2014 Special Needs Glossary
Adaptive Development: Self-care or daily living skills.
Adjusted Age: The age of a child minus the number of weeks the child was born premature.
Affect: Observable emotion or state of an individual.
Age Appropriate: The age, or level, that most children can accomplish the tasks being considered.
Chronological Age: The age of a person in months and/or years.
Cognitive: Refers to the process of thought or thinking.
Congenital: Any trait or condition that exists from birth.
Daily Living Skills: Tasks and functions required to function on a daily or regular basis.
Early Development: The growth of children in the formative years, often identified from birth to 5 years of age.
Emotional Development: The ways children understand, express and learn to regulate their emotions as they grow.
Established Risk: When a child has already been identified with a condition known to be related to as developmental delay or disability or other medical conditions impacting development.
Expressive Language: The verbal and nonverbal elements of communicating to others.
Functional Development: Includes areas (called “domains”) of cognitive, communication, motor, adaptive, social/emotional and sensory development.
Genetic Condition: Traits or a disorder that has been passed through the genes by one or both parents to the child.
Intervention: Treatment or assistance given to improve a deficit or lag in mental or physical functioning.
Motor Development: The process of growth whereby a child acquires and masters skills to be able to move their body. These include fine motor skills (abilities that require coordination of the small muscles of the body, such as picking up a small block with a thumb and finger) and gross motor skills (abilities that require coordination of the large muscles of the body such as arms and legs, such as jumping or climbing).
Nonverbal Communication: Information that is transmitted without words, through body language, gestures, facial expressions or the use of symbols.
Risk Factors: Certain conditions, such as genetics, that may increase the possibility of diseases or disabilities developing.
Self-Care: A person’s ability to use certain skills and resources to attend to their own needs.
Social Development: The process of development in which a child learns the skills, rules and values that will enable him or her to form connections and function among family members, peers and members of society.
Typical: Traits common to a specific group of people.
Source: Center for Improvement of Child Caring (ciccparenting.org)