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Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

ll, look at his/her mother and seem to await a response).

Landau Reflex A normal response in infants when held in a horizontal, face-down position to maintain a convex arc with the head raised and legs slightly flexed; typically displayed around 3 months of age.


Movement of a limb outwards, away from the body.
Absence Seizure
Generalized seizure that is most common in children. Absence seizures begin and end within a few seconds and involve a lapse in consciousness with a blank stare and may be accompanied by rapid eye blinking or chewing movements.
Active Motion
Joint movement carried out by the patient.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Tasks that people participate in on daily bases that are necessary for fulfilling meaningful life goals (e.g. eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.)
The sharpness of a particular sense, such as hearing or sight.
Adaptive Response
An action in which the individual responds successfully to an environmental demand. Adaptive responses require good sensory integration and further the sensory integrative process.
Movement of a limb inwards, toward the body.
Adeli Suit
A rehabilitation tool that creates an external framework of elastic bands to add support, enhance posture, and improve alignment, strength, and confidence of movement.
Alternative school
An educational setting designed to accommodate educational, behavioral, and/or medical needs of children and adolescents that cannot be adequately addressed in a traditional school environment.
Walking or able to walk.
A deviation from that which is considered typical.
Either partial or total loss of the ability to communicate verbally or using written words
A neurological condition characterized by the inability to carry out purposeful movements, despite having the physical capacity and willingness to do so.
Aquatic Therapy
The exercising of muscle groups underwater using buoyancy, water resistance, turbulence and warmth to aid in increasing ease of movement, strength, coordination, and balance.
A state of the nervous system that describes how alert someone feels. To attend, concentrate, and perform tasks according to situational demands, the nervous system must be in an optimal state of alertness for the particular task.
The production of speech sounds through the use of jaw, face, and mouth movements.
Ongoing procedures used by qualified professionals throughout a child’s early intervention experience to identify their unique needs.
Assistive Technology Devices
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system used to increase, maintain or improve a child’s ability to do things.
Asymmetrical Tonic Reflex
A primitive reflex that is present from birth but should disappear by six months of age. When the infant is lying on their back with their head turned to one side, the arm and leg on the side to which the head is turned should straighten, and the arm and leg on the opposite side should bend.
One side of the body is different from the other; unequal.
Lack of coordination and unsteadiness due to the brain’s failure to regulate the body’s posture and the strength and direction of limb movements.
The inability to coordinate muscular activity during voluntary movements; involuntary writhing, repetitive movements, and irregular posture.
A wasting away or reduction in the size of a muscle or a nerve.
Any instrument for testing hearing.
Pertaining to the sense of hearing.
Auditory Association
The ability to associate spoken words in a meaningful fashion.
Auditory Closure
The ability to recognize a whole message when only a portion is heard.
Auditory Memory
The ability to remember words and sounds.
Auditory Processing
The way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds.
Auditory Reception
The ability to understand the meaning of spoken material.
Auditory Sequential Memory
The ability to reproduce a sequence of auditory stimuli.
Ayres Sensory Integration
The processes by which people receive information through their senses, organize this information, and use it to interact with their environment.
Babinski Reflex
An upward movement of the large toe upon tickling the sole of the foot; normal in infancy but indicates damage to the central nervous system when occurring later in life.
Back to Sleep
An initiative backed by U.S. Public Health Service, the AAP, the SIDS Alliance, and the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs to raise professional and public awareness about the importance of placing babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the incidence of SIDS.
Beckman Oral Motor Therapy
Therapeutic technique that uses assisted movement and stretch reflexes to quantify response to pressure, movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw, tongue and soft palate.
Behavior Modification
A form of therapy that uses rewards to reinforce desired behavior (e.g. giving a child a piece of chocolate for grooming appropriately).
Behavioral Challenge
Any expression of concern by a parent that relates to managing the day-to-day behaviors of their child or related to concerns about the child’s future.
Affecting both sides of the body.
Bimanual Training
A rehabilitation technique for patients with hemiplegia to increase functional independence with activities of daily living through participation in tasks that require two hands.
Bite Reflex
An involuntary biting of anything placed in the mouth of an infant. This reflex usually disappears after 6 months.
Body Awareness
The ability to recognize one’s own body and where different body parts are in space.
Botulinum Toxin (Botox)
A potent bacterial toxin or poison made by Clostridium botulinum; causes paralysis in high doses, but is used medically in small, localized doses to treat disorders associated with involuntary muscle contraction and spasms, in addition to strabismus.
Brain Lesion
A change in brain tissue caused by injury or disease.
Brain Plasticity
The ability of the brain to change through experience of learning.
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. CPR consists of mouth-to-mouth respiration and chest compression. CPR allows oxygenated blood to circulate to vital organs such as the brain and heart. CPR can keep a person alive until more advanced procedures (such as defibrillation – an electric shock to the chest) can treat the cardiac arrest. CPR started by a bystander doubles the likelihood of survival for victims of cardiac arrest.
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant. Certification is an important benchmark of quality in occupational therapy. Key stakeholders rely on certified providers for the following reasons: Certified occupational therapy professionals must participate in a comprehensive certification renewal process to demonstrate continuing proficiency; Certification helps employers identify applicants who are committed to a personal choice of professional development.
Child Development Specialist
A professional who is trained in infant/toddler development and in identifying developmental delays and disabilities. In a developmental assessment, a child development specialist helps identify a child’s strengths and areas of concern, and suggest strategies to promote optimal social, emotional and intellectual development.
Cleft Palate
Congenital opening of the roof of the mouth that is often associated with cleft lip
An involuntary movement in which a muscle or muscle group passes rapidly from contraction to relaxation, usually in response to a quick stretch.
Of or relating to mental activities such as learning, thinking, remembering or understanding.
When an infant cries for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks.
Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
A cross-sectional image of bone and soft tissue created from a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles.
Conductive Hearing Loss
A condition which reduces the intensity of the sound vibrations reaching the auditory nerve in the inner ear.
Existing from birth.
Consumer Advisory Committee
The mission of a CAC is to make recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission regarding consumer issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission and to facilitate the participation of consumers (including people with disabilities and underserved populations, such as Native Americans and persons living in rural areas) in proceedings before the Commission. Issues or questions to be considered by the CAC will include, but are not limited to the following topic areas: Access by People with Disabilities (e.g., telecommunications relay services, video description, captioning, accessible billing, and access to telecommunications products and services); Consumer Protection and Education (e.g., cramming, slamming, consumer friendly billing, bundling of services, Lifeline/Linkup programs, customer service, privacy, telemarketing abuses, and outreach to underserved populations such as Native Americans and persons living in rural areas); Implementation of Commission rules and Consumer Participation in the FCC rulemaking process; Impact of New and Emerging Technologies (e.g., availability of Broadband, digital television, cable, satellite, low power FM, and the convergence of these and emerging technologies).
Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)
A rehabilitation technique for patients with hemiplegia that focuses on regaining movement of the affected arm and hand by splinting the non-involved hand, forcing the individual to learn to move the affected arm.
Continuing Medical Education (CME)
CME programs are intended to continue the medical education of healthcare providers. Physicians are required to earn CME credits to retain their medical licenses. They may do so by taking courses, attending medical conferences, or by reading and taking tests.
A form of crawling where an infant keeps their belly on the ground as they move forward with arms and legs.
Cruising A form of assisted walking in which a baby holds onto something for support (e.g. a low table or couch) while taking steps.
A unit to measure sound.
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
A childhood disorder marked by clumsiness and poor coordination.
Developmental Delay(DD)
A lag in achieving childhood developmental milestones according to the expected time frame.A developmental delay, or DD, occurs when a child has the delayed achievement of one or more of his/her “milestones”. This may affect the child’s speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, and/or personal and social skills. Developmental delays, especially if they involve a language delay which may be secondary to a hearing loss, should be identified as early as possible.
Developmental Disabilities (DD)
Developmental Disability, or developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities are a diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights of 2000
The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, PUBLIC LAW 106-402. The DD Act (2000) was signed into law on October 30, 2000 by President Clinton. Originally authorized by President Kennedy in 1963, The DD Act (2000) reauthorizes the DD Councils, P&As, UCEDDs, and programs of national significance. In addition, the legislation authorizes separate grants for family support and a program of direct support for workers who assist individuals with developmental disabilities. The purpose of the DD Act is to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that not only promote independence, productivity, integration and inclusion, and self-determination through culturally competent programs.
Developmental Evaluation
An assessment done by a health professional to identify the specific developmental disorder(s) affecting an infant/child.
Developmental History
Term used by professionals to describe a child’s development, beginning before birth.
Developmental Language Disorder
A significant delay restricted to speech and language skills but normal performance in other developmental domains.
Developmental Milestone
Behaviors or skills typically seen in infants and children as they develop. For instance, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking.
Developmental Screening
The administration of a standardized tool aiding the identification of infants and/or children at risk for a developmental disorder. A developmental screening that targets the area of concern is used if an issue is identified during developmental surveillance.
Developmental Surveillance
A flexible, longitudinal, continuous, and cumulative process whereby knowledgeable healthcare professionals identify children who many have developmental problems. There are 5 components of developmental surveillance: eliciting and attending to the parents’ concerns about their child’s development, documenting and maintaining a developmental history, making accurate observations of a child, identifying the risk and protective factors, and maintaining an accurate record and documenting the process and findings.
The critical analysis of a child’s development in all the developmental domains after reviewing all the assessment results. From this diagnosis, professionals offer parents a precise and detailed description of the characteristics of the child’s development, including strengths and the ways in which the child learns.
Discrimination of Sensory Input
The ability to correctly recognize sensory input on a neurological level in order to use it functionally.
Any abnormal development of tissues or organs.
Poor praxis or motor planning; a less severe but more common dysfunction than apraxia. Related to the diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder.
Early Childhood Program
Intervening early in the lives of disadvantaged children is assumed to provide the best opportunity to forestall later problems and to ready children for school and life. This assumption is bolstered by evidence that early childhood programs have produced long-term cognitive and social benefits for the children who enrolled in them.
Early Childhood Special Education
Early Childhood Special Education. Special education is instruction that is specially designed to address the educational and other needs of children with disabilities, or a child experiencing developmental delays. Special education is provided free of charge through the public school system. It is available through the same law that makes early intervention services available-the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Special education services are provided free of charge through the public schools.
Early Identification
The evaluation and treatment provided to families and their children under 3 years old who have, or are at risk for having, a disability or delay. A child can quickly fall behind if their development is delayed. Early identification increases the chances for improvement.
Early Intervention
Refers to the range of services designed to enhance the development of infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delays/difficulties. Services may include but are not limited to: speech and language therapy, physical and/or occupational therapy, special education, and a range of family support services. Early intervention is sometimes used to refer to any systematic effort to improve developmental outcomes for young children.
Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis, Treatment
Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment. The EPSDT program is the child health component of Medicaid. It is required in every state and is designed to improve the health of low-income children under the age of 21, by financing appropriate and necessary pediatric services. EPSDT was defined by law as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (OBRA ’89) legislation and includes periodic screening, vision, dental, and hearing services. In addition, Section 1905(r)(5) of the Social Security Act requires that any medically necessary health care service listed at Section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act be provided to an EPSDT recipient even if the service is not available under the State’s Medicaid plan to the rest of the Medicaid population. This website provides information about how EPSDT works with public health, families, managed care organizations, pediatricians, and other health providers.
Automatic repetition of words and phrases, usually those which have just been heard.
Electroencephalography (EEG)
A medical imaging technique to graphically record electrical brain waves.
The total knowledge concerning the cause of a disease.
A complex process aimed at identifying specific developmental disorders that are affecting a child. These definitions build on existing definitions.
Expressive Language
The ability to express your ideas and thoughts to others.
Straightening or backward movement of the spine or arms/legs.
A body limb or appendage.
Facilitated Communication (FC)
Facilitated communication. FC is a method of communication intended to help people with communication disorders to use communication aids with their hands. The facilitator offers emotional and physical support, often steadying the user’s hand, wrist or arm as the user points toward the communication device (often a picture board, speech synthesizer or keyboard)
The assistance of movement by a therapist in order to feel a patient’s response to changes in posture and movement.
Occurring in members of the same family.
Family Centered Care
The concept may also be refered to as family centered practice, or family directed practice. Family-centered care is a process which focuses on ensuring that (1) the organization and delivery of health care services meet the emotional, social, and developmental needs of children, and (2) their families are integrated into all aspects of the health care plan. Family-centered care implies that families have alternatives and choices based on their own needs and strengths and should receive support for those choices, and that the health care system facilitates family/professional collaboration at all levels, especially in planning, implementing, and evaluating programs and their related policies and practices.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.
Fine Motor Skills
Tasks that use the small muscles of the body, such as those found in the fingers. Tasks include holding small items, feeding yourself, turning pages and cutting with scissors.
Bending or forward movement of the spine, arms, or legs.
The consistent ability to produce an effortless, smooth, and uninterrupted forward flow of speech.
Free Appropriate Public Education
Free Appropriate Public Education. FAPE is a right of all children who have disabilities in the United States. It is defined by Public Law (PL) 94-142, the EHA (now PL 101-476, IDEA) as special educational and related services at public expense (i.e. without charge); meeting the standards of approximate grade levels of the State education agency within the context of an individualized education program written with parental participation; and due process, including access to judicial review to determine that the State has complied with the Act and that the written individualized educational program is “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits,” e.g. achieving passing marks and grade advancement. There are also FAPE stipulations in Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act as well as in the ADA.
Functional Goals
Goals that pertain to specific activities of daily living.
Functional Limitations
The inability to perform a task or activity in a typical way.
Walking motions.
Inherited through family genes; a trait that runs in a person’s family.
Bodily movements used to communicate with others (e.g. giving, reaching toward an adult, pushing away, pointing, showing, nodding head, taking something from a play partner).
Grasp Reflex
A baby’s strong grip of a person’s finger when the palm of the baby’s hand is touched.
Grip Strength
Ability to maintain a firm hold on a toy or object.
Gross Motor
Refers to movement of large, proximal muscle groups as opposed to smaller, more distal muscle groups.
Vegetative sounds that are brief, relatively soft, produced with the mouth closed or partially open, and accompanied by a neutral face.
Hard of Hearing, (HoH)(HH)
This term is used to describe a degree of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound for which a person usually receives some benefit from amplification. Most people who are hard of hearing are oralists (they communicate by using their voice), although a small number learn sign language. Usually people who are HoH participate in society by using their residual hearing with hearing aids, speech reading, and assistive devices to facilitate communication.
Head Start
A federal program started in 1965 that provides free education for young children in many low-income families across the United States.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
An HMO is a type of Managed Care Organization that provides a form of health insurance coverage in the United States that is fulfilled through hospitals, doctors, and other providers with which the HMO has a contract. Unlike traditional indemnity insurance, care provided in an HMO generally follows a set of care guidelines provided through the HMO’s network of providers. Under this model, providers contract with an HMO to receive more patients and in return usually agree to provide services at a discount.
Hearing Impaired
Hearing impairment happens when an individual’s hearing is affected by a disease, disorder or injury. Hearing loss can be present at birth (deaf or hard of hearing people) or develop in childhood or adulthood (deafened people). There are a great many causes of deafness and hearing impairment. The biggest single cause is age, called age-related hearing loss.
Paralysis of one side of the body.
Extension of a bodily joint beyond its normal range of motion.
Characterized by increased and excessive muscular movements that are sometimes involuntary.
A condition which causes a person to see objects that are far away more clearly than those closer to him/her; farsightedness. The condition results from the eyeball being too short from front to back.
A disorder of sensory modulation in which an individual is overwhelmed by ordinary sensory input and reacts defensively to or withdraws from it, often with strong negative emotion and activation of the sympathetic nervous system.
Having excessive muscular tone or strength.
Higher muscle tone than what is considered typical; resistance to passive movement, in extreme form, spasticity.
Enlargement of a body part or organ.
Abnormally inactive.
Slow moving.
Less than typical muscle tone; flabby, soft muscles.
Insufficient oxygen supply to body tissue and cells.
The frequency of occurrence of a problem at a particular point in time.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Originally enacted by Congress in 1975 and most recently revised in December 2004, IDEA is the nation’s special education law which ensures children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. IDEA guides how states and school districts provide special education and related services to more than six million eligible children with disabilities. IDEA is made of: IDEA Part A: general provisions; IDEA Part B: provisions relating to the education of school-aged and preschool children, the funding formula (40% of the average cost for every special education student), evaluations for services, eligibility determinations, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and educational placements, as well as procedural safeguards; IDEA Part C: early intervention and other services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families (from birth through age 3), as well as grants to states to support these programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities; IDEA Part D: support for various national activities designed to improve the education of children with disabilities, including personnel preparation activities, technical assistance, and special education research.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
An education plan for children 3 to 21 enrolled in a special education program. This is mandated for all children enrolled in special education as part of the Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act. (IDEA) An IEP describes the goals set by a team of parents and educators for a child with special needs for the school year, as well as any special supports that are needed to help achieve those goals. In most cases, the services and goals outlined in an IEP can be provided in a standard school environment or in a special resource room in the regular school. The resource room can serve a group of children with similar needs who are brought together for help.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
As part of Early Intervention, a plan for special service for children 0 to 3 with developmental delays. In contrast to an Individualized Education Program, an IFSP focuses on the needs of the family and child to support the child’s development rather than the child’s education. An IFSP documents and guides the early intervention process for children with disabilities and their families. The IFSP is the vehicle through which effective early intervention is implemented in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It contains information about the services necessary to facilitate a child’s development and enhance the family’s capacity to facilitate the child’s development. Through the IFSP process, family members and service providers work as a team to plan, implement, and evaluate services tailored to the family’s unique concerns, priorities, and resources.
Individualized Service Plan
Individualized Service Plan. The ISP is a written personal plan, or blueprint, for a person with developmental disabilities that summarizes the help he or she wants and needs to achieve his or her own aspirations in life. This program focuses on personal planning and assembling resulting information as a written Individualized Service Plan.
Pain, redness, swelling, and heat that occurs in response to tissue irritation or injury. It usually is caused by the immune system’s response to the body’s contact with a foreign substance, such as an allergen or pathogen.
Integrated Movement
Merging of posture and gesture that animates the whole body with a consistent movement quality, dynamic, or shape in nonverbal communication.
Intentional Communicative Act
An event in which an infant directs a motor and/or vocal act toward his/her parent as evidenced by eye gaze, body orientation or physical contact, and awaited a response, as evidenced by looking at the mother, hesitating or persisting in the communicative act (e.g. the child might point at a ba
Interactive Metronome
A computer-based technology used to enhance motor planning, sequencing, and timing.

Joint Attention
An intentional communication behavior used to direct another’s attention for the purposes of sharing the focus on an entity or event (e.g. a child holding an object up to show the adult).
The application of kinesiotape, an elastic woven material over specific muscles and joints; aides contraction of muscle groups, improves circulation and helps remove fluid buildup. Kinesiotape gives support and stability to a person’s joints and muscles.
The perception or sensing of the motion, weight, or position of the body as muscles, tendons, and joints move.
Language Delay
A slower acquisition of language milestones than that of typically-developing peers.
Language Disorder
An atypical acquisition of developmental language skills.
A child who has a small expressive vocabulary and who acquires language at a slower rate than their typically developing peers.
Pertaining to the side.
Lateral Movement Patterns
Movement of the arm and leg on the same side of the body flexing and extending together (e.g. belly crawling).
Learning disorder (LD)
Learning Disabilities or Learning Differences. LD affects about 15 percent of the population, and can have a profound impact on individuals and families. People with learning disabilities are just as smart than their peers, but have difficulty learning in conventional school settings. A difficulty in learning to read, write, compute, or do schoolwork that cannot be attributed to impaired sight, hearing, or mental retardation.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
A LRE is the educational setting where a child with disabilities can receive a FAPE designed to meet his or her education needs while being educated with peers without disabilities in the regular educational environment to the maximum extent appropriate. Learning in least restrictive environments benefits students with and without disabilities in so much as all children are more likely to improve their academic performance, and increase their communication and socialization skills. Visit the LRE Coalition.
Movement of the body from one place to another.
An atypically increased forward curvature of the lower spine.
Lumbar Curve
Secondary spinal curve in the lower back that develops when the baby becomes more vertical with independent sitting and standing.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A medical imaging technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and computers to visualize detailed internal structures of the body.
Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
A medical imaging technique used to detect electromagnetic and metabolic shifts occurring in the brain during trauma.
A condition that develops when the body does not get the proper amount of protein, energy (calories), vitamins, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function.
In relation to seizures, a progression of muscular convulsions from one muscle group to another.
Massage Therapy
The scientific manipulation of soft tissues using manual (hands-on) techniques such as applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and moving muscles and body tissues.
Maturation Delay
A language delay caused by the slow maturation of speech centers in the brain; often causes late talking.
The three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord.
Atypical smallness of the head.
The center of the body.
The proficiency to organize and accomplish the act of moving.
The brain’s regulation of its own activity, involves facilitating some neural messages to produce more of a perception or response while inhibiting other messages to reduce excess or extraneous activity.
Modulation of Sensory Input
The ability of the nervous system to filter out or allow in various forms of sensory information.
Paralysis of one body part.
Moro Relfex
The “embracing” reflex in an infant lying on its back on a table when the table is struck on either side of the child.
Pertaining to body movement or posture.
Movement Disorders
A group of diseases and syndromes affecting the ability to produce and control bodily movements.
Neck Righting
The immediate rotation of the body in the direction to which the head is turned. This reflex is considered typical in infants up to 6 months of age.
Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT)
An advanced, hands-on therapeutic approach that is used in working with people who have central nervous system issues (e.g. injury, ischemia, infection, degenerative disease) that create difficulties in controlling movement to help them become as independent as possible. The emphasis is in inhibiting certain patterns and promoting the development of normal postural reactions and achieving normal tone.
Pertaining to the nervous system.
Pertaining to both the nerves and muscles or to nerve impulses transmitted to muscles.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
The application of electrical stimuli to a group of muscles, most often for the purpose of muscle rehabilitation.
Pathology of the nervous system.
The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.
A pattern or average regarded as typical for a specific group.
Occupational Therapist (OT)
A professional who helps patients master the skills of daily living. These skills are individual to the patient but can include, dressing, feeding, working, playing or socializing.
Occupational Therapy
A branch of rehabilitation that helps patients master the skills of daily living. Depending on the patient, the skills can include, dressing, feeding, working, playing or socializing.
A support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the function of movable parts of the body.
Parachute Reaction
The automatic placing of hands on the floor when an infant is suddenly lowered from the prone position (supported face-down and horizontal).
Loss or impairment of sensation or voluntary motion.
Loss of feeling and movement in the legs and lower body.
Passive Movement
Movement of a child without his help or cooperation.
Caused by or involving disease; structural and functional changes in tissue and body organs, which are atypical or injurious to health.
The tendency to continue or repeat an act or activity after the cessation of the original stimulus.
Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
A PCA helps an individual with a disability with many of the basic daily routines such as getting in or out of bed, bathing, dressing, driving, shopping, or cleaning. The work done by the PCA allows an individual with disabilities to be more independent and live an active, productive life. The use of a PCA may allow for a family member to return to work. It could also be the deciding factor if an individual can live independently or needs to be in an institutional setting such as a nursing home.
The production of speech sounds through use of the vocal cords.
The smallest phonetic unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning.
Physical Therapist (PT)
A professional trained in assessing and providing therapy to treat developmental delays, disease, and injury using methods such as exercise, heat, light, and massage. In a developmental assessment, the physical therapist would assess the ability and quality of the patient’s use of his/her legs, arms, and complete body by encouraging the display of specific motor tasks.
Physical Therapy
A branch of rehabilitative health that focuses on the preservation, enhancement or restoration of physical movement. Physical therapists provide evaluations and develop plans of care using a variety of treatment techniques that will help restore function and prevent disability.
Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)
A PASS is a plan for the future. A plan lets a person with a disability use his/her income or other things he/she own to help him/her reach work goals. For example, he could set aside money to go to school to get specialized training for a job or to start a business. The job that he wants should allow him to earn enough to reduce or eliminate the need for benefits provided under both the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. A plan is meant to help get items, services, or skills needed to reach goals.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
A medical imaging technique that uses radioactive substances to examine structures of the body. When used to assess the brain, it produces a three-dimensional image that reflects the Metabolic and chemical activity of the brain.
Occurring or existing after birth.
After childbirth.
Pertaining to the position of the body or of body parts; of, relating to, or involving posture.
A branch of linguistics that deals with the use of language in social contexts.
Occurring or existing before birth.
An early childhood program in which children combine learning with play in a program run by professionally trained adults.
The number or proportion of individuals in a community or population with a given condition or problem.
Primary Caregiver
A person who is responsible for the primary care and upbringing of a person who cannot fully care for him/herself.
A prediction of the probable course and outcome of a disease.
PROMPT Technique
Stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. A speech-language treatment technique in which a therapist physically manipulates a child’s jaw, face, and mouth to show how speech sounds are produced.
Turning of the hand with the palm down. Also refers to the turning outward of the foot at the ankle, so that one has a tendency to walk on the inner borders of the foot.
Lying on the stomach with the face downward.
The awareness of one’s posture, movement, balance, and location based on sensations.
A sensory nerve ending in muscles, tendons, and joints that provides a sense of the body’s position by responding to stimuli from within the body.
An artificial device used to replace a missing body part; replacement of a missing body part with such a device.
Paralysis of both the arms and legs.
Range of Motion (ROM)
The range of motion of a joint from full extension to full flexion (bending) measured in degrees like a circle.
Receptive Language
The ability to interpret and make sense of communication received.

Reciprocal Movement
Movement of both the arms and/or both legs at the same time but in opposite directions (e.g. crawling, or arm swing in walking).
Reduplicated babbling
Usually emerges by 6 to 8 months and is characterized by repeated sound repetition, e.g. dadada or bababa.
A backflow of liquid in the opposite direction to its normal movement (e.g. vomiting, spit up).
The restoration of a patient to the highest possible level of physical, mental, sensory, and social functioning.
The vibrating quality of a voice.
Righting Reaction
Automatic response that realigns the body with respect to vertical or horizontal positioning.
Stiffness or inflexibility.
Ring Sitting
Child sits with knees bent slightly and feet in front so that the legs form a ring.
One of the first locomotion patterns that allows an infant to change his/her place in space.
A pre-walking form of movement where a baby uses their bottom and hands to push themselves forward and backward.
The use of standardized tools to identify and refine a recognized risk.
Section 503/504 Sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against and requires affirmative action for qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance and in federally conducted programs. Learn more here.
Self-Directed Movement
Moving or acting with intent; important for developing action plans.
Lying on one’s back with both legs flexed and feet flat on the floor.
Sensorimotor Integration
The ability to receive and combine discrete stimuli into a meaningful whole leading to appropriate motor response and feedback, generally on a non-cognitive basis.
Of, or relating to, processes and structures within an organism that receive stimuli from the environment and convey them to the brain.
Sensory Discrimination
The ability to perceive various aspects of sensation both within a system, such as light touch, texture, and deep pressure from the tactile system, and between different systems, such as smell and taste, vision and hearing.
Sensory Input
The streams of electrical impulses flowing from the sense receptors in the body to the spinal cord and brain.
Sensory Integration (SI)
The process of how an individual receives information and processes it based on his/her senses (touch, taste, smell, sound, sight). This may include how one perceives his/her body,and the world around him/her. According to the theory of sensory integration, the many parts of the nervous system work together so that one can interact with the environment effectively and experience appropriate satisfaction. Having poor sensory integration may interfere with activities necessary for daily functioning (e.g. brushing teeth, playing on play equipment, hugging).
Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT)
A series of tests designed by Dr. A Jean Ayres to assess the status of sensory integration or its dysfunction; a revised and updated version of the Southern California Sensory Integration Test (SCSIT).
Sensory Integration Certification
A certificate indicating a therapist has participated in and completed a postgraduate course of study specific to sensory integration theory and practice, including administering and interpreting the SIPT.
Sensory Integrative Deficits
Problems in one or more areas of sensory integration and praxis.
Sensory Integrative Dysfunction
An irregularity or disorder in brain function that makes it difficult to integrate sensory input. Sensory integrative dysfunctions are the basis for many, but not all, learning disorders.
Sensory Processing Deficits
A condition that exists when sensory signals do not get organized into appropriate responses. This causes the individual to have difficulties processing and acting on information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing everyday tasks.
Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach
A non-invasive developmental feeding program which focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level exploring and learning about the different properties of foods.
Side Lying
Lying on either side.
Side Sitting
Child sits with both knees bent and pointing to the same side.
Sound Blending
Ability to synthesize separate parts of a word and produce an integrated whole.
Increased tension in a muscle.
The understanding that objects occupy space, even though they may vary in their relationship to the child and to each other.
Speech quality
The perceived speech likeness in infant vocalizations by adult listeners (e.g. segmental sound quality).
Speech Therapy
A branch of rehabilitation that assesses and treats speech, communication, and feeding disorders.
Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
A professional trained in assessing and treating problems in communication including: articulation (pronunciation of sounds), receptive language (understanding and processing what is communicated by others), expressive language (the ability to communicate to others), fluency (including stuttering), and voice problems (including pitch and intonation). A speech and language pathologist is also trained to work with oral/motor problems, such as swallowing, and other feeding difficulties.
Spica Cast
A cast of layers overlapping in a V pattern, covering two body parts greatly different in size (e.g. the hip and waist or the thumb and wrist).
Splinter Skills
Motor skills developed and maintained through repeated practice on a cognitive basis.
The application of a splint to restrict movement to support or improve alignment of a body part for better function or the tensing of muscles; used to help reduce pain and protection against further injury.
The process of determining established norms and procedures for a test to act as a standard reference point for future test results.
Turn or rotation of the hand or forearm so the palm faces up or forward. Also refers to the turning or rotating of the foot so that the outer edge of the sole bears the body’s weight.
Lying on the back with the face upward. Also refers to having the palm of the hand facing upward or away from the body.
Surface Electromyography (SEMG)
A non-invasive procedure involving the detection, recording and interpretation of the electric activity of groups of muscles at rest and during activity. The procedure is performed using a single or an array of electrodes placed on the skin surface over the muscles to be tested. SEMG is occasionally used to diagnose neuromuscular disorders, determine the need for surgery in individuals with lower back pain, and assist in evaluating the prognosis of disorders involving muscle lesions. The technology has also been utilized to monitor the effects of rehabilitation programs and evaluate muscular function in occupational and sports programs.
The process of recognizing children who may be at risk of developmental delays.
Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex
When a child is positioned face-down over one’s lap with his/her neck flexed, the child’s arms will flex while his/her legs straighten. When the child’s neck is extended, his/her arms will straighten while his/her hips and knees bend. This reflex is usually present until 4 to 6 months of age.
Exact correspondence of form and constituent configuration on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane or about a center or an axis.
A combination of symptoms which occur together and define a disease or disorder.
Pertaining to the sense of touch on skin.
Tactile Defensiveness
Over sensitivity to touch sensations, can cause excessive emotional reactions or other behavior problems.
Tailor Sitting
Child sits with his legs crossed in front of him.
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf. A TDD, sometimes known as TTY for Teletypewriter or TT for Text Telephone, is a device used by people with hearing and speech impairments who cannot use a standard telephone.
Customizable physical rehabilitation systems that are worn under clothing to address neuromotor, orthopedic, and postural conditions in children and adults.
Title V
Title V of the Social Security Act is administered by HRSA, Public Health Service, DHHS. The purpose of Title V is to improve the health of all mothers and children consistent with the applicable health status goals and national health objectives established by the Secretary under the Public Health Service Act. Activities carried out under Title V are funded through the Title V Block Grant.
Tongue Thrust
Oral movement pattern where the tongue protrudes out of the mouth.
Tonic Labyrinth Reflexes
Occurs when an infant is placed on his/her back and extensor tone predominates; also when he/she is placed on his stomach and flexor tone predominates. The presence of this reflex is uncertain in typical child development but is seen in children with motor problems.
Involuntary trembling or quivering in one or more parts of the body, typically in the extremities.
Paralysis of three of the body’s limbs.
Tummy Time
Positioning a baby on its stomach while the baby is awake and supervised. Spending time on the stomach helps babies strengthen their head, neck, and shoulder muscles.
Vestibular System
Sensory organs in the inner-ear system that register the position of the head in relation to gravity and velocity of movement and are critical for all skills requiring balance.
Visual Closure
Ability to identify a visual stimulus from a partial or incomplete stimulus.
Visual Fusion
The combination of the separate images in the two eyes converging into one image.
Visual Impairment (VI)
People with VI include people who have never had any visual function, those who had normal vision for some years before becoming gradually or suddenly partially or totally blind, those with disabilities in addition to the visual loss, those with selective impairments of parts of the visual field, and those with a general degradation of acuity across the visual field.
Visual Memory
The ability to maintain the concept of an object when it is hidden from view.
Visual Processing
Focusing, tracking objects, and gathering information; dependent on good head and neck control.
Visual Reception
Ability to gain meaning from visual symbols.
Visual Sequential Memory
Ability to reproduce sequences of visual items from memory.
Non-word sounds voiced by the child to the play partner; may occur alone or with gestures (e.g. babbling, cooing, “ah,” “da,” animal sounds).
Discomfort or fussing sounds of long or short duration, not as loud as cries, accompanied by a sad face, and mouth partially open.

Detailed Information on Conditions Treated by OT, PT, & SLT

ANXIETY DISORDERS – Bear with me it’s just a sample : ) The category of Anxiety Disorders includes social anxiety disorder (formerly known as social phobia), generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, specific phobia, and selective mutism.

Anxiety problems are the most common of all emotional disorders. Over 40 million American adults experience something that causes them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the mild anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months. Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including depression, alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.

Effective therapies for anxiety disorders are available, and research is uncovering new treatments that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. If you think you have an anxiety disorder, you should seek information and treatment right away.

The following information is based on Anxiety Disorders as a whole, but includes links to specific conditions also contained within this website.

Each anxiety disorder has its own set of symptoms however, they all revolve around excessive, irrational fear and dread. As with many mental illnesses, a variety of factors, such as genetics, environmental, biological, and psychological may be involved. The causes of anxiety disorders is still unknown, however, research is finding that certain areas of the brain that control fear responses has a role. Anxiety disorders can run in families. Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men.

Brain imaging technology studies and neurochemical techniques, are helping scientists discover that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders.

For more detailed information on a specific anxiety disorder, please follow one of the links below.

  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Selective Mutism
  • Specific Phobia

Medications and psychotherapy are the two types of treatment that are most effective for all anxiety disorders, despite the differing symptoms. While treatment can be highly successful, it does not always provide a complete cure.

Common Medications Prescribed for Anxiety Disorders Antidepressants Antidepressants are often used for anxiety because they are thought to play a role in the chemicals in the brain that cause anxiety. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants for anxiety are listed below. If you click on the drug name, a new window will open taking you to the drug’s website.

  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Tofranil (imipramine)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Pexeva (paroxetine)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Zoloft (Sertraline)
If you do not see the medication prescribed to you on the above list, you can search WebMD for your specific medication.

Psychotherapy Cognitive behavior therapy is the most effective form of therapy for anxiety disorders. It is usually short-term and teaches skills to better cope with stressors that cause anxiety.

Resources on the Internet National Institute of Mental Health NIMH is one of the institutes of the National Institute of Health and is dedicated to treating and preventing mental illnesses through basic research on the brain and behavior, and through clinical, epidemiological, and services research.

Related Organizations & Associations

Center for Substance Abuse Research

Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS)

Cerebral Palsy Daily Living

Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation

Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

Children & Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Children’s Hemiplegia & Stroke Association (CHASA)

Children’s Neurological Solutions (CNS) Foundation

Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)


Cleft Palate Foundation

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

Co-Dependents Anonymous

The Color of Autism

Community Integrated Service Systems (CISS)

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Cure Cerebral Palsy

Debtors Anonymous

Department of Education (ED)

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS or HHS)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (

Developmental Delay Resources

Developmental Disability Councils (DD Councils) Down Syndrome Information Alliance Dual Recovery Anonymous

Easter Seals EMDR International Association Exceptional Parent Magazine

ep (Exceptional Parent) is a 42-year-old, award-winning publishing and communications company. ep provides practical advice, emotional support and the most up-to-date educational information for families of children and adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs as well as to the physicians, allied health care professionals, and educational professionals who are involved in their care and development. External Partners Group (EPG)

The External Partners Group is a coalition of government and private sector participants who work together to enhance the mission and activities of the CDC-NCBDDD in promoting child development; preventing birth defects and developmental disorders/disabilities; and enhancing the quality of life and preventing secondary conditions among people who are living with mental or physical disabilities, or a combination thereof. Visit the EPG website. Families for Depression Awareness ( Families for Depression Awareness is a national nonprofit organization helping families recognize and cope with depressive disorders to get people well and prevent suicides. Families for Early Autism Treatment Family Voices

Family Voices is a national, grassroots clearinghouse for information and education concerning the health care of children with special health needs. Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH) The National Federation works to develop and implement policies, legislation, funding mechanisms, and service systems that utilize the strengths of families. Its emphasis on advocacy offers families a voice in the formation of national policy, services and supports for children with mental health needs and their families. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

FDA assures the safety of foods and cosmetics, and the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals, biological products, and medical devices. Established: 1906. The FDA is a public health agency of DHHS. Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

We raise awareness of learning disability issues amongst the wider public, in order to breakdown stigma and discrimination. We aim to break down the economic and social barriers and prejudices that people with learning disabilities face throughout their lives, as well as providing information, resources and services that can help them lead fuller, more independent lives. Fragile X Research Foundation (FRAXA)

Founded in 1994 by three parents of children with Fragile X to support scientific research aimed at finding a treatment and a cure for Fragile X, FRAXA’s mission is to accelerate progress toward effective treatments and ultimately a cure for Fragile X, by directly funding the most promising research. FRAXA also supports families affected by Fragile X and raises awareness of this disease. Freedom From Fear Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association. The mission of FFF is to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support. Gamblers Anonymous Gateway to PTSD description Generation Rescue www.generation Geriatric Mental Health Foundation

Gift From Within: Article for Partners description Grief Speaks The mission of Grief Speaks is to normalize grief in our ‘Get Over It’ and ‘Move On” society. The vision to give every child, teenager and adult permission to grieve in his or her own way and time, through all different types of losses and transitions. Lisa Athan, Grief Specialist and founder of Grief Speaks, provides presentations, workshops and keynotes all over the country. Lisa is also a grief counselor and grief specialist. Lisa is a counselor for teens and adults coping with different types of loss. Her speaking programs include information on different ways that people grieve, how children and teens cope with loss differently than adults, how to listen with compassion, strategies and tools for grievers and friends of grievers, stories from her extensive experience as a grief recovery specialist and counselor, a wide range of resources and support for children, teens and adults who are coping with grief due to all different types of loss.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA provides access to essential health care services for people who are low-income, uninsured or who live in rural areas or urban neighborhoods where health care is scarce. The agency helps prepare the nation’s health care system and providers to respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, maintains the National Health Service Corps and helps build the health care workforce through training and education programs. HRSA administers a variety of programs to improve the health of mothers and children and serves people living with HIV/AIDS through the Ryan White CARE Act programs. HRSA also oversees the nation’s organ transplantation system. Established: 1982 HRSA is a public health agency of DHHS. Illinois Society of Clinical Social Workers The Illinois Society for Clinical Social Work is a professional organization that acts as an authority and resource by providing expertise and establishing standards for the practice of clinical social work. We promote the professional development of our members through research, political action, advocacy, education and affiliation. Infant Development Association Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) IDDRCs are a national resource that grew out of Congress’ mandate in 1963 to establish centers of excellence in mental retardation and developmental disabilities research. Twenty member Centers represent the nation’s first sustained effort to prevent and treat disabilities through biomedical and behavioral research. Today, IDDRCs represent the world’s largest concentration of scientific expertise in the fields of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The scope of the research conducted at the Centers encompasses every known major dimension of mental retardation. IDDRCs are members of AUCD. International Classification of Diseases The Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental & Learning Disorders International Association of Orofacial Myology International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health International Society for the Study of Dissociation description LD Online ( LD OnLine seeks to help children and adults reach their full potential by providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about learning disabilities and ADHD. The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns by noted experts, first person essays, children’s writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, very active forums, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products. The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)

The LBPH provides on free loan recorded books and magazines, equipment to play the recordings, large print books, and described videos. Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)

Funded by the MCHB (HRSA), LEAH programs are devoted to the health and well-being of adolescents in the United States. The 7 nationwide LEAH programs educate and mentor the next generation of leaders in adolescent health who will influence public policy and public health experts, and train clinicians, investigators and educators. LEAH projects are committed to honoring diversity among young people and training health care leaders who have the capacity to develop programs, services, and interventions within the cultural context and social environments relevant to those being served. Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND)

LEND programs provide long-term, graduate level interdisciplinary training to health professionals. Funded by MCHB (HRSA), LENDs develop leadership potential to improve the health status of infants, children, and adolescents with or at risk for neurodevelopmental and related disabilities and to enhance the systems of care for these children and their families. The program focuses on health conditions of mental retardation, neurodegenerative and acquired neurological disorders and multiple disabilities. 35 LEND Programs in 28 states and the District of Columbia provide this critically needed leadership and clinical training to professionals. Visit the LEND webpage. Learning Disabilities Association (LDA)

The LDA is the largest non-profit volunteer organization advocating for individuals with learning disabilities and has over 200 state and local affiliates in 42 states and Puerto Rico. LDA’s international membership of over 15,000 includes members from 27 countries around the world. The membership, composed of individuals with learning disabilities, family members and concerned professionals, advocates for the almost three million students of school age with learning disabilities and for adults affected with learning disabilities. The state and local affiliates, through their affiliation with the national LDA, work continuously for individuals with learning disabilities, their parents and the professionals who serve them. March of Dimes Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant Program Title V Block Grant

The mission of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant Program, as authorized under Title V of the Social Security Act, is to improve the health of all mothers, children, and their families. Created as a partnership with State MCH programs and with broad State discretion, State Title V programs use appropriated formula grant funds for: capacity and systems building, public information and education, knowledge development, outreach and program linkage, technical assistance, provider training, evaluation, support for newborn screening, and genetic services, lead poisoning and injury prevention, additional support services for children with special health care needs, and promotion of health and safety in child care settings. Section 502 of the Social Security Act states that of the amounts appropriated, up to $600,000,000, 85% is for allocation to the States, and 15 % is for Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) activities. Any amount appropriated in excess of $600,000,000 is distributed as follows: 12.75% is for Community Integrated Service Systems (CISS) activities; of the remaining amount, 85% is for allocation to the States, and 15% is for SPRANS activities. Learn more here. Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB)

MCHB is a bureau of HRSA, DHHS. The original Children’s Bureau was established in 1912. In 1935, the U.S. Congress enacted Title V of the Social Security Act, which authorized the Maternal and Child Health Services programs and provided a foundation and structure for assuring the health of American mothers and children. MCHB envisions a future America in which the right to grow to one’s full potential is universally assured through attention to the comprehensive physical, psychological and social needs of the maternal and child health population. MCHB strives for a society where children are wanted and born with optimal health, receive quality care and are nurtured lovingly and sensitively as they mature into healthy, productive adults, and seeks a nation where there is equal access for all to quality health care in a supportive, culturally competent, family and community setting. Mayo Clinic Depression Self Test description Medlineplus Mental Health America With over a century of advocacy, public education, and the delivery of programs and services, Mental Health America is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. My Child Without Limits Narcotics Anonymous

Nar-Anon Family Groups

National Alliance On Mental Illness NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)

NACDD’s mission is to provide support and assistance to member Councils in order to promote a consumer and family centered system of services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS)

NADS provides critical counseling and support for parents of newly diagnosed infants with Down syndrome as well as advocacy, referral and information services. In addition, NADS sponsors conferences and educational programs for parents and professionals, and conducts in-services for medical personnel and educators. Through a partnership with the Adult Down Syndrome Center, NADS delivers health, psychosocial services and therapeutic programs to teens and adults with Down syndrome. National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) The NAFC is dedicated to promoting competency and training for professionals working with criminal offenders in addictions, criminal justice, mental health and corrections and improving communication between the clinician and the criminal justice system. National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems ( National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 153,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. National Association of Special Education Teachers: Autism National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc. IDEA Partnership () The IDEA Partnership reflects the collaborative work of more than 50 national organizations, technical assistance providers, and organizations and agencies at state and local level. National Autism Association National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)

The NCBDDD promotes the health of babies, children, and adults, and enhance the potential for full, productive living. NCBDDD’s work includes identifying the causes of and preventing birth defects, developmental disabilities, helping children to develop and reach their full potential, and promoting health and well-being among people of all ages with disabilities. National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE)

NCDAE monitors and promotes electronically-mediated distance education policies and practices that enhance the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The NCDAE is working to further the national agenda necessary to increase opportunities for participation of people with disabilities and addresses: (a) delivery of electronically-mediated content, (b) testing and assessment, and (c) administrative procedures such as registration for educational offerings. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

The NCHS compiles statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health of America’s people. NCHS collects data from birth and death records, medical records, interview surveys, and through direct physical exams and laboratory testing. The mission of NCHS is to provide statistical information that will guide actions and policies to improve the health of the American people. As the Nation’s principal health statistics agency, NCHS leads the way with accurate, relevant, and timely data. National Center for PTSD description National Center for Trauma Informed Care (NCTIC) description National Child Traumatic Stress Network description National Community Education Directors Council (NCEDC)

NCEDC is one of AUCD’s Councils of the Board of Directors. NCEDC serves as a focus and forum for the identification, discussion, and resolution of problems and issues regarding outreach training; function as a representative voice of the outreach training interests and concerns within the AUCD network and influences the development and implementation of national outreach training policies and initiatives. Visit the NCEDC website. National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)

NCIL represents over 700 organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States. National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated P&As and CAPs for individuals with disabilities. Through training and technical assistance, legal support, and legislative advocacy, the NDRN works to create a society in which people with disabilities are afforded equality of opportunity and are able to fully participate by exercising choice and self-determination. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities ( NICHCY is very pleased to offer you a wealth of information on disabilities! We serve the nation as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth. Here, you’ll also find easy-to-read information on IDEA, the law authorizing early intervention services and special education. National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC)

NDSC is a national advocacy organization for people with Down syndrome. NDSC provides leadership in all areas of concern related to persons with Down syndrome. In that capacity, NDSC is a major source of support and empowerment to persons with Down syndrome and their families National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) The mission of NDSS is to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through national leadership in education, research and advocacy. National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)

NECTAC supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of IDEA. The NECTAC mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through five) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services. National Eating Disorders Association National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder description National Education Association (NEA)

The NEA, the nation’s largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA’s 3.2 million members work at every level of education-from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States. National Empowerment Center ( As a consumer/survivor/expatient-run organization, we carry out our mission with authority, as each of us is living a personal journey of recovery and empowerment. We are convinced that recovery and empowerment are not the privilege of a few exceptional leaders, but rather are possible for each person with lived experience. Whether on the back ward of a state mental institution or working as an executive in a corporation, we want people who are mental health consumers/survivors/expatients to know there is a place to turn to in order to receive the information they might need in order to regain control over their lives and the resources that affect their lives. That place is the National Empowerment Center. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

The NHIS is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States and is one of the major data collection programs of the NCHS and has been conducted since 1960. NHIS data are used widely throughout the DHHS to monitor trends in illness and disability and to track progress toward achieving national health objectives. The main objective of the NHIS is to monitor the health of the United States population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of health topics. A major strength of this survey lies in the ability to display these health characteristics by many demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY)

NICHCY is the national information and referral center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. Their special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22). National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

NICHD is part of the NIH, the biomedical research arm of the DHHS. The mission of the NICHD is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from reproductive processes, and that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation. National Institute of Health National Institute on Aging (NIA) NIA — one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the NIH — has been at the forefront of the Nation’s research activities dedicated to understanding the nature of aging, supporting the health and well-being of older adults, and extending healthy, active years of life for more people. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) NIMH is one of the institutes of the National Institute of Health and is dedicated to treating and preventing mental illnesses through basic research on the brain and behavior, and through clinical, epidemiological, and services research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

NINDS conducts and supports research on brain and nervous system disorders. Created by the U.S. Congress in 1950, NINDS is one of the more than two dozen research institutes and centers that comprise the NIH. NINDS has occupied a central position in the world of neuroscience for 50 years. The mission of NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease – a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world. National Library of Medicine (NLM) The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology. In addition, the Library coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine that promotes and provides access to health information in communities across the United States. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

Created in 1978, NIDRR provides leadership and support for a comprehensive program of research related to the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. All programmatic efforts are aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood. NIDRR, RSA and OSEP are components of ED’s OSERS. Visit the NIDRR webpage. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) NIDA’s mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. This charge has two critical components. The first is the strategic support and conduct of research across a broad range of disciplines. The second is ensuring the rapid and effective dissemination and use of the results of that research to significantly improve prevention and treatment and to inform policy as it relates to drug abuse and addiction. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH is the world’s premier medical research organization, supporting over 38,000 research projects nationwide in diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, heart ailments and AIDS. NIH includes 27 separate health institutes and centers. It was established in 1887 as the Hygienic Laboratory of Staten Island, N.Y. NIH is a part of DHHS. National Parent Information Network (NPIN)

NPIN is now known as the Parent to Parent program. It is a program implemented at the state level that connects parents and families of children with disabilities to share information, resources and offer support to each other. Visit NPIN/Parent to Parent. National Rehabilitation Information Center National Resource Center for ADHD ( The National Resource Center on ADHD: A Program of CHADD is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (CDC/NCBDDD). The NRC provides information on this disorder, which affects how millions of children and adults function on a daily basis. National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives (NRCPAD) Psychiatric advance directives (PADs) are relatively new legal instruments that may be used to document a competent person’s specific instructions or preferences regarding future mental health treatment, in preparation for the possibility that the person may lose capacity to give or withhold informed consent to treatment during acute episodes of psychiatric illness. National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP)

NSIP, a CNCS training and technical assistance provider, offers training, strategic planning facilitation, and technical assistance on disability inclusion in national service.; NSIP on AUCD’s website. National Stuttering Association National Suicide Prevention Lifeline description National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)

This survey, sponsored by HRSA’s MCHB, examines the physical and emotional health of children ages 0-17 years of age. Special emphasis is placed on factors that may relate to well-being of children, including medical homes, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and safe neighborhoods. Data was collected between January 2003 and July of 2004 on 102,353 children ages 0-17 years old. The NSCH is a SLAITS survey. More information. NSCH Data Resource Center. National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NSCSHCN)

Sponsored by HRSA’s MCHB and DHHS, the primary goal of this module is to assess the prevalence and impact of special health care needs among children in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. This survey explores the extent to which CSHCN have medical homes, adequate health insurance, and access to needed services. Other topics include care coordination and satisfaction with care. Data was collected on 750 CSHCN and at least 2700 non-CSHCN per State and DC between October 2000 and April 2002 where children were under 18 years of age. The NSCHSCN is a SLAITS survey. More information. NSCSHCN Data Center. National Women’s Health Resource Center

Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDTA) O.A.S.I.S. Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation description

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

OSEP supports a comprehensive array of programs and projects authorized by IDEA that improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. OSEP, NIDRR and RSA are components of ED’s OSERS. Visit OSEP. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Within ED, OSERS supports programs designed to educate children with special needs; provides for the rehabilitation of youths and adults with disabilities; and supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age. OSERS has three components: NIDRR, OSEP and RSA. Office of the Surgeon General, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Organization for Autism Research Overeaters Anonymous

Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER Center) ( The mission of PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents. With assistance to individual families, workshops, materials for parents and professionals, and leadership in securing a free and appropriate public education for all children, PACER’s work affects and encourages families in Minnesota and across the nation. Pathways Awareness Foundation PBS Parents: Children with Disabilities Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC)

PPCs are Title V training programs funded by MCHB (HRSA). The mission of the PPCs is to develop leaders who will improve the health of children with respiratory conditions through the provision of family-centered care. All MCHB training programs aim to promote comprehensive, coordinated, family centered, and culturally sensitive systems of health care that serve the diverse needs of all families within their communities. PPC traineeships are available in pulmonary medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, respiratory care, physical therapy, and social work. Pediatric Tourette Syndrome Informartion Pendulum

Postpartum Depression Alliance of Illinois Postpartum Support International

Protection and Advocacy System (P&As)

A nationwide network of congressionally mandated, legally based disability rights agencies. P&As have the authority to provide legal representation and other advocacy services to all people with disabilities. Parent organization: NDRN. Gateway to PTSD description Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)

RSA administers and supports a comprehensive array of formula and discretionary grant programs and projects that serve and assist individuals with disabilities. RSA, NIDRR and OSEP are components of ED’s OSERS. Visit RSA. Reaching for the Stars description

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)

On August 2, 1991, over 800 self-advocates from across the United States and Canada voted to start a national self-advocacy organization. SABE members believe: a)people with disabilities should be treated as equals; b)people should be given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up and empower themselves; c) people should be able to make new friendships and renew old friendships just like everyone else; and d) people should be able to learn from their mistakes like everyone else. Sidran Institute description

Smart Recovery

Social Enhancement Workbook description Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, & Anthropology description Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) SPRANS funds support projects (through grants, contracts, and other mechanisms) in research, training, genetic services and newborn screening and follow-up, hemophilia, and maternal and child health improvement. SPRANS projects must support national needs and priorities or emerging issues, have regional or national significance and demonstrate ways to improve State systems of care for mothers and children. 15% of the Title V Block Grant is allocated for SPRANS activities. Learn more here. Spenders Anonymous

Spina Bifida Association/of America (SBA / SBAA)

The SBA serves the 70,000 adults and children who live with spina bifida, the most common permanently disabling birth defect. Since 1973, SBAA has served as the nation’s only voluntary health agency dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with spina bifida and those whose lives they touch. The mission of SBA is to promote the prevention of spina bifida and to enhance the lives of all affected. State and Local Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS)

SLAITS collects important health care data at State and local levels. This data collection mechanism was developed by the NCHS of the CDC. It supplements current national data collection strategies by providing in-depth State and local area data to meet various program and policy needs in an ever-changing health care system. A partial list of examples of research areas include health insurance coverage, access to care, perceived health status, utilization of services, and measurement of child well-being. Learn more here. Stop Bullying description Stuttering Foundation of America Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA works to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services. SAMHSA provides funding through block grants to states to support substance abuse and mental health services, including treatment for more than 650,000 Americans with serious substance abuse problems or mental health problems. It helps improve substance abuse prevention and treatment services through the identification and dissemination of best practices and monitors the prevalence and incidence of substance abuse. Established: 1992. SAMHSA is a public health agency of DHHS. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education description Suicide Outreach description Suicide Prevention Resource Center

SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. We provide technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. We also promote collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention. Treatment and Research Advancements Association for Personality Disorder (TARA) The Treatment and Research Advancements Association for Personality Disorder, TARA APD, is a 501 C3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster education and research in the field of personality disorder, specifically but not exclusively Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD); to support research into the causes, psychobiology and treatment of personality disorders; to support and I encourage educational programs and endeavors targeting mental health professionals, consumers of mental health services, families and/or the community at large in order to reduce stigma and increase awareness of personality disorder, to disseminate available information on etiology and treatment and to lawfully advocate for accomplishments of these goals. Survivors Art Foundation description Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) Tourette Syndrome Association Inc description The Trevor Project description Trichotillomania Learning Center The Trichotillomania Learning Center’s mission is to end the suffering caused by hair pulling disorder, skin picking disorder, and related body-focused repetitive behaviors. United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

For more than 55 years, UCP has been committed to change and progress for persons with disabilities. The national organization and its nationwide network of affiliates strive to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every facet of society-from the Web to the workplace, from the classroom to the community. As one of the largest health charities in America, the mission of United Cerebral Palsy is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network. UCP affiliates serve more than 170,000 children and adults with disabilities and their families every day. US Autism & Asperger Association University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)

Since 1963, UCEDDs have been working to accomplish a shared vision that foresees a nation in which all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity, and community inclusion are key components of this vision. Funded in part by ADD, Sixty-seven UCEDDs in every state and territory are located in a university setting. Centers are in a unique position to facilitate the flow of disability-related information between community and university. Centers work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers in projects that provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing, with a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens. Centers have played key roles in every major disability initiative over the past four decades. Many issues, such as early intervention, health care, community-based services, inclusive and meaningful education, transition from school to work, employment, housing, assistive technology, and transportation have been directly benefited by the services, research, and training provided by UCEDDs. Visit the UCEDD webpage. Weight-Control Information Network Well Spouse Foundation ( The Well Spouse® Association, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization, advocates for and addresses the needs of individuals caring for a chronically ill and/or disabled spouse/partner. We offer peer to peer support and educate health care professionals and the general public about the special challenges and unique issues “well” spouses face every day. Witness Justice ( Every person involved with Witness Justice has a passion for victim rights and services, along with a personal desire to see victims heal and achieve justice. Whether working on crime prevention efforts or generating a new program to fill a gap in what victims need, we are a passionate, committed team working tirelessly to make a difference for survivors of violent crime everywhere. World Federation for Mental Health ( World Federation for Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Yellow Ribbon

The Abilities Fund
  The Abilities Fund is committed to the economic advancement of people with disabilities and devoted to the fullest expression of their entrepreneurial spirit in all its diversity, strength and boundless originality.
Active Minds Active Minds
  Active Minds is a national 501(c)3 organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. We are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation. We work to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serve as liaison between students and the mental health community. Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses nationwide.
Administration for Children & Families Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  ACF is a federal agency responsible for some 60 programs that promote the economic and social well-being of children, families and communities. ACF funds state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families. Actual services are provided by state, county, city and tribal governments, and public and private local agencies. ACF assists these organizations through funding, policy direction, and information services. ACF is a division of DHHS.
Administration for Community Living Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  ACL brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the HHS Office on Disability to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan.
Administration on Developmental Disabilities Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)
  The Administration on Developmental Disabilities ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have access to community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, integration and inclusion in all facets of community life.
Administration on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Administration on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (AIDD)
  AIDD provides financial and leadership support to organizations in every state and territory in the United States to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families can fully participate in and contribute to all aspects of community life. AIDD oversees four grant programs established by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, oversees the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, and administers the disability provisions of the Help America Vote Act. In each state or territory, the four grant programs form a developmental disabilities network, or DD Network.
Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)
  AHRQ supports research on health care systems, health care quality and cost issues, access to health care, and effectiveness of medical treatments. It provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes and quality of care. Established: 1989. AHRQ is a public health agency of DHHS.
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
  The AACAP (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) is the leading national professional medical association dedicated to treating and improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, and families affected by these disorders. Its members actively research, evaluate, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders and pride themselves on giving direction to and responding quickly to new developments in addressing the health care needs of children and their families.
American Academy for Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine American Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine (AACPDM)
  AACPDM is a global leader in the multidisciplinary scientific education of health professionals and researchers dedicated to the well being of people with and at risk for cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities.
American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists (AACP)
  The American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists was founded in 1975 by George Winokur MD and others (including many of his students). They shared the belief that a wealth of clinically relevant data is available in every psychiatrist’s personal practice experience. The organization was created to provide a forum to share information for psychiatrists engaged in direct patient care; and to keep abreast of the latest scientific developments relevant to the practice of psychiatry.
American Academy of Family Physicians American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
  The American Academy of Family Physicians is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with more than 110,600 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, as well as internationally.
American Academy of Neurology American Academy of Neurologists (AAN)
  The American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest professional association of neurologists, and the leading online resource for neurologists across the world. Founded in 1948, the AAN now represents more than 28,000 members and is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered care and enhancing member career satisfaction.
American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Founded as the American Dietetic Association in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917, a group of women collaborated to aid the government conserve food and improve the public’s health and nutrition during World War I. After 95 years, the association changed its name in January 2012 to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — complementing the focus of the organization to improve nutritional well-being, communicating the expertise of its members who are a part of a food- and science-based profession.
American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT)
  The American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) is a national organization committed to excellence in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy practice, education and research. Fellows of the AAOMPT provide the highest level of musculoskeletal care through advanced manual therapy practice.
American Academy of Pain Management American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM)
  The American Academy of Pain Management is the largest pain management organization in the nation and the only one that embraces an integrative model of care, which: is patient-centered; considers the whole person; encourages healthful lifestyle changes as part of the first line of treatment to restore wellness; is evidence-based and brings together all appropriate therapeutic approaches to reduce pain and achieve optimal health and healing; and, encourages a team approach. The Academy offers continuing education, publications, and advocacy.
American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation serves its member physicians by advancing the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation, promoting excellence in physiatric practice, and advocating on public policy issues related to persons with disabling conditions. PM&R physicians are nerve, muscle, bone and brain experts who treat injury or illness nonsurgically to decrease pain and restore function.
American Academy of Pediatrics American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults. To accomplish this, AAP shall support the professional needs of its members.
American Academy of Psychiatry & Law American Academy of Psychiatry and Law (AAPL)
  The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law is an organization of psychiatrists dedicated to excellence in practice, teaching, and research in forensic psychiatry. Founded in 1969, AAPL currently has more than 1,500 members in North America and around the world.
American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry (AAPDP)
  The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry is dedicated to providing psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychiatrists with a forum for exchanging ideas, a paradigm for leadership in advocating for psychoanalytic principles in psychiatry, and a voice for promoting psychodynamic understanding in the evaluation and treatment of psychiatric patients in medical education and residency training as well as within the American Psychiatric Association.
Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine
  The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine represents psychiatrists dedicated to the advancement of medical science, education, and healthcare for persons with comorbid psychiatric and general medical conditions and provides national and international leadership in the furtherance of those goals.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
  From insomnia to sleep apnea, the AASM considers sleep disorders an illness that has reached epidemic proportions. Board-certified sleep medicine physicians in an AASM-accredited sleep center provide effective treatment. AASM encourages patients to talk to their doctors about sleep problems or visit for a searchable directory of sleep centers.
American Association for Community Psychiatrists American Association for Community Psychiatrists (AACP)
  Advocates for quality psychiatric care in community settings. The mission of the AACP is to encourage, equip, and empower community and public psychiatrists to develop and implement policies and high-quality practices that promote individual, family and community resilience and recovery.
American Association for Emergency Psychiatry American Association for Emergency Psychiatry (AAEP)
  American Association for Emergency Psychiatry or AAEP is a multidisciplinary organization that serves as the voice of emergency mental health. The membership includes directors of psychiatric emergency services, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, psychologists, physician assistants, educators and other professionals involved in emergency psychiatry.The AAEP sponsors educational programs and provides a network of experts to address clinical, educational, administrative, research and legal problems.
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP)
  The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry is a membership association of nearly 2,000 geriatric psychiatrists and other health care professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad, dedicated to the mental well-being of older adults.
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy. We represent the professional interests of more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
American Association on Health & Disability American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD)
  AAHD’s mission is to support health promotion and wellness initiatives for people with disabilities at the federal, state and local level, reduce the incidence of secondary conditions in people with disabilities, as well as reduce health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population. AAHD achieves its mission through research, education, public awareness and advocacy.
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
  Formerly AAMR. **NOTE: Name change effective 2007. Since 1876, AAIDD has been providing leadership in the field of mental retardation. AAIDD is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals and others concerned about mental retardation and related disabilities. AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
American Association of Suicidology American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
  AAS is a charitable non-profit membership organization for all those involved in suicide prevention and intervention, or touched by suicide. AAS is a leader in the advancement of scientific and programmatic efforts in suicide prevention through research, education and training, the development of standards and resources, and survivor support services.
American College of Nutrition American College of Nutrition (ACN)
  The American College of Nutrition® (ACN), established in 1959, is on a mission to advance nutrition science to prevent and treat disease. We stimulate nutrition research and publication, elevate nutrition knowledge among clinicians and researchers, and provide practical guidance on clinical nutrition. We accept no funding from for-profit corporations, reinforcing our commitment to advancing the science without compromise.
American Craniosacral Therapy Association American CranioSacral Therapy Association (ACSTA)
  The American CranioSacral Therapy Association represents and promotes the interests and concerns of the CranioSacral Therapy profession. Membership is open to all CranioSacral Therapy practitioners and proponents of this modality developed by John E. Upledger, DO, OMM.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the nation’s leading organization bringing together people across communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, and to help heal the pain it causes. Individuals, families, and communities who have been personally touched by suicide are the moving force behind everything we do.
American Heart Association American Heart Association (AHA)
  The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, our organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters. We fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. Our nationwide organization includes 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees. We moved our national headquarters from New York to Dallas in 1975 to be more centrally located. The American Stroke Association was created as a division in 1997 to bring together the organization’s stroke-related activities.
American Medical Association American Medical Association (AMA)
  American Medical Association. Founded in 1847, the AMA helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.
American Network of Community Options and Resources American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR)
  ANCOR is a nonprofit trade association representing private providers who provide supports and services to people with disabilities. ANCOR’s mission is to empower providers and people with disabilities to celebrate diversity and effect change that ensures full participation.
American Occupational Therapy Association American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  AOTA is the nationally recognized professional association of more than 35,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students of occupational therapy. Practitioners work with people experiencing health problems such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancer, congenital conditions, developmental problems, and mental illness. Occupational therapy helps people regain, develop, and build skills that are essential for independent functioning, health, and well-being.
American Physical Therapy Association American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 90,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy. APTA seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy’s role in the nation’s health care system
American Psychiatric Association American Psychiatric Association (APA)
  The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the world’s largest psychiatric organization. It is a medical specialty society representing more than 33,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. Its member physicians work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. APA is the voice and conscience of modern psychiatry.
The American Psychiatric Association Alliance American Psychiatric Association Alliance (APAA)
  The American Psychiatric Association Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization in support of the APA established to bring together diverse individuals with common bonds who lend their strengths, network, and provide resources for advocacy for educating the public toward a positive image of psychiatry.
American Psychiatric Nurses Association American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)
  The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) was founded in 1986. In the ensuing 25 years, APNA has grown to be the largest professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.
American Psychological Association American Psychological Association (APA)
  The APA is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With 150,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide. The mission of the APA is to advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting health, education, and human welfare.
American Psychotherapy Association
  The American Psychotherapy Association is concerned with establishing guidelines, promoting education and training, confirming the professional identity of the members, educating the public about the benefits of psychotherapy, and providing networking and resource development.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 123,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. Founded in 1925, the mission of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is to promote the interests of and provide the highest quality services for professionals in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science, and to advocate for people with communication disabilities.
American Stroke Association
  Created in 1997, the American Stroke Association is dedicated to prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — America’s No. 5 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. We fund scientific research, help people better understand and avoid stroke, encourage government support, guide healthcare professionals and provide information to enhance the quality of life for stroke survivors.
Anxiety & Depression Association of America
  ADAA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and mood disorders, OCD, and PTSD and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them through education, practice, and research. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is the leader in education, training, and research for anxiety, depression, and related disorders.
The Arc
  Formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens. Founded in 1950 by a small group of parents and other concerned individuals, the Arc of the United States is the 140,000 member national organization of and for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also improves systems of supports and services, connects families, inspires communities and influences public policy.
Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)
  The ABA requires that buildings and facilities be accessible if, since 1968, they were designed, built, or altered with certain Federal funds, or leased for occupancy by Federal agencies. Buildings and facilities covered by the law must meet standards for accessibility issued by four Federal agencies. Accessibility standards cover such things as: walks, ramps, curb ramps, entrances, elevators, and rest rooms. They indicate how many of a certain item, such as accessible parking spaces, are required, where they must be located, and how they must be built or installed so they can be used by everyone.
Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (ACLD)
  ACLD, Inc. is a not-for profit, private, educational organization. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with specific learning disabilities and related neurobiological disorders by facilitating self-sufficiency and financial independence.
Association for Psychological Science
  The Association’s mission is to promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology in research, application, teaching, and the improvement of human welfare.
Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children (ATTACh)
  ATTACh is an international coalition of professionals and families dedicated to helping those with attachment difficulties by sharing our knowledge, talents and resources.
Association of Maternal Child Health Programs (AMCHP)
  AMCHP has worked for over 60 years to protect the health and well-being of all families, especially those who are low-income and underserved. AMCHP represents state public health leaders who promote the health of America’s families. Members come from the highest levels of state government and include directors of maternal and child health programs, directors of programs for children with special health care needs, adolescent health coordinators and other public health leaders. Members of this national nonprofit organization also include academic, advocacy and community-based family health professionals, as well as families themselves.
Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT)
  ASAT’s mission : We promote safe, effective, science-based treatments for people with autism by disseminating accurate, timely, and scientifically sound information, advocating for the use of scientific methods to guide treatment, and combating unsubstantiated, inaccurate and false information about autism and its treatment.
Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health (ATMCH)
  ATMCH aims to provide leadership in education, research, and service in the field of maternal and child health. ATMCH offers an interdisciplinary forum through which MCH faculty from schools of public health and other institutions of higher learning can share the knowledge, ideas, and skills essential to educating students, advancing MCH research, and applying research results to MCH policies, programs, and services.
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
  AUCD is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the national network of university centers on disabilities, which includes UCEDDs, LENDs and DDRCs. Founded in 1967, the mission of AUCD is to advance policy and practice for and with people living with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities by supporting its members to engage in research, education, and service that support independence productivity, and a satisfying quality of life.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association
  The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.We provide hope, empowerment and connections worldwide by bringing together science and the human experience for both adults with ADHD and professionals who serve them.
Attention Deficit Disorder Resources
  Our organization is here to help people with ADD/ADHD achieve their full potential through education and support.
Autism Consortium
  The Autism Consortium catalyzes rapid advances in understanding of autism by fostering collaboration among families, researchers, clinicians, and donors. Our mission is to improve the care of children and families affected by autism and other neurological disorders. – See more at:
Autism Key
  Autism Key is run by parents and for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. The site was founded in 2005 to offer resources and support to the autism and special needs communities. Autism Research Institute Autism Speaks Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation (ASDF) Autism Society of America (ASA)
  Founded in 1965, the ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families and the professionals with whom they interact. The Society and its chapters share a common mission of providing information and education, and supporting research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community. Autistica The Balanced Mind Foundation ()
  The Balanced Mind Foundation guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek. Behavioral Tech LLC ()
  Behavioral Tech, LLC trains mental health care providers and treatment teams who work with complex and severely disordered populations to use compassionate, scientifically valid treatments and to implement and evaluate these treatments in their practice setting. Behavioral Tech develops and applies the most effective and efficient methods of training and provides a range of opportunities to learn state of the art treatments to a competent level. Born to Explore
  description Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center
  description Brain Injury Association of Illinois (BIA of IL)
  The Brain Injury Association of Illinois (BIA of IL) is a not-for-profit, statewide membership organization comprised of people with brain injuries, family members, friends and professionals. BIA of IL is part of a network of brain injury associations across the United States, and is a subsidiary of the national Brain Injury Association, Inc. (BIA) which was founded in 1980. The BIA of IL is the only organization in Illinois serving individuals with TBI, their families and professionals who treat them and is dedicated to providing information, advocacy, and support. Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)
  Founded in 1980, the BIAA is the leading national organization serving and representing individuals, families and professionals who are touched by a life-altering, often devastating, traumatic brain injury (TBI). Together with its network of more than 40 chartered state affiliates as well as hundreds of local chapters and support groups across the country, the BIAA provides information, education and support to assist the 5.3 million Americans currently living with traumatic brain injury and their families. Building the Legacy IDEA 2004 Care for Your Mind
  The Care for Your Mind blog is ours—a place where all of us affected by the mental health care system can spark conversation among our peers, advocates, and thought leaders about the strengths and weaknesses of current mental health care practices and policies in the United States. Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  Working with states and other partners, CDC provides a system of health surveillance to monitor and prevent disease outbreaks (including bioterrorism), implement disease prevention strategies, and maintain national health statistics. CDC provides for immunization services, workplace safety, and environmental disease prevention. CDC also guards against international disease transmission, with personnel stationed in more than 25 foreign countries. Established: 1946, as the Communicable Disease Center. CDC is a public health agency of DHHS.
  CMS administers the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which provide health care to about one in every four Americans. Medicare provides health insurance for more than 42.1 million elderly and disabled Americans; Medicaid, a joint federal-state program, provides health coverage for some 44.7 million low-income persons, including 21.9 million children, and nursing home coverage for low-income elderly. CMS also administers the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers more than 4.2 million children. Established as the Health Care Financing Administration: 1977. CMS is an agency of DHHS., and
  CHADD is a membership organization, produces the bi-monthly Attention magazine (for members), and sponsors an annual conference. The National Resource Center on ADHD (NRC) is the CDC-funded national clearinghouse for evidence-based information about ADHD. CHADD was founded in 1987 in response to the frustration and sense of isolation experienced by parents and their children with ADHD.
  CSHCN are defined by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau as “…those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.”¹ Based on a 2001 survey, a total of 12.8 percent of children under age 18 in the United States, or about 9.4 million children, are estimated to have special health care needs. Children with special health care needs are present in 20 percent of U.S. households with children.
  CityMatCH is a freestanding national membership organization of city and county health departments’ maternal and child health (MCH) programs and leaders representing urban communities in the United States. The mission of CityMatCH is to improve the health and well-being of urban women, children and families by strengthening the public health organizations and leaders in their communities.
  A nationwide network of congressionally mandated, legally based disability rights agencies. CAP agencies provide information and assistance to individuals seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation services under the Rehabilitation Act, including assistance in pursuing administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies. Parent organization: NDRN.
  CISS projects (through grants, contracts, and other mechanisms) seek to increase the capacity for service delivery at the local level and to foster formation of comprehensive, integrated, community level service systems for mothers and children. 12.75% of the Title V Block Grant is allocated for CISS activities. More information here.
  CCD is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.
  The mission of the CNCS is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Among others, CNCS funds NSIP programs.
  The CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.
  Congress established the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education.
  DHHS is the United States Government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The Department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities, including NIH, FDA, CDC, IHS, HRSA, SAMHSA, AHRQ, CMS, ACF, AoA and the Public Health Commissioned Corps.
  Depression and bipolar disorder can be isolating illnesses, but DBSA support groups can help you connect with others who have been there as well. Visit a DBSA support group and get the support that is essential to recovery.
  Established by the DD Act, DD Councils identify the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in their State or Territory and to develop innovative and cost-effective ways to meet these needs in a manner that upholds the human and civil value of people with developmental disabilities. Parent organization: NACDD.
National Institute of Mental Health National Institute of Mental Health
  NIMH is one of the institutes of the National Institute of Health and is dedicated to treating and preventing mental illnesses through basic research on the brain and behavior, and through clinical, epidemiological, and services research.
American Psychiatric Association American Psychiatric Association – Anxiety Disorders
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the world’s largest psychiatric organization. It is a medical specialty society representing more than 33,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. Its member physicians work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. APA is the voice and conscience of modern psychiatry.  
Mental Health America Mental Health America – Anxiety Disorders
With over a century of advocacy, public education, and the delivery of programs and services, Mental Health America is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives.  
Anxiety & Depression Association of America Anxiety & Depression Association of America
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is the leader in education, training, and research for anxiety, depression, and related disorders.  
National Alliance on Mental Illness National Alliance On Mental Illness – Anxiety Disorders
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.  
Freedom From Fear Freedom From Fear
Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association. The mission of FFF is to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support.  
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC′s Mission is to collaborate to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.  

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