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Abnormal smallness of the head. This may be caused by a variety of conditions, including chromosomal abnormalities. Microcephaly can be present in children with FASD.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and electromagnetic energy to create highly detailed pictures of internal body structures. MRI analysis is emerging as a tool to pinpoint specific brain structures that are damaged in FASD.

Concerning the first 28 days after birth.

A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating kidney diseases.

A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain and nervous system.

Neuropsychological testing (or Neuropsychiatric testing)
A general term for a battery of tests to assess cognitive, psychomotor, and linguistic functions. Testing targets subtle abnormalities in calculation, memory, language function, abstraction, visual-motor ability, and specific aspects of intelligence. A psychologist usually administers these tests, although other health care providers may be certified to do so as well.

Nonverbal assessment
A nonverbal assessment measures a person’s essential way of thinking, without requiring knowledge of words. Spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, and other aspects of general knowledge are assessed. This type of assessment offers a fair evaluation of children who

  • are too young to speak,
  • have disabilities that impair speech,
  • come from different cultural and linguistic groups, or
  • have learning disabiliities that are not evident on other types of general knowledge assessments.
Nonverbal tests are a valuable tool for uncovering learning limitations due to FASD. See Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales for an example.

Nonverbal skills
In general society, this refers to body language, gestures, facial displays (including eye movements), and tone of voice. Children with FASD don’t process nonverbal “cues.” Nonverbal skills has a broader meaning in people with FASD: it describes how well they can communicate, process information, cope with daily living, and socialize. A person with FASD has higher verbal skills than nonverbal skills. Nonverbal skills are often measured using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.

A person who advises people on dietary matters relating to health, well-being, and optimal nutrition. Note that standard training and certification for a nutritionist does not exist. A nutritionist is not the same as a registered dietitian.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
A type of anxiety disorder whose hallmarks are recurring thoughts, ideas, feelings, or actions. Related compulsions (tasks or rituals) are the person’s attempt to neutralize the obsessions. A diagnosis of OCD is established if distress is present, the acts consume more than an hour a day, or the compulsion(s) significantly interferes with the person’s normal routine, occupation, or social activities.

Occupational therapist
A licensed health care professional who helps people achieve maximum independence in functions of daily living and other activities that are most important to them. When working with someone who has FASD, an occupational therapist may work on fine motor skills and sensory integration, as well as cognitive skills, behavioral skills, and developmental skills related to learning. They may work on toileting, dressing, and/or grooming skills. They often suggest environmental modifications for the home or school setting.

A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye. An ophthalmologist is also trained to perform surgery on the eyes.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures that persists at least 6 months and goes beyond normal childhood misbehavior.

One who fills prescriptions for corrective lenses for eyeglasses and contact lenses.

A health care professional who can examine, diagnose, and treat the eyes and related eye structures. An optometrist can diagnose muscular abnormalities and correctable vision deficits. With certain limits, an optometrist may also diagnose and/or treat diseases such as glaucoma. State laws may permit an optometrist to prescribe limited medications.

A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating acute, chronic, traumatic, and overuse injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. This includes congenital deformities. Orthopedists are surgeons, but they use both surgical and non-surgical means of treating their patients.

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