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Glossary of Autism Spectrum Disorder Terms and Acronyms

The following glossary includes terms and acronyms that you may come across relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related topics.

If you come across a term or acronym that is not listed, please let us know

Term or Acronym Definition
ABA Applied Behaviour Analysis
ATSS Adult Training Support Service
ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder A developmental condition affecting three main areas – the ability of the individual to communicate, to socialise and to think flexibly or imaginatively
Case management  Also called service coordination: assistance from a case manager/service coordinator, who helps individuals with disabilities and families to deal with the complexities of the health care system.
CRU Community Residential Unit – Service providing supported accommodation for individuals with disabilities. Now replaced by Shared and Supported Accommodation
Day Service Service providing a safe environment for individuals with disabilities and special needs
DHS Department of Human Services
DEECD Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
DSM The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The latest version DSM-5 was released in May 2013. It is a US manual produced by the American Psychiatric Association to assist medical professionals in making a diagnosis of a mental condition. Autism Spectrum Disorder is described in this manual.
ID Intellectual Disability
ISP Individual Support Package: disability services funds allocated to a person to meet their disability-related support needs.
OSP Office of the Senior Practitioner (used to be the Intellectual Disability Review Panel – IDRP)
RDI Relationship Development Intervention
Respite Care provided to an individual with special needs so that their carer(s) can take a break
SDS Special Developmental School
Shared & Supported Accommodation (Replaced CRU) A program aiming to provide high quality supported housing in the community where up to 5 people with disabilities share housing and are provided with supports such as household management, self-care, personal hygiene and participation in activities.
The 2 domains of impairment With the release of the DSM-5,  people with ASD are described as having a “dyad” or two areas of deficit – social communication and repetitive behaviours/sensory interests.