Podcast glossary

Podcast glossary


Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Any method of communication that is not speech, where the person is expressing their thoughts, needs, wants or ideas

Examples: pointing, eye gaze, speech generating device (usually program on an iPad/tablet), picture board, symbols

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental difference characterised by differences in attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness


(also known as DCD – Developmental Coordination Disorder) 

A neurological difference characterised by differences in fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults

Echolalia/ Echolalic

The repetition of words and phrases/ a person who often repeats certain words or phrases

Facilitated Communication (FC)

Facilitated Communication (FC) is a form of AAC where a person indicates letters, pictures, or objects on a keyboard or communication board, with assistance from a "facilitator." Typically, this assistance involves physical support on the hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder


Also described as over-sensitivity 

When a person has a lower threshold for processing sensory input. As a result, sensory information can be processed as very intense, uncomfortable or painful


Also described as under-sensitivity 

When a person has a higher threshold for processing sensory input. As a result, a person may miss or seek out sensory input


The internal sensory system which sends signals about the physical and emotional states of the person, which are noticed, recognised and responded to. These signals could include feeling of hunger, thirst, anxiety, needing the toilet etc.


A form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) where signs, symbols and speech are used to communicate


A response to overload, extreme stress or cumulative stress that may involve explosive bursts of emotion and/or a physical response


A term used to describe someone with a neurological difference such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Tourette’s, dysgraphia

Non-speaking person

A person who does not primarily use spoken words to communicate, but may use other ways of communication such as gestures, signing, Makaton, writing or drawing, using a picture board or high-tech communication devices

Occupational therapist (OT)

A health and social care professional whose role is to support individuals to be able to participate in activities that are meaningful and important to them (occupations)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A mental health condition characterised by a person having obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours


Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

A form of intervention/ Augmentative and Alternative Communication which comprises of the ‘user’ exchanging pictures for items/ food/ activities


The sensory system responsible for body awareness. The proprioceptive sense tells a person where their body is in space and how the different parts of their body are moving

Semi-speaking person

A person who can speak sometimes but not at other times, for example due to feeling overwhelmed by an environment or situation

Sensation-seeking (or sensory seeking)

Term that is sometimes used to describe a person who seeks out certain movements or activities because of the sensory input that they provide

Sensory-avoidance (or sensory avoidant)

Term that is sometimes used to describe a person who avoids certain situations or activities because the sensory input is uncomfortable for them

Sensory processing

The way that the nervous system receives, interprets, and responds to sensory stimuli both from the environment and from the body itself

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)

A SENCo is a member of teaching staff who is responsible for ensuring children who have special educational needs are supported within school. It is mandatory for every school in the UK to have a SENCo

Spoon theory

The spoon theory is a metaphor to describe the amount of physical and/or mental energy that a person has available for daily activities and tasks, and how this can become limited


Also known as self-stimulatory behaviour 

Actions that stimulate someone’s senses. Often these are repetitive movements or sounds. Stimming serves various purposes which include managing sensory input, reducing anxiety and expressing feelings


The sensory system that provides information about the position of the body, particularly detecting changes in the position of the head. This sense helps to maintain balance and coordination