Thanks to the following websites we provide this glossary of ADHD Terms:
Glossary of ADHD Terms
20/20: See; Twenty-twenty .See the entire definition of 20/20
Accommodations: Techniques and materials that help AD/HD or LD students learn or perform schoolwork more effectively. Accommodations include extra time on tests, a lighter homework load, and permission to tape-record assignments.
ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . See the entire definition of ADHD
Adult ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as found in the adult population . ADHD is a well-known childhood disorder that is characterized by varying degrees of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention that lead to difficulty in academic, emotional, and social functioning. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD may continue to exhibit symptoms that persist into adulthood. In the 1970s, the condition began to be diagnosed in adults who never received the diagnosis as children but displayed many of the characteristic symptoms. While up to 5% of school-aged children are believed to have ADHD, its prevalence in the adult population is difficult to estimate, but is likely to be in the range of 1%-5% of the population. Symptoms of ADHD in adults can include difficulty following directions, problems information, difficulty with concentration, and trouble with organizing tasks or completing work within time limits. Treatment, as in the pediatric population, can involve both behavioral therapies and medications. See the entire definition of Adult ADHD
Alternative medicine: Healing arts not taught in traditional Western medical schools that promote options to conventional medicine that is taught in these schools.. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a Western physician. Complementary medicine is different from alternative medicine. Whereas complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. See also complementary medicine, conventional medicine.
American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP. Its member pediatricians “dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.” According to the Academy, it had as of 1998 some 53,000 members in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Over 34,000 of them were board-certified and called Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).
See the entire definition of American Academy of Pediatrics
Amphetamine: A drug with a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be both physically and psychologically addictive when overused. This drug has been much abused recreationally. The street term “speed” refers to stimulant drugs such as amphetamine.
Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression. See the entire definition of Antidepressant
Antisocial personality disorder: A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others and inability or unwillingness to conform to what are considered to be the norms of society.
See the entire definition of Antisocial personality disorder
Antisocial personality: See: Antisocial personality disorder . See the entire definition of Antisocial personality
Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations , sweating, and feelings of stress . Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. These disorders fill people’s lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated.
See the entire definition of Anxiety
Assistive Technology:Equipment or software that helps children compensate for learning impairments. Examples include electronic spell-checkers and audiobooks.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A family of related chronic neurobiological disorders that interfere with an individual’s capacity to: regulate activity level (hyperactivity),inhibit behavior (impulsivity), and attend to tasks (inattention) in developmentally appropriate ways. The term “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” is abbreviated and usually referred to as ADHD.
The core symptoms of ADHD include an inability to sustain attention and concentration, developmentally inappropriate levels of activity, distractibility, and impulsivity.
See the entire definition of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Atypical: Not typical, not usual, not normal, abnormal. Atypical is often used to refer to the appearance of precancerous or cancerous cells.
See the entire definition of Atypical
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP): A set of strategies developed by school personnel to help a child behave in a way that is appropriate to the classroom and that allows him to learn.
Behavior therapy: A treatment program that involves substituting desirable behavior responses for undesirable ones.
Biochemical: Relating to biochemistry, the application of the tools and concepts of chemistry to living systems.
See the entire definition of Biochemical
Biofeedback: A method of treatment that uses monitors to feed back to patients physiological information of which they are normally unaware. By watching the monitor, patients can learn by trial and error to adjust their thinking and other mental processes in order to control “involuntary” bodily processes such as blood pressure, temperature, gastrointestinal functioning, and brain wave activity.
See the entire definition of Biofeedback
Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles may be severe and often lead to impaired functioning.
See the entire definition of Bipolar disorder
Borderline personality disorder: A serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity.
See the entire definition of Borderline personality disorder
Brain: That part of the central nervous system that is located within the cranium ( skull ). The brain functions as the primary receiver, organizer and distributor of information for the body. It has two (right and left) halves called “hemispheres.” See the entire definition of Brain
Chronic pain: Pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments. See the entire definition of Chronic pain
Chronic: This important term in medicine comes from the Greek chronos, time and means lasting a long time.
See the entire definition of Chronic
Cluster: In epidemiology, an aggregation of cases of a disease or another health-related condition, such as a cancer or birth defect, closely grouped in time and place. The number of cases in the cluster may or may not exceed the expected number. This is determined by cluster analysis, a set of statistical methods used to analyze clusters. See the entire definition of Cluster
Cognitive therapy: A relatively short-term form of psychotherapy based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. Cognitive therapy focuses on present thinking, behavior, and communication rather than on past experiences and is oriented toward problem solving. Cognitive therapy has been applied to a broad range of problems including depression , anxiety , panic , fears, eating disorders, substance abuse , and personality problems.
See the entire definition of Cognitive therapy
Cognitive: Pertaining to cognition , the process of knowing and, more precisely, the process of being aware, knowing, thinking, learning and judging. The study of cognition touches on the fields of psychology , linguistics, computer science, neuroscience , mathematics, ethology and philosophy.
See the entire definition of Cognitive
Comorbidity: In medicine, comorbidity describes the effect of all other diseases an individual patient might have other than the primary disease of interest.
Many tests attempt to standardize the “weight” or value of co-morbid conditions, whether they are secondary or tertiary illnesses. Each test attempts to consolidate each individual co-morbid condition into a single, predictive variable that measures mortality or other outcomes. Researchers have validated such tests because of their predictive value, but no one test is as yet recognized as a standard.
The term “co-morbid” has two definitions:
- to indicate a medical condition existing simultaneously but independently with another condition in a patient (this is the older and more “correct” definition)
- to indicate a medical condition in a patient that causes, is caused by, or is otherwise related to another condition in the same patient (this is a newer, nonstandard definition and less well-accepted)
Congenital: Present at birth. A condition that is congenital is one that is present at birth. There are numerous uses of “congenital” in medicine. There are, for example, congenital abnormalities. (For more examples, see below.) See the entire definition of Congenital
Depression : An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression. See the entire definition of Depression
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician: A physician who specializes in childhood behavioral problems, such as AD/HD and aggressive behavior, as well as difficulties at school.
Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease ; the identification of an illness. 2 A conclusion or decision reached by diagnosis. The diagnosis is rabies . 3 The identification of any problem. The diagnosis was a plugged IV.
See the entire definition of Diagnosis
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV): A publication of the American Psychiatric Association that is used to diagnose psychiatric disorders, including AD/HD.
Double-blind: Term used to described a study in which both the investigator or the participant are blind to (unaware of) the nature of the treatment the participant is receiving. Double-blind trials are thought to produce objective results, since the expectations of the researcher and the participant about the experimental treatment such as a drug do not affect the outcome. Also called double-masked. See also:Double-blinded study.
Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to inadequate function of the salivary glands. Everyone has dry mouth once in a while when they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if someone has a dry mouth most all of the time, it can be uncomfortable and lead to serious health problems. See the entire definition of Dry mouth
Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function. See the entire definition of Dysfunction
Dyslexia: A specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols. Dyslexia is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material.
See the entire definition of Dyslexia
Educational Advocate: A professional who works with families to secure appropriate educational placement or services for children with AD/HD or LD.
Educational Psychologist: A psychologist who specializes in learning and in the behavioral, social, and emotional problems that interfere with school performance.
EEG: Electroencephalogram, a technique for studying the electrical current within the brain. Electrodes are attached to the scalp. Wires attach these electrodes to a machine which records the electrical impulses. The results are either printed out or displayed on a computer screen. Electroencephalogram is abbreviated EEG.
See the entire definition of EEG
Evolution: The continuing process of change, especially in reference to natural selection.
See the entire definition of Evolution
Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including information about diseases in family members. See the entire definition of Family history
Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment, usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness. Fatigue can be acute and come on suddenly or chronic and persist. See the entire definition of Fatigue
FDA: The Food and Drug Administration, an agency within the U.S. Public Health Service, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
See the entire definition of FDA
Fetal alcohol syndrome: The sum total of the damage done to the child before birth as a result of the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) always involves brain damage, impaired growth, and head and face abnormalities. See the entire definition of Fetal alcohol syndrome
Formal Assessment: A school-based evaluation of a student’s learning difficulties using standardized tests and other tools. A team of school professionals uses the assessment to determine a child’s eligibility for special education and related services.
Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Under IDEA (see below), public schools are required to provide disabled students with appropriate educational services at no cost to the parents.
Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) needed to contribute to a function. See the entire definition of Genes
Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic information. See the entire definition of Genetic
Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache, like chest pain or back ache, has many causes. See the entire definition of Headache
Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of blood supply is usually caused by a complete blockage of a coronary artery, one of the arteries that supplies blood to the heart muscle. Death of the heart muscle, in turn, causes chest pain and electrical instability of the heart muscle tissue. See the entire definition of Heart attack
Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. It is positioned in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone; in front of the trachea, esophagus, and aorta; and above the diaphragm muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. The normal heart is about the size of a closed fist, and weighs about 10.5 ounces. It is cone-shaped, with the point of the cone pointing down to the left. Two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the chest with the balance in the right chest. See the entire definition of Heart
Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea. 2. A noun, usually reflecting the botanical or medicinal aspects of herbs; also a book which catalogs and illustrates herbs. The word “herbal” was pronounced with a silent “h” on both sides of the Atlantic until the 19th century but this usage persists only on the American side.
Hyperactivity: A higher than normal level of activity. An organ can be described as hyperactive if it is more active than usual. Behavior can also be hyperactive. See the entire definition of Hyperactivity
impulsivity: Inclined to act on impulse rather than thought. People who are overly impulsive, seem unable to curb their immediate reactions or think before they act. As a result, they may blurt out answers to questions or inappropriate comments, or run into the street without looking. Their impulsivity may make it hard for a child to wait for things they want or to take their turn in games. They may grab a toy from another child or hit when they are upset. See the entire definition of Impulsivity
Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease, appears in a particular population or area. In disease epidemiology, the incidence is the number of newly diagnosed cases during a specific time period. The incidence is distinct from the prevalence which refers to the number of cases alive on a certain date.
Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE): An evaluation conducted by a qualified professional who is unaffiliated with a public school district. Schools are required to consider the findings or recommendations of an IEE.
Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular condition or circumstance. For example, certain medications are indicated for the treatment of hypertension during pregnancy while others are contraindicated.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): The formal, written plan that guides the delivery of special-education services to a child who qualifies for such assistance under IDEA.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The federal law that guarantees special education and related services to students with disabilities. AD/HD is not listed among IDEA’s disability categories, but children with AD/HD often qualify under a category called “Other Health Impairments.”
Inheritance: Not something that is contained in a will, but rather a gene, chromosome or genome that is transmitted from parent to child. See the entire definition of Inheritance
Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep. Individuals vary normally in their need for, and their satisfaction with, sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. See the entire definition of Insomnia
Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modifying the outcome. In medicine, an intervention is usually undertaken to help treat or cure a condition. For example, early intervention may help children with autism to speak. “Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is widely practiced in the United States,” according to the National Institutes of Health. From the Latin intervenire, to come between.
Involuntary: Done other than in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of voluntary. See the entire definition of Involuntary
Lability: The state or quality of being labile: susceptible to change, error or instability. From the Latin labilis meaning prone to slip, from labi meaning to slip. See also: Labile . See the entire definition of Lability
Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures and preparing chemicals, etc. Although “laboratory” looks very like the Latin “laboratorium” (a place to labor, a work place), the word “laboratory” came from the Latin “elaborare” (to work out, as a problem, and with great pains), as evidenced by the Old English spelling “elaboratory” designating “a place where learned effort was applied to the solution of scientific problems.”
Learning Disability (LD): A neurobiological disorder that impairs a person’s ability to read, write, or do math by affecting the way he receives, processes, or expresses information.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Under IDEA, school districts must provide special-ed services in a general education setting, rather than in separate classes or schools, whenever possible. A regular classroom is the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities.
Liver: An organ in the upper abdomen that aids in digestion and removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood.
Memory: 1. The ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. 2.The process of recovering information about past events or knowledge. 3. Cognitive reconstruction. The brain engages in a remarkable reshuffling process in an attempt to extract what is general and what is particular about each passing moment.
See the entire definition of Memory
Modification: An adjustment in the curriculum that creates a different standard for students with disabilities, as compared to others in the class.
Motor: In medicine, having to do with the movement of a part of the body. Something that produces motion or refers to motion. For example, a motor neuron is a nerve cell that conveys an impulse to a muscle causing it to contract. The term “motor” today is also applied to a nerve that signals a gland to secrete. Motor is as opposed to sensory. See the entire definition of Motor
Multidisciplinary Team: A group of people who work together to develop and review a child’s IEP. The team might include the child’s classroom and special-education teachers, school administrator, school psychologist, therapist, educational advocate, and parents.
Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called “skeletal muscle.” Heart muscle is called “cardiac muscle.” Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called “smooth muscle.”
Nausea: Nausea, is the urge to vomit. It can be brought by many causes including, systemic illnesses, such as influenza, medications, pain, and inner ear disease. When nausea and/or vomiting are persistent, or when they are accompanied by other severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, fever, or bleeding, a physician should be consulted.
Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses chemical and electrical signals to transmit sensory and motor information from one body part to another. See: Nervous system .
See the entire definition of Nerve
Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system.
Neuropsychologist: A psychologist who specializes in the relationship between brain function and behavior.
NIMH: Stands for the National Institute of Mental Health, one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., whose mission is to “provide national leadership dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing mental illnesses through basic research on the brain and behavior, and through clinical, epidemiological, and services research.”
Objective: In a microscope, the objective (also called the objective lens) is the lens nearest to the object being examined whereas the lens closest to the eye is termed the ocular (the eyepiece). See the entire definition of Objective
Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for example, the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. There is always an onset to a disease but never to the return to good health. The default setting is good health. See the entire definition of Onset
Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors. See the entire definition of Pain
Panic: A sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought or action.
See the entire definition of Panic
Participant: 1. In a clinical trial, someone who takes part in it. A participant may or may not have a disease. The term participant in this regard is synonymous with the term subject.
2. In health care benefits, a person who is eligible to receive health benefits under a health benefits plan. The term participant in this regard may refer to the employee, spouse or other dependents.
Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as “that branch of medicine which treats of the essential nature of disease.” The word “pathology” comes from the Greek words “pathos” meaning “disease” and “logos” meaning “a treatise” = a treatise of disease. The word “pathology” is sometimes misused to mean disease as, for example, “he didn’t find any pathology” (meaning he found no evidence of disease). A medical doctor that specializes in pathology is called a pathologist. Pathologists are experts at interpreting microscopic views of body tissues.
Pediatric: Pertaining to children.
Pediatrics: “Pediatrics is concerned with the health of infants, children and adolescents, their growth and development, and their opportunity to achieve full potential as adults.” (Richard E. Behrman in Nelson’s Textbook of Pediatrics) See the entire definition of Pediatrics
Personality disorder: A disorder characterized by the chronic use of mechanisms of coping in an inappropriate, stereotyped, and maladaptive manner. Personality disorders are enduring and persistent styles of behavior and thought, not atypical episodes. The personality disorders encompass a group of behavioral disorders that are different and distinct from the psychotic and neurotic disorders. The official psychiatric manual, the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association , Fourth Edition), defines a personality disorder as an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that differs markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment. Personality disorders are a long-standing and maladaptive pattern of perceiving and responding to other people and to stressful circumstances. See the entire definition of Personality disorder
Pharmacy: A location where prescription drugs are sold. A pharmacy is, by law, constantly supervised by a licensed pharmacist. See the entire definition of Pharmacy
Physiologic: Something that is normal, neither due to anything pathologic nor significant in terms of causing illness.
Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long. See the entire definition of Pregnancy
Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease. Prevalence is a statistical concept referring to the number of cases of a disease that are present in a particular population at a given time.
ADHD predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI or ADHD-I): is one of the three subtypes of Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While ADHD-PI is sometimes still called “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) by the general public, these older terms were formally changed in 1994 in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV).
ADHD-PI is similar to the other subtypes of ADHD in that it is characterized primarily by inattention, easy distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, and forgetfulness; where it differs is in lethargy – fatigue, and having fewer or no symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsiveness typical of the other ADHD subtypes. In some cases, children who enjoy learning may develop a sense of fear when faced with structured or planned work, especially long or group-based that requires extended focus, even if they thoroughly understand the topic. Children with ADHD-PI may be at greater risk of academic failures and early withdrawal from school. Teachers and parents may make incorrect assumptions about the behaviours and attitudes of a child with ADHD-PI, and may provide them with frequent and erroneous negative feedback (e.g. “you’re irresponsible”, “you’re immature”, “you’re lazy”, “you don’t care/show any effort”, “you just aren’t trying”, etc.).
The inattentive children may realize on some level that they are somehow different internally from their peers. However, they are also likely to accept and internalize the continuous negative feedback, creating a negative self-image that becomes self-reinforcing. If these children progress into adulthood undiagnosed or untreated, their inattentiveness, ongoing frustrations, and poor self-image frequently create numerous and severe problems maintaining healthy relationships, succeeding in postsecondary schooling, or succeeding in the workplace. These problems can compound frustrations and lowself-esteem, and will often lead to the development of secondary pathologies including anxiety disorders, sexual promiscuity, mood disorders, and substance abuse.
Probability: The likelihood that something will happen. For example, a probability of less than .05 indicates that the probability of something occurring by chance alone is less than 5 in 100, or 5 percent. This level of probability is usually taken as the level of biologic significance, so a higher incidence may be considered meaningful. The abbreviation for probability is P.
Prognosis: 1. The expected course of a disease. 2. The patient’s chance of recovery.
The prognosis predicts the outcome of a disease and therefore the future for the patient. His prognosis is grim, for example, while hers is good. See the entire definition of Prognosis
Psychiatric: Pertaining to or within the purview of psychiatry , the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis , and treatment of mental illness. See the entire definition of Psychiatric
Psychiatrist: A physician (an M.D.) who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists must receive additional training and serve a supervised residency in their specialty. They may also have additional training in a psychiatric specialty, such as child psychiatry or neuropsychiatry. They can prescribe medication, which psychologists cannot do. See the entire definition of Psychiatrist
Psychiatry: The medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis , and treatment of mental illness. See the entire definition of Psychiatry
Psychotherapy: The treatment of a behavior disorder, mental illness, or any other condition by psychological means. Psychotherapy may utilize insight, persuasion, suggestion, reassurance, and instruction so that patients may see themselves and their problems more realistically and have the desire to cope effectively with them. See the entire definition of Psychotherapy
Qualitative: Having to do with quality. In contrast to quantitative (which pertains to quantity, the amount). See the entire definition of Qualitative
Quantitative: Having to do with quantity or with the amount. See the entire definition of Quantitative
Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a referral to ophthalmology, for example, you are being sent to the eye doctor. In HMO’s and other managed care schemes, a referral is usually necessary to see any practitioner or specialist other than your primary care physician (PCP), if you want the service to be covered. The referral is obtained from your PCP, who may require a telephone or office consultation first. See the entire definition of Referral
Reuptake: The re-absorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced and secreted it. The process of reuptake, for example, affects serotonin. See the entire definition of Reuptake
Risk factor: Something that increases a person’s chances of developing a disease.
Schizoaffective disorder: A mood disorder that is coupled with some symptoms resembling those of schizophrenia , particularly loss of personality (flat affect) and/or social withdrawal. See the entire definition of Schizoaffective disorder
Schizophrenia : One of several brain diseases whose symptoms that may include loss of personality (flat affect), agitation, catatonia, confusion, psychosis , unusual behavior, and withdrawal. The illness usually begins in early adulthood. See the entire definition of Schizophrenia
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: The federal law that grants children with disabilities the right to an appropriate public school education. Children with AD/HD or LD who are ineligible for special-education services under IDEA may qualify for accommodations and services under Section 504. The written plan outlining these services is called a 504 Plan.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor: A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is one of the commonly prescribed drugs for treating depression. See the entire definition of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Serotonin: A hormone, also called 5-hydroxytryptamine, in the pineal gland, blood platelets, the digestive tract, and the brain. Serotonin acts both as a chemical messenger that transmits nerve signals between nerve cells and that causes blood vessels to narrow. See the entire definition of Serotonin
Shoulder: A structure made up of two main bones: the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (the long bone of the upper arm). The end of the scapula, called the glenoid, is a socket into which the head of the humerus fits, forming a flexible ball-and-socket joint. The scapula is an unusually shaped bone. It extends up and around the shoulder joint at the rear to create a roof called the acromion and around the shoulder joint at the front to constitute the coracoid process. The shoulder joint is cushioned by cartilage that covers the face of the glenoid socket and the head of the humerus. The joint is stabilized by a ring of fibrous cartilage around the glenoid socket that is called the labrum. Ligaments connect the bones of the shoulder and tendons join these bones to surrounding muscles. The biceps tendon attaches the biceps muscle to the shoulder and helps stabilize the joint. Four short muscles that originate on the scapula pass around the shoulder where their tendons fuse together to form the rotator cuff.
Sibling: A brother or sister.
Sleep : The body’s rest cycle. See the entire definition of Sleep
Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) is an unformalized descriptive term which is used to better identify what appears to be a homogeneous sub-subgroup within the formal subgroup “ADHD predominantly inattentive” (ADHD-I or ADHD-PI). SCT is not recognized in any standard medical manuals such as the DSM-IV or the ICD-10.. However, SCT has been proposed as a formal diagnosis for the the next DSM manual (DSM-5) which is due to be released in May 2013. 
It has been roughly estimated that the SCT population may make up 30-50% of the ADHD-PI population and may even help define a completely new disorder. In many ways, those who have an SCT profile have the opposite symptoms of those with classic ADHD: instead of being hyperactive, extroverted, obtrusive, and risk takers, those with SCT are drifting, introspective and daydreamy, and feel as if “in the fog” (although in excited states, an SCT patient behaves very similarly to a traditional ADHD patient). Due to their drifting tendencies, those with SCT have trouble with verbal memory but compensate for having a greater visual-spatial memory which may cause a person to have trouble finding the right words to what they know. They also don’t have the same risk factors and outcomes. A key behavioral characteristic of those with SCT symptoms is that they are more likely to appear to be lacking motivation. They lack energy to deal with mundane tasks and will consequently seek things that are mentally stimulating because of their underaroused state, an intense craving for emotional and intellectual stimulation. Those with SCT symptoms show a qualitatively different kind of attention deficit that is more typical of a true information input-output problem, such as memory retrieval and active working memory, and display a wavering “up and down” mental pattern with extremely variable levels of intense thought, hyperactivity, failing memory, and sexual appetite. Conversely, those with the other two subtypes of ADHD are characteristically excessively energetic and have no difficulty processing information.
Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in fluid outside of cells. The chemical notation for sodium is Na+. When combined with chloride, the resulting substance is table salt. See the entire definition of Sodium
Special Education (SPED): Specially designed instruction for children whose educational needs can’t be met in a regular instructional program.
SSRI: Abbreviation for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, commonly prescribed drugs for treating depression. SSRIs affect the chemicals that nerves in the brain use to send messages to one another. These chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, are released by one nerve and taken up by other nerves. Neurotransmitters that are not taken up by other nerves are taken up by the same nerves that released them. This process is termed “reuptake.” SSRIs work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, an action which allows more serotonin to be available to be taken up by other nerves. See the entire definition of SSRI
Stress: Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems. See the entire definition of Stress
Stroke: The sudden death of some brain cells due to a lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. A stroke is also called a cerebrovascular accident or, for short, a CVA. See the entire definition of Stroke
Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is no universally accepted definition of substance abuse.) See the entire definition of Substance abuse
Substance: 1. Material with particular features, as a pressor substance . 2. The material that makes up an organ or structure. Also known in medicine as the substantia. 3. A psychoactive drug as, for example, in substance abuse . See the entire definition of Substance
Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide . the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, suicidal thought, or suicidal act. An “online lifeline for suicidal undergrads” may help prevent college students from committing suicide. See the entire definition of Suicidal
Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. These are small tubular glands situated within and under the skin (in the subcutaneous tissue). They discharge by tiny openings in the surface of the skin. See the entire definition of Sweating
Syndrome: A set of signs and symptoms that tend to occur together and which reflect the presence of a particular disease or an increased chance of developing a particular disease. See the entire definition of Syndrome
Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within the blood vessels. For example, elevated blood pressure is referred to as hypertension. 2) Stress, especially stress that is translated into clenched scalp muscles and bottled-up emotions or anxiety. This is the type of tension blamed for tension headaches.
Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, that part of medicine concerned specifically with the treatment of disease. The therapeutic dose of a drug is the amount needed to treat a disease. See the entire definition of Therapeutic
Therapy: The treatment of disease. See the entire definition of Therapy
Therapy: The treatment of disease . See the entire definition of Therapy
Twitching: Involuntary contractions of groups of muscle fibers. Also known as fasciculations. Fasciculations can occur in normal individuals without an associated disease or condition and can also occur as a result of illness, such as muscle cramps, nerve diseases, and metabolism imbalances.
Vital: Necessary to maintain life. Breathing is a vital function.
Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (diet, exercise) or involuntary (illness) circumstances. Most instances of weight loss arise due to the loss of body fat, but in cases of extreme or severe weight loss, protein and other substances in the body can also be depleted. Examples of involuntary weight loss include the weight loss associated with cancer, malabsorption (such as from chronic diarrheal illnesses ), and chronic inflammation (such as with rheumatoid arthritis).