Thursday, January 19, 2023

A List of Autism Acronyms You Should Know

A list of autism acronyms and what they stand for. Includes other neurodiversity and disability related acronyms, as well as hyperlexia specific ones.

I'm really not a fan of using acronyms, simply because they can be confusing and unclear. It's not always easy to figure out what those acronyms they stand for. 

After all, certain acronyms can have multiple meanings because they're used in multiple niches and/or different communities or contexts. So, they might mean one thing in the autistic space and something else entirely in another community.

Acronyms can also be frustrating for those who are new to these spaces or communities. It's another thing they have to quickly learn, on top of everything else. For instance, you'll regularly see questions like "What is AAC?" or "What is ABA?" from new members in autism communities (don't worry those acronyms are included below if they're new to you).

Then there are region specific acronyms. For instance, where I live, we don't have Individualized Education Plans or IEPs. We have Inclusion and Intervention Plans or IIPs. 

I know that it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of the different autism acronyms. Thankfully, you've now got this list of common acronyms from the neurodiversity, disability, and autism communities to help you keep them all straight.

A list of common autism acronyms and what they stand for

In case you don't know, FYI means For Your Information. While it's not an autism acronym, the whole idea behind this article is to provide you with information. So that's a bit behind why I selected the stock photo that I did.

Neurodiversity, Disability, & Autism Acronyms List

Below you will find a list of some of the most common acronyms used in autism and hyperlexia communities, as well as some other neurodiversity or disability related acronyms. Some acronyms for common co-occurring conditions are also included.

Some of the acronyms are specific to certain countries or regions around the world and some are more universal and used worldwide. I've indicated country specific ones in parentheses as needed. You might notice lots of Canadian acronyms because, well, I'm Canadian.

It's also important to note that some of the acronyms below are used in the broader disability community and aren't necessarily autism specific. However, the goal here was to highlight the most common acronyms that you might encounter in autism support groups or autistic spaces.

Please note that I've also included acronyms that may be considered outdated, problematic, offensive, and/or harmful (e.g., HFA, AS, PDD-NOS), but may still be used from time to time for various reasons (e.g., that was the diagnostic label they were given, they're new and haven't yet learned why those terms may be problematic, etc.). 

Remember, this list is just to help you make sense of the acronyms you may come across so it is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are likely lots of acronyms that I've missed.

0-9

  • 1:1: One-to-one aide or caregiver
  • 2e: Twice-exceptional
  • 504: Section 504 Plan (US)

A-B

  • AA: Actually Autistic
  • AAC: Alternative and Augmentative Communication
  • ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis
  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act (US)
  • ADD/ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • ADOS: Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale
  • AOS: Apraxia of Speech
  • APD: Auditory Processing Disorder
  • ARFID: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • AS: Asperger's Syndrome
  • ASC: Autism Spectrum Condition
  • ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • AT: Assistive Technology
  • BCBA: Board Certified Behavior Analysis

C-F

  • CAS: Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  • DD: Developmental Delay
  • DTC: Disability Tax Credit (CAN)
  • DSM: Diagnostic Statistical Manual
  • Dx: Diagnosis or diagnosed
  • DYX: Dyslexia
  • EA: Educational Assistant (CAN)
  • ECI: Early Childhood Intervention
  • ECIP: Early Childhood Intervention Program (CAN)
  • ED: Executive Dysfunction
  • EDS: Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome
  • EHCP: Education Health & Care Plan (UK)
  • EI: Early Intervention

G-K

  • GAD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • GLP: Gestalt Language Processing or Processor
  • GT: Gifted and Talented
  • HFA: High Functioning Autism
  • HL/HxL: Hyperlexia or Hyperlexic Learner
  • ID: Intellectual Disability
  • IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (US)
  • IEP: Individualized Education Plan or Program (US and some places in CAN)
  • IFL: Identity-First Language (e.g., autistic person)
  • IIP: Inclusion & Intervention Plan or Individualized Instructional Plan (CAN)
  • IQ: Intelligence Quotient

L-O

  • LD: Learning Disability
  • LFA: Low Functioning Autism
  • ND: Neurodivergent (sometimes neurodiverse, depending on context)
  • NDIS: National Disability Insurance Scheme (AUS)
  • NLA: Natural Language Acquisition
  • NLD/NVLD: Nonverbal Learning Disability
  • NT: Neurotypical
  • OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • OT: Occupational Therapy or Therapist

P-R

  • PANDAS: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep
  • PDD-NOS: Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
  • PECS: Picture Exchange Communication System
  • PDA: Pathological Demand Avoidance
  • PFL: Person-First Language (e.g., person with autism)
  • PT: Physical Therapy or Therapist
  • RDSP: Registered Disability Savings Plan (CAN)
  • RT: Resource Teacher (CAN)

S-Z

  • SCD/SPCD: Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder
  • SEN: Special Educational Needs
  • SENCO: Special Education Needs Coordinator (UK)
  • SEND: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (UK)
  • SI: Sensory Integration
  • SLP: Speech and Language Pathologist
  • SLT: Speech and Language Therapist
  • SPD: Sensory Processing Disorder
  • SPED: Special Education or Educator
  • ST: Speech Therapy or Therapist
  • TA: Teacher's Assistant or Teaching Assistant (CAN)
  • WAIS: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • WISC: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

I know that it can be hard to keep track of all of these different autism acronyms. But, hopefully, this list will be a good reference for you as you navigate autistic spaces and autism support groups.

Free printable list of acronyms related to autism, hyperlexia, & neurodiversity

Download the Free Printable List of Acronyms

Want to keep this list of autism acronyms handy? To get a copy of this printable list, click the link below.

>> Click here to download the free printable

A list of common autism acronyms and what they stand for

Continue reading "A List of Autism Acronyms You Should Know"

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Free Social Stories About Homework, Study Skills, & Tests

A collection of free social stories about homework, study skills, test anxiety, and other related skills. Printable and video social stories for kids, teens, and young adults are included below.

The other day it occurred to me that my kids probably don't really know how to study for a test simply because no one has specifically taught them or shown them how. 

Well, that and there hasn't really been a reason to really study for them yet. But as my oldest approaches high school, this skill set will become more important.

So, quite recently we talked about different ways to study. I showed my kids some different ways they could review their notes and how they could test their knowledge themselves in little ways. That kind of thing.

But I thought it would be helpful to look for some free social stories about homework, study skills, and taking a test to supplement as needed. And in case someone else might be in the same boat, trying to help their kids learn how to study.

Below you will find a variety of social stories about taking tests, what homework is, cheating and plagiarism, taking notes, writing a research paper or essay, and more. Hopefully you find these helpful!

Free social stories about homework, study skills, and tests

Free Social Stories About Homework, Study Skills, & Tests

Have you been looking for a social story about doing homework or a social story about test anxiety? Then look no further than these free printable study skills social stories. Some require you to have a Teachers Pay Teachers account (which is free!) before you can download them.

I've rounded up some options for you to explore. That way you find the best homework related social story for yourself or your child. Or you can simply use ideas from different stories below to write your own custom story (free social story templates here to help).

Please note that just because a social story is listed here does not mean I endorse its content. After all, many social stories tend to be poorly written and/or teach autistic masking. Besides, I haven't read all of these stories word for word myself. So please read through the stories carefully before using them.

1. 4 Homework Social Stories from Happy Learners - There are four text-only social stories here about doing homework. No images are included with these stories. The topics include what is homework, why you have to do homework, finding a routine for doing school work at home, and how to keep track of assignments and their due dates.

2. Social Story About Taking Tests at School from Social Stories: Power Tool for Autism - This story includes two clipart images. Otherwise, it's primarily text only. It talks about some test taking rules.

3. Cheating Social Story from Watson Institute - There are lots of stories here, but scroll down until you find the cheating one. It talks about test taking, asking for help, and what cheating is. It uses colorful clipart.

4. Social Stories for Tests & Homework from Watson Institute - There are a number of stories here. One topic that I'm glad to see here is "Sometimes Kids Don't Get 100%" as I know many kids struggle with that.

5. Completing School Work & Assignments Social Stories from Watson Institute - You'll find lots of relevant stories here. Topics include: completing assignments, completing school work, how to start work by myself, and completing work independently.

6. Doing Homework Social Story from Meghan Brice on TPT - This story comes as a PowerPoint so you should be able to edit it. It uses a mix of photos and clipart.

7. Taking a Test Social Story from Mathnolia on TPT - This story looks like it does a good job of explaining what a test is and the different types of tests a child might encounter. It appears to use primarily clipart.

8. Social Story About Taking Exams from Centre for Autism Middletown - Scroll to the bottom and you'll find a one page social story about taking exams. It includes one photo.

9. Avoiding Plagiarism Checklist from Laura Torres on TPT - Okay, it's not technically a social story. However, it's a great checklist for helping kids avoid plagiarism. It would be a great visual to have handy while doing homework or research papers.

Video Social Stories About Study Skills, Note Taking, & More

Here are some video social stories that talk about different aspects of homework, taking tests, and other relevant study skills. You can use these in teletherapy sessions, social skills groups, at home, and/or classroom settings. Videos are always a great alternative to printing off a story.

Like the stories above, some of the wording in these videos aren't always great. But I wanted to make sure you had lots of different options for helping yourself or your child understand different aspects of study skills and completing homework. Remember, many of these videos are geared towards different age groups.

I was surprised by how many free social stories about homework (and related study skills!) are actually out there. Hopefully you'll find one or two that will be useful for your needs.

Free social stories about homework, study skills, and tests

Continue reading "Free Social Stories About Homework, Study Skills, & Tests"

Monday, January 09, 2023

Free Social Stories About Using an AAC Device

A collection of free social stories about using an AAC device or iPad to communicate. Printable and video social stories for kids are included below.

Some people don't use mouth words to speak. They might be considered nonspeaking or minimally speaking. Or they might just like to supplement with alternative forms of communication in certain situations and it's a supplement to their verbal speech or mouth words. 

Instead, they might rely on other forms of communication other than oral speech, such as sign language, letter boards, technology, and/or something else entirely. These other forms of communication are called augmentative and alternative communication or AAC. 

Below you will find a variety of free social stories about using an AAC device. You can use these stories to introduce your child (or client, if you're a therapist) to using AAC to communicate.

Or you might even use a social story or two from this list with a child's siblings or classmates to explain different forms of communication to them.

Whatever the reason, I hope you find these AAC social stories useful, no matter who your target audience is.

Free social stories about using an AAC device to communicate

Free Social Stories About Using an AAC Device

Have you been looking for a social story about using an AAC device? Then look no further than these free printable social stories about AAC device use. Some require you to have a Teachers Pay Teachers account (which is free!) before you can download them.

I've rounded up some options for you to explore. That way you can find the best AAC related social story for you and your child. Or you can simply use ideas from different stories below to write your own custom story (free social story templates here to help).

Please note that just because a social story is listed here does not mean I endorse its content. After all, many social stories tend to be poorly written and/or teach autistic masking. Besides, I haven't read all of these stories word for word myself. So please read through the stories carefully before using them with your child.

It's also worth noting that there seems to be lots of really great paid options out there as well. The focus here, however, is purely on free social stories.

1. I Use my Device to Talk Social Story from AT4Kids on TPT - This story talks about rules for using the device and include things like not throwing it. There is also a built-in communication board to practice modeling AAC skills. This story uses colorful clipart.

2. Using AAC Device Social Story from Kate O'Malley on TPT - This story highlights that people can communicate and talk in different ways and then explains what an AAC device is. It includes colorful clipart.

3. AAC Device Care Social Story from AAC Hub on TPT - It looks like this story is available as a PowerPoint so you should be able to edit it. Which might be a good thing because this story looks very busy visually and some of the text in the preview images isn't great. But it does include a mix of clipart and photos.

4. AAC Core Word Social Story (Like/Don't Like) from Stephanie Zapata on TPT - Here's a story that focuses on teaching core words/concepts. It uses boardmaker symbols and full color photos. It apparently comes as a Word document so you should be able to edit it too.

5. What are Talkers For? An AAC Communication Device Social Story from ESE AAC on TPT - This story uses a mix of clipart and photos to discuss why some people use an AAC device or talker. It's a Word document so, again, you should be able to edit it.

6. Social Story: Using Your AAC Device from Divergent DeafEd on TPT - This story uses symbols and some simple text. It looks like a pretty basic story.

7. Simple iPad Social Story from Korynn a SLP on TPT - Here's a super simple one page social story about iPad/AAC ownership. It covers what it's for, how to carry it, and where to take it. There is a mix of clipart, symbols, and photos used to accompany the text.

8. Using My AAC Device Social Story on Boardmaker Online - I'm not sure if you can actually download a PDF version on this website or not. However, you can preview all the slides and read the full story directly on the website.

9. I Can Take My Device Home Social Story on Boardmaker Online - Again, not sure if you can actually download this story or not, but you can read the full story directly on the website.

10. Social Story: Taking Care of My Speech Device from Talk to Me Technologies - You have to subscribe to get this free social story, but it looks like it might be a good one. It uses nice colorful clipart.

Video Social Stories About AAC Device Use

Here are a few video social stories about using an AAC device. You can use these in teletherapy sessions, social skills groups, classroom settings, and/or at home. Videos are always a great alternative to printing off a story.

Like the stories above, some of the wording in these videos aren't always great. But I wanted to make sure you had lots of different options for teaching your child about AAC devices.

I usually opt for stories with text already included in the video (to support hyperlexic learners), but I thought this video about a classmate's use of AAC was too important not to include. Just remember to turn on the closed captions for our hyperlexic learners.

Finally, I thought this story might be a good one to include here as well. You could share it with a child's friends or extended family members about how they can get involved in the modeling process.

A Note on AAC Use for Gestalt Language Processors

Remember, hyperlexic learners are gestalt language processors so they learn language differently. So you will have to set up and use their AAC devices a bit differently. That might also mean that you have to modify the above social stories to factor in this different way of developing language.

And speaking of AAC use for gestalt language processors, you might be interested to know that the Meaningful Speech team is releasing a course all about AAC and gestalt language processing in February 2023. 

If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend checking out the Meaningful Speech course and their Gestalt Language Processing Handbook and getting on their waitlist for this new AAC course. Use coupon code DYAN to save 5% on the handbook or course.

Gestalt Language Processing Handbook & course available from Meaningful Speech

Learn more about the Gestalt Language Processing Handbook & Course

Either way, I hope you found this collection of free social stories about using an AAC device helpful. They're a great way to start introducing your child or client to using AAC to communicate.

Free social stories about using an AAC device to communicate

Continue reading "Free Social Stories About Using an AAC Device"

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Free Social Stories About Going to the Eye Doctor

A collection of free social stories about going to the eye doctor or optometrist for an eye exam. Printable and video social stories for kids are included below. Stories about wearing glasses are also included.

Going for a regular eye exam is important. However, for many kids, it can be an overwhelming experience. Although, I'll be honest, most hyperlexic kids will love reading the letter charts!

But there are lots of little tests that get performed during these eye appointments and your child might be wondering what to expect. That's where these social stories come in.

Below you will find a variety of free social stories about going to the eye doctor or optometrist (or similar). They explore topics like what happens during an eye exam and having to wear glasses for the first time. I hope you find these stories helpful.

Free social stories about going to the eye doctor, optometrist, or similar for an eye exam, checkup, or appointment

Free Social Stories About Going to the Eye Doctor, Eye Exams, & Wearing Glasses

Have you been looking for an eye doctor social story? Then look no further than these free printable social stories about going for an eye exam, visiting the eye doctor, or having to wear glasses.

I've rounded up some options for you to explore. That way you can find the best eye exam social story for you and your child. Or you can simply use ideas from different stories below to write your own custom story (free social story templates here to help).

Please note that just because a social story is listed here does not mean I endorse its content. After all, many social stories tend to be poorly written and/or teach autistic masking. Besides, I haven't read all of these stories word for word myself. So please read through the stories carefully before using them with your child.

1. Wearing Glasses Social Story - Written by yours truly, this story uses full color photos that talks about when and why to wear glasses. It also explains how to care for the glasses. It might be a useful story if you find out during an eye checkup that your child needs glasses.

2. Eye Exam Social Story from Boston Medical Center - This story talks about what to expect when you go for an eye appointment. It uses colorful clipart and is available in five languages.

3. Going to See an Eye Doctor Social Story from Social Stories: Power Tool for Autism - This story is mostly text based. Okay, actually it's one giant paragraph of text, but it does include two photos. It talks about going to see an eye doctor with your mom.

4. Social Story: What Happens in an Eye Test? from Ulster University - This story uses a mix of photos and clipart. It's not super detailed or anything, but it does talk about a few things you might do during an eye exam.

5. My Visit to the Eye Doctor: A Social Story from The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry - This story is written in past tense and uses full color photos. It looks pretty detailed compared to some of the other stories on this list.

6. Wearing Glasses is Okay with Me: A Social Story from Social Stories: Power Tool for Autism - After an exam, you might learn that your child has to wear glasses now. This story talks about that. It is mostly text only, but does include two photos.

Video Social Stories About Eye Exams, Going to the Eye Doctor, & Wearing Glasses

Here are some video social stories that talk about visiting the eye doctor or optometrist for an eye exam. You can use these in teletherapy sessions or at home. Videos are always a great alternative to printing off a story.

Like the stories above, some of the wording in these videos aren't always great. One exception is the third video below which is someone reading my wearing glasses social story - I love discovering these read through videos! But I wanted to make sure you had lots of different options for talking about these eye care appointments.

Whether your child needs glasses or not, going for a regular eye checkup is an important part of a good healthcare routine. You can use these free social stories about going to the eye doctor for an exam to help prepare your child for their visit.

Free social stories about going to the eye doctor, optometrist, or similar for an eye exam, checkup, or appointment

Continue reading "Free Social Stories About Going to the Eye Doctor"