|This page is designed to give a brief meaning (in layman terms) of words
and phrases most commonly used by caregivers. When available, I will add
a link to that word/phrase that will give a more indepth description and
This page will continually be "under contruction" and I will add to it
as time permits. If you would like to contribute terminology, your help
will be much appreciated. If you have any questions regarding words/phrases
you have heard I will try my hardest to get them answered.
- Attachment Disorder - Superficially
engaging and charming; lack of eye ontact; indiscriminate affectionate
with strangers; not cuddly to parents; destructive to self, others,
animals and material things; lying; stealing; impulsive; no conscience;
poor interaction with peers; sexual acting out; preoccupation with fire;
incessant chatter. Attachment
Disorder Help and Catalog
of Reference Books
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) - Excessive daydreaming,
lethargic, processing problems, excessive confusion, shy, rarely impulsive
or disruptive. ADD
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) -
Inability to concentrate, implusive, disruptive, non-compliant. This
is a common malady for children prenatally exposed to drugs. **Medications
given to aid this disorder can cause visual impairment. Children requiring
such meds should have an eye exam. ADHD
- CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate - specially
trained volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and
neglected children in the courts. National
- CSW - Children's Social Worker.
- DCFS - Department of Children
& Family Services.
- DHS - Department of Health Services.
- Down Syndrome - Mild to moderate
mental retardation due to a chromosomal (21) disorder; normally very
loving, friendly and responsive. Down
- Dyslexic - A learning disorder
which can include reversal of letters and words, poor writing skills,
pooor handwriting, memory difficulties, left and right orientation,
clumsiness; does not affect intelligence.. Only a trained professional,
i.e. psychologist, specializing in learning disabilities should offer
this diagnosis. Dyslexia
- FAPE - Free Appropriate Public
Education - Specially designed instructions and related services, at
no expense to parent/guardian, for children with learning disorders,
this includes ADD/ADHD. FAPE
- Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) -
Prenatally exposed to alcohol but not displaying all the symptoms of
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) - A
pattern of abnormalities in children prenatally exposed to alcohol.
This a term commonly echoed in the world of foster parenting. It is
the leading cause of mental retardation, the most preventable, effects
irreversible. FAS, recognized only in the past 20 years, can be traced
back to the bible. Some characteristics: low weight; dysmorphic facial
features i.e. flattened midface, epicanthal folds, flat philtrum, low
set ears, ear deformity, thin and red in color upper lip; microcephaly;
developmental delays; intellectual impairment; attention disorders;
motor problems; hyperactivity. FAS
- Hypertonic - High muscles tone,
stiff, celebral palsy like; false sense of strength.
- Hypotonic - Low muscles tone,
floppy, flexible limbs, may not be able to support body.
- Independent Living Program (ILP)Federally
funded program providing services to foster youth age 16 and over to
prepare for adulthood. This program provides classes in life skills,
vocational training, and equipment needed for job training. ILP also
provides: funds for college scholarships; Job Fairs and contracts with
agencies in the community to provide skills training.
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Federal Law 94 -142 states that children with disabilities have the
right to attend public schools with their peers. A team of school staff
and parent(s) will identify areas the child needs to learn in the current
school year and how the school will provide these services.
- Kinship - Those providing 24
hour care for children they are related to by blood. This is also called
"relative placement". Children may be placed in homes of relatives by
the courts or voluntarily by parent or guardian.Kinship
- Learning disabled (LD) - A term
used to describe one with a handicap that interferes with ability to
process, store or produce infomation. LD
- Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) - an
educational setting in which a learning disabled student can effectively
learn based on needs and capabilities while in a regular classroom with
- Microcephalic - An abnormally
- OHI - Other Health Impairment
- health conditions not necessarily associated with learning disabilities
but can hinder learning do to illness, i.e. asthma.
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Often
loses temper; often argues with adults; often actively defies or refuses
to comply with adult's requests or rules; deliberately annoys people;
blames others for his/her mistakes; angry and resentful; spiteful. Oppositional
- Orally Defensive - Sensitivity
to eating utencils; food, especially food with consistency; tooth brushing;
not uncommon for infants prenatally exposed to substance abuse.
- Prenatally exposed to substance abuse - Refers
to one whose mother used drugs and or alcohol during pregnancy.
- Related services - are transportation
and such developmental, corrective, and other suportive services required
to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education..
- Special education - is instruction
that is specially designed, at no cost to the parents or legal guardians,
to meet the child's or youth's unique needs.
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) - Also
known as "crib death". Sudden unexpected death of otherwise healthy
infant; infant will stop breathing during sleep; usually under the age
of one year; cause of death remains an enigma through medical history
and autopsy exam. In recent studies, it has observed, children put to
bed on their backs lessen their risk of death; it has also been suggested
cigarette smoke may play a role. References to SIDS go as far back as
950 B.C. SIDS
- Swaddling - To wrap an infant
with a blanket so their arms and legs cannot flail. This helps to prevent
substance exposed infants from over stimulating.
- Tactually Defensive - Sensitive
to human touch and/or material objects; not uncommon for infants prenatally
exposed to substance abuse or autistism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder.