Jargon Buster

Our staff team have compiled a list of commonly used terms that you may hear used at BeyondAutism Post-19, and included the definitions to help parents demystify the terminology.

Education: organisations and legal terminology
DfE Department for Education
Ofsted Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young adults, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
LA Local Authority – an administrative body in government responsible for all the public services and facilities within an area.
LEA Local Education Authority – this term is no longer used. It has been replaced by single term Local Authority.
Child A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. They have an entitlement to services and protection under the Children Act 1989. A child with SEN is a child until they reach their 19th birthday.
Adult An adult is anyone who has reached their 18th birthday, or if they have SEN, anyone who has reached their 19th birthday.
Young adult In education, defined as 19-25. In safeguarding terms, anyone over the age of 18 (inclusive) is defined as an adult.
Education: types of school / academic institutions
Section 41 School A school published by the Secretary of State as an approved independent education institution or independent special school. Any Section 41 school listed in an EHCP has a legal requirement to offer that child a place, regardless of existing pupil numbers.
Alternative Provision (AP) Education outside school, arranged by local authorities or schools themselves.
Education: Special needs
SEN Special Education Needs – a legal term describing the needs of a child who has a difficulty or disability which makes it harder for them to learn than their peers.
SEND Special Education Needs and Disabilities – when someone has a learning difficulty and a disability that means they need special health and education support.
SEMH Social Emotional and Mental Health – a certain type of special education needs where a child/young person has severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour.
SENCO / SENDCo Special Education Needs Co-ordinator.
Safeguarding organisations, individuals and terminology
EHCP Previously called the statement, the Education Health Care Plan sets out the education, health and social needs of a child, and the support needed to be able to deliver it. Notably, the education aspects included within are legally binding – the local authority has a duty to provide support to meet them, whereas the health and social aspects are recommendations. It covers up to 25 years.
Ed Psych Educational Psychologist. They work within local authorities, in partnership with families and other professionals to help children and young people achieve their full potential by using their training to assess difficulties a child may have in accessing learning.
PCP Personal Curriculum Plan – a document, created by our schools, that provides an overview of the targets being worked on each year, mapping out key development areas and ensuring that progress keeps momentum throughout the year.
IEP Individual Education Plan – this is a document developed for each child with an EHCP to outline the targets that will be worked towards each term, to ensure the EHCP is being delivered.
PAG Programme at a Glance – used at our schools, this is a weekly tracker that outlines in a visual way the progress each individual learner is making against their termly targets.
DSL Designated Safeguarding Lead – take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection across the school/ each site of the organisation. They take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings and contribute to the assessment of children. They advise and support other members of staff on child welfare and child protection matters and liaise with relevant agencies such as the local authority and police.
DSP Designated Safeguarding Person – supporting the Designated Safeguarding Lead at each site. Each class has a DSP responsible for following up on safeguarding concerns for their class/classes.
LADO Local Authority Designated Officer – they are a person within the local authority whose role is to provide support and guidance for employers around any safeguarding concerns involving children and young people. They can be a liaison between other organisations such as the police and Ofsted and assist where investigations are required.
MASH Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs – set up by many areas in response to government review of procedures in place to identify children and vulnerable adults at risk of abuse. Specifically, these hubs aim to bring together professionals across different agencies to stop anyone at risk falling through the gaps and not getting the support they need.
Local Safeguarding Partnerships Local Safeguarding Partnerships are set to replace MASH and LADO teams within 2 years.
KCSIE Keeping Children Safe in Education – publication from government providing statutory guidance for proprietors, schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.
Working Together to Safeguard Children Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, updated in July 2018.
Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) A term used to describe children unable to go to school due to emotional/wellbeing factors such as low self-esteem or feeling stressed by the school environment. This may also be called school refusal or persistent absence.
About Autism
Stims / Stimming Short for self-stimulatory behaviour, people do this to provide sensory input, usually of a pleasing nature. This can be a way of relaxing in stressful situations, so is a natural part of having autism. We all have self-stimulatory behaviour – twirling our hair, rocking on chairs, biting our nails, jiggling our knees are all examples of stims. However, if the stim is self-injurious in nature, we would teach replacement behaviours.
PBS Problem Behaviour Syndrome  – an individual who exhibits behaviours that challenge, or risk-taking behaviour (e.g. drug taking). In the context of autism with complex learning difficulties, this is more around behaviour that is expressed as a result of external factors beyond their control.
Relevant associations / organisations
NAS National Autistic Society – the largest autism charity in the UK, serving autistic people from early diagnosis right through adulthood.
NASS National Association of Special Schools – the voice of the non-maintained school sector, a registered charity and company. BeyondAutism are members of this Association.
IPSEA Independent Parental Special Education Advice – non-profit organisation offering parents free and independent legal advice and support to get the right education for their child.
Scientific Methodology / Curriculum
Behaviour Analysis Practice guided by Behaviour Analysis is an approach that takes the scientific principles of learning and behaviour, and applies them in practice to teach important skills, personalised to an individual. It can also be used to help reduce behaviours that challenge or that limit opportunities by teaching functional alternatives. Behaviour Analysis helps us to understand how learning takes place, and how behaviour can be affected by the environment. At BeyondAutism, we use teaching strategies underpinned by Behaviour Analysis to teach our learners social, communication, academic and daily living skills, tailored according to their specific needs.
ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a set of evidence-based principles derived from applied research on the science of understanding learning and behaviour. These principles can help teach important skills when personalised to the individual using a behaviour analytical approach.
VB (Verbal Behaviour) Verbal Behaviour (VB) is a strand of research that analysed language as a behaviour which you learn and acquire in the same way as any other behaviour. There is a large body of research supporting this analysis of language and its application to teaching autistic children and young adults communication skills.
BCBA Board Certified Behaviour Analyst is a graduate-level certification in behaviour analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCBA level are practitioners who provide behaviour-analytic services. They devise programmes, interventions and supervise the delivery of these programmes.
BCaBA Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst – an undergraduate level certification in behaviour analysis.
NaSENCO National Award for SEN Co-ordination – a statutory requirement for all SENCOs appointed new to role since 2008.
Behaviour Analysis Terminology and definitions
Extinction Burst A temporary increase in the frequency, intensity or duration of a particular behaviour that is no longer receiving reinforcement (see above). This may also include new behaviours that were not present before.
Pairing Pairing is used in the initial stages of teaching to associate a person, items or environments with positive experiences.
Mastered Pile A set of cards used in intensive teaching trials (ITT) sessions consisting of all of the skills that a child has ‘mastered’ or learnt previously.
Probe A data collection method that is carried out daily on certain target skills. It is a way of assessing whether teaching from the previous day was successful in teaching an individual a skill. This ensures that the skill being taught is maintained across time, settings and people.
ABC data (Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence) A data collection method analysing antecedents (environmental triggers), that evoke specific behaviours and the consequences that followed the behaviours. ABC data is taken as an initial  in-situ analysis and is used to identify patterns in the behaviours, such as when, where and why.
Verbal Behaviour terminology
Verbal Operants Skinner defined 6 key functions of language: Mand (to request), Tact (to label), Intraverbal (to answer questions), Echoic/Mimetic (to copy), Transcription (to write), Textual (to read a text).
Mand (to request) To request a desired item, activity, action or piece of information. Can be communicated through talking, signing, pictures or other behaviours e.g. pointing, pulling you towards something.
Tact/Tacting (to label) To label anything in the immediate environment. This could include items, actions, emotions, smells, or interactions. Can be communicated through talking, signing, pictures, pulling you towards something.
Intraverbals (to answer questions) To answer questions in social exchanges, engage in conversation, or filling in appropriate words from songs and phrases.
Echoic/Mimetic (to copy) To copy back what somebody else says or does.
Transcription (to write) To write, type or finger spell what somebody else is saying/has said.
Textual (to read) To read text (this does not imply comprehension).
Positive Handling Techniques
 Team Teach  A holistic approach to management of behaviours that challenge that involves a range of strategies mainly focused on de-escalation, prevention and safety. In situations in which physical intervention may need to be used, the measures implemented are in the best interests of the individual and are the least intrusive response appropriate.
Teaching Methods
ITT (Intensive Teaching Trials) One-to-one teaching throughout the schools is delivered using two distinct methods. The first method, intensive teaching trials, (ITT) is fast paced, repetitive table-based instructions which aim to teach a variety of language skills in a highly structured setting.
NET (Natural Environment Teaching) The second method (NET) is more loosely structured and incorporates incidental teaching opportunities in activities the pupil enjoys or will experience in their everyday life, this ensures that pupils have the opportunity to generalise skills taught using the intensive method to a natural setting.
Roles within the service
Behaviour Analyst The person who is the key leader within the classroom, managing staff, children and communication with parents. They are responsible for the overall progress within their class and for the design and implementation of behavioural programmes and procedures based on the science of Behaviour Analysis and guided by continual assessments.
Consultant Behaviour Analyst Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) who oversees and supports the work of individual Behaviour Analysts across the schools, providing training and supervision where required. The Consultant is responsible for ensuring that the Behaviour Analysis teaching practice within the school enables the pupils to achieve their full potential, and teaching is to the highest possible standard.
Interdisciplinary Team An interdisciplinary team is a group of people with different expertise working towards a common goal. At BeyondAutism this team includes Behaviour Analysts, Teachers, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists working with external professionals to support our learners.
Teaching and Learning Mentor A person who works with a learner and is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the learners’ individualised curriculum. Mentors receive ongoing Behaviour Analysis training whilst in employment at BeyondAutism Post-19.
Lead Mentor The person who is responsible for delivering initial and ongoing Behaviour Analysis training to Mentors. They are responsible for ensuring the standard of teaching is high within their class. The Lead Mentor supports the Behaviour Analyst in managing the classroom in their absence.
SaLT (Speech and Language Therapy/ Therapist) Speech and Language Therapists provide specialist therapy for individuals with communication difficulties. At BeyondAutism Schools, Speech and Language Therapists write and oversee programmes of SaLT interventions as well as working with learners to support and develop their interaction, communication, speech and language skills.
OT (Occupational Therapy) Young adult’s Occupational Therapy (OT) enables them to achieve the things they want and need to do in line with their development. OTs’ use assessments to develop person-centred therapy programmes which aim to promote functional ability fine/gross motor skills and play skills.
Makaton Makaton is a language programme that uses signs and symbols to aid communication. At school when we talk about ‘Makaton’ we are usually referring to the Makaton signs. The signs are used in spoken word order and staff will use speech with the sign.
PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) PECS is an alternative communication method that involves teaching individuals who are nonverbal to exchange pictures in order to interact with others in their environment.
AAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication is an overarching term used to describe a variety of methods of communication that can be used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those who find the spoken or written language challenging.
Signer A signer refers to a child whose primary method of communication is through the use of sign language. Communication for this learner within the school is taught through the use of sign language; at BeyondAutism Schools, this is Makaton signs.
Vocal A child whose primary method of communication is through clearly pronounced vocal words. Communication for this learner within the school is taught using Echoics (see verbal operants above).
Vocal Signer A child whose primary method of communication is through a combination of word approximations (unclear forms of the adult word) and sign language. Communication for this learner within the school is taught using Echoics (see verbal operants above) and sign language.
Assessments and Curriculum
 Informal Assessment  A brief assessment carried out by school staff prior to a child/young person beginning a placement at a BeyondAutism School, to determine whether the provision is able to meet individual and educational needs.
 EFL  Essentials for Living – a functional skills curriculum, and skill tracking framework, for students with moderate to severe learning difficulties including but not limited to autism.