Some Words You Need To Know About Autism

*** NOTE: On this website we use the word Autism and ASD but most questions apply to all Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD):

This is a disorder where a person isn't able to focus on the task at hand and often has impulsive or challenging behaviors. There are three subtypes:

o ADHD- Hyperactive

o ADHD- Inattentive

o ADHD=combined type

Asperger's Syndrome (AS):

This is a disorder on the autism spectrum where a person has relatively normal speech and social difficulties. A child may not be diagnosed until they are older. This diagnosis is now part of the Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):

This is a collection of disorders where a person might have symptoms such as poor verbal ability and social difficulties. It now includes PDD, Aspergers, HFA and classical autism.


A person who identifies themselves as having Asperger's syndrome (usually used by someone who has been diagnosed with the syndrome)


A person who holds a degree in audiology and is a specialist in testing hearing and /or hearing loss. A certified audiologist will have the letters CCC-A or FAAA behind their name.


The verbal repetition of words or phrases without using those words for functional communication or meaning. Some younger children with ASD will be echolalic before they begin to speak in sentences. Sometimes, echolalia includes the repetition of commercials or TV shows that the child is interested in.

Fine Motor Skills:

Movements that involve smaller movements like writing, drawing, and buttoning a coat.

Gross Motor Skills:

Movements that involve larger muscle groups such as walking, jumping, and running.

High Functioning Autism:

Like Aspergers, it has been folded into the larger diagnosis of ASD. It denotes a person with autism who has at least average intelligence.


A person with autism who has an unusual and specific area of intelligence, often in the area of math, artistic ability, memorization, or musical skills. This is present in approximately 10 percent of people with autism.

Self Stimulating/Self Soothing:

Repetitive behaviors like hand flapping, spinning wheels, or seeking pressure as a method of self-calming. Sometimes referred to as "stims."

Speech and Language Therapy:

Therapy designed to improve pronunciation (speech) and functional communication (language).