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Adaptive Skills - Self-help skills the child uses for daily living (such as feeding, toileting, dressing).

Advocacy- Within the intervention community, this term refers to the act of supporting or defending a child's interest and rights.

Articulation: the specific sounds a child makes

Assessment: the ongoing process of collecting information about a child using a variety of formal and informal methods to develop and implement appropriate programming to support the child’s learning

ASD: see Autism Spectrum Disorders

Auditory Processing: receiving, interpreting, ordering and remembering what is heard

Autism Spectrum Disorders: (ASD) An umbrella term used to describe an array of neurobiological disorders that affect a child's ability to interact, communicate, relate, play, imagine, and learn. ASD is also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The autism spectrum consists of the following disorders: Autistic Disorder or Classic Autism, Rett's Disorder or Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger's Disorder or Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).


Body Posture: Nonverbal expressions used to show emotion or convey information.

Borderline Birthdate: A child is required to be 2.8 years or older on Sept. 1st of their three-year old preschool year to attend kindergarten two years later 



Centre-based programming: the instructional program hours (based on IPP goals) provided to a child in the classroom setting at a school or centre or programming that is delivered primarily or exclusively in the home by a teacher assistant (under the direction of a teacher) during a typical school year of September to June.

Coded child: a number that identifies the type of delay that a child has

Cognitive aptitude: skills that a child brings to academic learning in the way of verbal and nonverbal skills

Core stability: strength and stability in the truck (tummy, back, shoulders and pelvis) that enables a child to have a stable base of support for movements needed to complete daily tasks. This includes the ability to sit or stand up straight, move in and out of various play positions and position ourselves to participate in a variety of activities. 



Developmental: Having to do with the stages and steps involved in the growth of a child.

Developmental Delay: Evidence a child is not functioning at an expected level for his/her age.

Developmental Milestones: Markers of ability used to monitor a child's development. These guideposts consist of skills and behaviors that should be developed by a certain age.

Disability: A physical or mental condition likely to lead to a developmental delay.



Early Childhood Intervention: A support system designed for children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families.

Early Identification and Intervention: refers to screening and other approaches to identify the early signs or symptoms of a problem with health or child development, as well as the services provided to help correct or resolve the problem. Problems that are identified and responded to early are less likely to have a long-term impact on a child’s development. Early Intervention Services: The system of coordinated services designed to promote a child's developmental growth and the ability to cope with disabilities.

Expressive language: the language used to communicate through writing, speaking and/or gestures. An expressive language delay means that the child would have trouble using language appropriately.



Family Oriented Programming Sessions (FOPS): a parent-driven session with one or more members of the professional instructional team present. The session focuses on a specific educational need which requires more support at home or in the community.

Fine Motor: the use of small muscles in the hands for tasks such as writing, tying bows, zipping up zippers, coloring, cutting and printing.


Gross Motor: the use of large muscles in the arms and legs for activities requiring strength and balance such as riding a bike, climbing, running and jumping.



Home Visits: Professional visits to your home in order to plan and provide intervention services.



Inclusion: the practice of teaching special needs children in regular classrooms with age-appropriate, typical children to the fullest extent possible

Informed Consent: 

  1. the individual has been provided with all the information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought.

  2. understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought

  3. understands that the granting of consent is voluntary and may be withdrawn at any time. 

Intervention: a planned action that is implemented with the expectation that it will influence a specific behaviour or outcome in a predictable and desired manner.





Motor planning: the ability to generate an idea for a task, come up with a plan on how to perform the task by organizing and sequencing out the steps that are involved and then perform the actual movements required in a coordinated manner. 


Nonfunctional Routines: Repeated actions or behaviors that appear to not have a purpose. Children with ASD may place purpose in what appears to be senseless routines.

Nonverbal Behaviors: Acts performed by people in order to convey or exchange information without the use of speech. May include eye gaze, facial expressions, body posture, and gestures.



Occupational Therapist: A professional who evaluates fine motor (small muscle) and self-care skills.

Occupational Therapy: Professional services offered to assist with self-help skills, adaptive behavior, and sensory, motor, and postural development.



Percentiles: where a score places in relation to a normal group: 50th percentile is in the middle; 75th percentile means that a child scored better than 75 children out of 100 children who took the test. 

Phonological awareness: describes a child’s awareness of the constituent sounds of words in learning to read and spell.

Physical Therapist: A professional who evaluates gross motor (large muscle) skills, strength, balance, coordination, and mobility.

Physical Therapy: Professional services that help enable bodily movement and helps prevent the onset of mobility difficulties.

Psychological Services: Administering of psychological and educational tests, interpretation of test results, and efforts to understand the neurobiological process that result in cognitive functions and behaviors.




Readiness: physical, mental and emotional preparedness to cope with a learning task.

Receptive language: the language a child is able to understand.

Receptive language delay: a broad diagnosis that simply means that a child has trouble understanding language. This covers a wide variety of language skills and the child may have trouble with all of those skills, or only one or two. A child with a receptive language delay may also have an expressive language delay. That means that the child would have trouble using language appropriately as well.



Sensory Input: Internal (heart rate, body temperature) and external (sights, sounds, tastes, etc.) sensations.

Sensory Processing: the baseline of our ability to function by processing information that comes into our senses on a constant basis from the environment. (Ex. what we see and hear, the ability to tolerate and discriminate various things we touch, smell and taste, responding to various movements of the head and body and the unconscious awareness of body positioning)

Sensory Stimulation: Behaviors performed to stimulate internal response. May be for avoidance, attention requests, or a means of soothing. Appear meaningless to everyone but the person performing the action.

Social Interaction: Verbal and/or nonverbal behavior used to communicate with others.

Social Reciprocity: Back and forth flow of social interaction. A person's behavior influences another's behavior and so forth.

Social-Imitative Play: Acting out typical actions or daily routines in the context of play.

Special Needs: A term that describes a child with a mental or physical disability that requires special services or treatment.

Speech and Language Pathologist: A professional who evaluates a child's ability to communicate.

Speech-Language Pathology: The specialized practice of analyzing communication disorders as well as disabilities pertaining to the mouth, such as swallowing disorders.



Therapy: the treatment of a condition, disease or disorder. (Ex. PT, visual therapy, OT, SLP)

Transition: The process of a child moving from an early intervention program to a preschool program or other support service.




Visual discrimination: the ability to perceive similarities and differences in shapes, colours, numbers, letters, and words.

Visual Memory: the ability to remember what is seen

Visual Motor: the ability to integrate visual information with appropriate body movement

Visual Processing Perception: the ability of the brain to process information that is seen in the environment in order to learn and/or perform daily tasks. This includes the understanding of size, shape and colour concepts, body awareness, ability to discriminate foreground from background, understand same and different concepts, understand how objects fit together or are placed in relation to each other, and remember items or information that has been seen before.