Okay, I began thinking that I’m probably somewhat jaded with the terminology associated with autism, biomedical intervention, therapy and the like. On that note, I felt a glossary of sorts might help people sort things out regarding treatment options and ideas. If some of this seems elementary, keep in mind I am trying to make this as simple as possible. These are in no particular order, although I may edit and alphabetize them in the future.

Nutritional supplement – vitamins, enzymes, transfer factor, probiotics, most antivirals and antifungals that are not prescribed by a physician.

Homeopathic, homeopathic remedy – any preparation made according to homeopathic rules, typically not recommended for use unless under the care of a homeopath or naturopathic doctor

Prescription drug – any drug prescribed by a physician

OTC drug – over the counter drug, no prescription necessary

Vitamins – nutritional supplements that are either single or mulitple vitamins to supplement intake

ND – naturopathic doctor

GFCF – Gluten Free Casein Free diet, very popular in the ASD community.  Variants are GF for gluten free and CF for casein free.

SCD – Specific Carbohydrate diet, and specialized and restrictive diet designed to help find out what allergies are present

Feingold – an ADHD diet that removes food additives and salicylates to treat ADHD and certain ASD behaviors by removing irritants and allergic material

Now let’s talk about some therapies.  I know the ASD savvy will know most of these, but this is also for folks who don’t know anything.

OT – occupational therapy

SI -Sensory Integration, a specialization in the OT field

Sensory Diet – certain sensory activities done on a regular basis to help overcome emotional and physical sensory processing difficulties

PT – physical therapy

Speech – speech therapy

ABA – Applied Behavioral Analysis, a type of behavioral therapy, currently the gold standard in ASD treatment

DIR, DIR/Floortime – Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based approach, another type of behavioral therapy

RDI – Relationship Development Intervention, yet another type of behavioral therapy

Now let me put some of it in perspective.  I chose these terms because

A) the were the first ones that came to mind, and

B) we use most of these terms in our household and chatting with our friends about autism and ASD.

First off, the biomedical terms are especially useful when dealing with nutrition.  For example, My son Raymond is on a CF diet and takes no prescription or OTC drugs.  We are starting Feingold at the beginning of January, but will still remain CF.  Raymond takes specific, measured amounts of nutritional supplements, homeopathics and vitamins under the care of his pediatrician. His pediatrician is not an ND or homeopath, but has received training in both areas and uses them regularly in her practice.

Obviously knowing the code is half the battle when talking about autism and ASD.  Now let’s talk about therapies.  Once again, I will use my son as an example.  Raymond attends speech and OT with local practitioners. His OT specializes in SI and has given us a sensory diet to help Raymond develop and maintain his emotional stability and self regulate. We also use DIR/Floortime to help Raymond better understand communication and how it works.  We considered ABA and RDI, but felt that DIR was the best alternative for him based on his function level, play style and ability to overcome challenges.

Naturally, there are a thousand more terms I’d like to put in here, but I feel like this post is long enough.  I’ll be throwing some more posts like these in my blog, as well as exploring these therapies and why we chose the therapies we use, but for now I’ve got to go chase after my son before he dumps another container of syrup on his trains!

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