Asperger syndrome (AS) – an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.
Autism – limited in focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program, toy, or game.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) – Martin-Bell syndrome, or Escalante's syndrome (more commonly used in South American countries), is a genetic syndrome that is the most common known single-gene cause of autism and the most common inherited cause of mental retardation among boys.
Genetic disorder – an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes, especially a condition that is present from before birth.
Heritability of autism – the proportion of autism that can be explained by genetic variation; if the heritability of a condition is high, then the condition is considered to be primarily genetic.
High-functioning autism – an informal term applied to autistic people who are deemed to be "higher functioning" than other autistic people, by one or more metrics.
Mirror neuron – a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.
Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) – as opposed to specific developmental disorders (SDD), refers to a group of five disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication.
PDD-NOS – (PDD-NOS) is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), and is also considered one of the three autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
22q13 deletion syndrome – also known as Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, is a genetic disorder caused by a microdeletion on chromosome 22.
Rett syndrome – a neurodevelopmental disorder of the grey matter of the brain that almost exclusively affects females.
Spindle neuron – also called von Economo neurons (VENs), are a specific class of neurons that are characterized by a large spindle-shaped soma, gradually tapering into a single apical axon in one direction, with only a single dendrite facing opposite.
Weak central coherence theory (WCC) – also called the central coherence theory (CC), suggests that a specific perceptual-cognitive style, loosely described as a limited ability to understand context or to "see the big picture", underlies the central disturbance in autism and related autism spectrum disorders.
Mental retardation (MR) – a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors.
Autism rights movement – a social movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation in functioning rather than a mental disorder to be cured.
Temple Grandin – (born August 29, 1947) is an American doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior.
Donna Williams – (born 1963 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is a best-selling author, artist, singer-songwriter, screenwriter and sculptor diagnosed with autism after being assessed as a psychotic infant in 1965 at age two, tested multiple times for deafness and labeled disturbed throughout childhood, before treatment for gut, immune and sensory perceptual disorders in adulthood.
Jenny McCarthy – magazine and was later named their Playmate of the Year.
Rick Rollens – (born 1950) is an American lobbyist with a client list including ARCA (Association of Regional Center Agencies/California Department of Developmental Services), Autism Speaks, and Applied Behavior Consultants.
Mark Geier – reported that the institutional review board which approved some of Geier's experiments with autistic children was located at Geier's business address and included Geier, his son and wife, a business partner of Geier's, and a plaintiff's lawyer involved in vaccine litigation.
Christopher Gillberg – (born 19 April 1950), who has sometimes published as Gillberg and Gillberg with his wife Carina Gillberg, is a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Gothenburg University in Gothenburg, Sweden, and an honorary professor at the UCL Institute of Child Health|Institute of Child Health (ICH), University College London.
Stanley Greenspan – (June 1, 1941 - April 27, 2010) was a clinical professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Science, and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and a practicing child psychiatrist.
Mady Hornig – MD (born 1957) is a psychiatrist and an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, where she is Director of Translational Research in the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII).
Leo Kanner – (pronounced "Conner") (June 13, 1894 - April 3, 1981) was a Jewish American psychiatrist and physician known for his work related to autism.
Arthur Krigsman – MD, is a pediatrician and gastroenterologist best known for his controversial and widely-criticized research in which he attempted to prove that the MMR vaccine caused diseases, especially autism.
Marilyn J. Monteiro – teaches practitioners how to use conversational techniques to connect with children, build trust with the child's parents, and plan for successful interventions.
Paul Offit – about Autism's False Prophets::This book explores why parents, seeking in vain for a cure and for an explanation of their child's problem, are so vulnerable to false hopes and to the nasty predators who have from time immemorial always taken advantage of the desperate in our society.
Bernard Rimland – Jaquelyn McCandless, MD, calls Rimland "The grand godfather of the movement for understanding the biological treatment of autism". His book Infantile Autism, published in 1967, made short shrift of Bettelheim's theory of "refrigerator mothers".
Diana Seach – an English specialist in special education.
Peter Szatmari – (born 1950) is a Canadian researcher of Autism and Asperger syndrome.
Andrew Wakefield – (born 1957) is a British former surgeon and medical researcher, known as an advocate for the discredited claim that there is a link between the MMR vaccine|measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, autism and bowel disease, and for his fraudulent 1998 research paper in support of that claim.
Lorna Wing – MD, FRCPsych, (born 7 October 1928) is an English psychiatrist and physician.
Autism rights movement (ARM) – (also neurodiversity movement or anti-cure movement or autistic culture movement) is a social movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation in functioning rather than a mental disorder to be cured.
Autistic art – art created by autistic artists or art which captures or conveys a variety of autistic experiences or demeanor.
Neurotypical – (or NT) is a term that was coined in the autistic community as a label for people who are not on the autism spectrum: specifically, neurotypical people have neurological development and states that are consistent with what most people would perceive as normal, particularly with respect to their ability to process linguistic information and social cues.
Organizations, stakeholder groups and events
2000 Simpsonwood CDC conference – ) was a meeting convened in June 2000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), held at the Simpsonwood Methodist retreat and conference center in Norcross, Georgia.
Aspies For Freedom (AFF) – a solidarity and campaigning group which aims at raising public awareness of the autism rights movement.
Autism Awareness Campaign UK – The Autism Awareness Campaign UK were involved in the first United Nations World Autism Awareness Day, declared by the UN General Assembly on Wednesday 2 April 2008 on the recommendation of the State of Qatar.
Autism Network International – founded and run by autistic people. Parents and professionals are welcome but the focus is on living autistic rather than curing it.
Chelation therapy – the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body.
Clomipramine – (trademarked as Anafranil) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA).
Craniosacral therapy – (also called CST, also spelled Cranial Sacral bodywork or therapy) is an alternative medicine therapy used by physiotherapists, osteopaths, massage therapists, naturopaths, and chiropractors.
Floortime – a developmental intervention involving meeting a child at his or her current developmental level, and challenging them to move up the hierarchy of milestones outlined in the DIR Model.
Fluvoxamine – (brand name Luvox) is an antidepressant which functions as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
Gluten-free, casein-free diet – ) or gluten-free dairy-free diet (GFDF diet) eliminates dietary intake of the naturally occurring proteins gluten (found most often in wheat, barley, rye, and commercially available oats), and casein (found most often in milk and dairy products).
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) – a trademarked proprietary treatment program for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), based on the belief that the development of dynamic intelligence is the key to improving the quality of life for individuals with autism.
Risperidone – (Risperdal, and generics) is a second-generation or atypical antipsychotic.
Secretin – a hormone that controls the secretions into the duodenum, and also separately, water homeostasis throughout the body.
Coeliac disease – spelled celiac disease in North America and often celiac sprue, is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in genetically predisposed people of all ages from middle infancy onward.
Communication disorder – a speech and language disorder which refers to problems in communication and in related areas such as oral motor function.
Crohn's disease (MAP) – which causes a similar disease, Johne's disease, in cattle.
Deafness – or hearing impairment, is a partial or total inability to hear where the ability would usually be expected.
Dyscalculia – a specific learning disability involving innate difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic.
Dysgraphia – a deficiency in the ability to write primarily in terms of handwriting, but also in terms of coherence.
Dyslexia – a very broad term defining a learning disability that impairs a person's fluency or comprehension accuracy in being able to read, and which can manifest itself as a difficulty with phonological awareness, phonological decoding, orthographic coding, auditory short-term memory, or rapid naming.
Echolalia – the automatic repetition of vocalizations made by another person.
Erotophobia – a term coined by a number of researchers in the late 1970s and early 1980s to describe one pole on a continuum of attitudes and beliefs about sexuality.
Hyperlexia – the precocious ability to read words without prior training in learning to read typically before the age of 5.
Nonverbal learning disorder – or nonverbal learning disability (NLD or NVLD) is a condition characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal and lower motor, Theory_of_multiple_intelligences#Visual-spatial|visuo-spatial, and social skills on an IQ test.