As a Scottish woman with an English partner who works a lot in the USA… I know that no matter how hard I try, I will still say something that someone will not understand!

There are also a lot of acronyms and terminology used in health and education that could easily slip into posts and comments, so I have tried to include as many as possible here to help readers.

This is a working list so if you do not understand any terms used in my posts, please let me know- if you don’t understand that term, then other people won’t either!


Health Terminology

  1. ADHD (ADD): Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Attention Deficit Disorder). These terms are often used interchangeably but in most circles ADHD is the term that is used to describe the condition. As research has developed we know that ‘hyperactivity’ does not always involve extreme physical movement. In this blog I will only refer to ADHD and I will make no distinction.
  2. ASC (ASD): Autistic Spectrum Condition also known as Autistic Spectrum Disorder the name for a group of developmental disorders or a spectrum, of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.
  3. ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Is a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least six months.
  4. CD: Conduct Disorder: Is  a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms are violated. These behaviors are often referred to as “antisocial behaviors.”
  5. BPD: Borderline Personality Disorder is pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships.
  6. SPD: Sensory Processing Disorder is a condition that exists when multisensory integration is not adequately processed in order to provide appropriate responses to the demands of the environment.
  7. CAMHS: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  8. GP: General Practitioner

Education Terminology

  1. SFL: Support for Learning (SENCO in England)
  2. ASN: Additional Support Needs (often referred to SEN or Special Educational Needs outside Scotland)
  3. OT: Occupational Therapy
  4. PSA: Pupil Support Assistant (often called a Teaching Assistants or Classroom Assistants elsewhere)
  5. EAL: English as an Additional Language (often called similar terms elsewhere)
  6. IEP: Individual Education Plan
  7. GIRFEC (Scotland only): Getting It Right for Every Child
  8. UNCRC: United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child
  9. IDL: Interdisciplinary Learning
  10. STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths


  1. Comorbidity: the presence of one or more disorders occurring alongside a primary  disorder.
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