Acronym: MRI

Name: Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Acronym: MSDD

Name: MultiSystem Developmental Disorder

Definition: Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s term for autism-like symptoms

Acronym: NAS

Name: National Autistic Society

Definition: UK advocacy organization

Acronym: NICHCY

Name: National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities


Acronym: NIH

Name: National Institutes of Health


Acronym: NIMH

Name: National Institutes for Mental Health


Acronym: NOS

Name: Not Otherwise Specified

Definition: Part of PDD-NOS an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis

Acronym: NT

Name: Neuro-typical

Definition: Used to describe a person who does not have an autism spectrum disorder

Acronym: OCD

Name: Obssessive Compulsive Disorder


Acronym: OCR

Name: Office for Civil Rights

Definition: US Government agency, part of Health and Human Services, that deals with discrimination and civil rights.

Acronym: ODD

Name: Oppositional Defiant Disorder


Acronym: OT

Name: Occupational therapy/therapist


Acronym: PANDAS

Name: Pediatric Autoimmune Disorders Associated with Strep


Acronym: PDD

Name: Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Definition: An umbrella term – autism disorders are part of the larger category of pervasive developmental disorders

Acronym: PDD-NOS

Name: Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified

Definition: A specific autism diagnosis

Acronym: PECS

Name: Picture Exchange Communication System


Acronym: PEP

Name: Psycho-educational profile

Definition: A profile of a child’s educational issues

Acronym: PPT

Name: Planning and Placement Team

Definition: The CT term for the IEP team

Acronym: PRT

Name: Pivotal Response Training


Acronym: PT

Name: Physical Therapy/Therapist


Acronym: SI

Name: Sensory Integration


Acronym: SIB

Name: self-injurious behavior


Acronym: SID

Name: Sensory Integration Disorder


Acronym: SLP

Name: Speech -Language Pathologist

Definition: A person trained to diagnose and treat speech and language disorders

Acronym: SSI

Name: Social Security Income


Acronym: SSRI

Name: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor


Acronym: TEACCH

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


Acronym: TS

Name: Tourette’s Syndrome


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