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MouseTrial Autism Software
Fun animated online exercises to help kids with autism


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All illustrations, animations, software and text ©Dan Welchman Productions

ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis)
ABA strictly means any application of behavioural principles towards a therapeutic objective. But it is commonly used to refer to any intensive early intervention program using discrete trial work (see DTT) and related methods. For lots of further info see parent Richard Saffran's excellent ABA Resources website. See also Christina Burk's website for a history of ABA and an explanation of its variants.

This is the name for the assortment of images that is displayed when playing MouseTrial. Varying the number of objects displayed in the array is one of the main ways of adjusting the level of difficulty of the trials.

ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
This term covers all the disorders that are considered to be kinds of autism. It includes Asperger's syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder and so on.

Asperger's syndrome.
Variant of autism in which there is little or no language delay or learning difficulty (although the language may be somewhat "odd" or unusual). "High functioning autism" is sometimes used for the same thing, though the term is controversial.

CF/GF (Casein-free/Gluten-free diet)
Stands for "Casein-free" and "Gluten-free" diet. A popular dietary intervention that many believe is beneficial to kids with autism. Involves the elimination of Casein (a dairy protein) and Gluten (a cereal protein) from the diet.

DTT (Discrete Trial Training)
Program of many short specific exercises (discrete trials) used to teach language and appropriate behaviour. Usually performed one-to-one with a teacher at a table. An important part of ABA programs. (See our discrete trial page).

Kanner autism (Kanner's syndrome).
Leo Kanner was the clinician who first properly classified autism in 1943. The terms "Kanner autism" and "Kanner's syndrome" are now sometimes used to describe "ordinary" autism as opposed to Asperger's syndrome

Surname of Ivar Lovaas, the well known pioneer of intensive early intervention therapies for children with autism. Widely credited with "inventing" the ABA approach to treatment.
This is the name for the separate themed MouseTrial units that you can purchase individually. Each one contains several submodules with different exercises and levels of difficulty.

NET (Natural Environment Training)
Variant of Discrete Trial Training where the exercises are carried out in the child's ordinary domestic setting rather than at a table (my words, feel free to email with corrections!). For a better description see Christina Burk's page on the topic

NT "Neurotypical"
Term for a person who does not have autism. Much used in articles discussing whether autism should be seen as a difference rather than as a disability.

NVI (Non Verbal Imitation)
This is a subset of exercises from the discrete trial method. It refers to a request to the child to copy an action when asked. We prefer to call it "do this!", for fairly obvious reasons.

PRT (Pivotal Response Training)
Variant of discrete trial with emphasis on giving the child power to make choices. An excellent overview is available here on the well known Autism Teaching Tools website.

In the context of ABA and discrete trial this means a reward or treat for getting the exercise right. It can be be anything as long as it's something the child really likes and wants. It could be a small morsel of a favourite food, or a tickle, or a squeeze. In mousetrial it's the funny animation that's the reinforcer.

This is the name we use for each individual game or exercise that you can choose from in a MouseTrial module.