Top 10 Words to Know When Joining an Autism Support Group

March 10, 2015
A teacher and student having a conversation

People at all stages of their autism journey find value in meeting with others in similar situations to share ideas, support, company, and good will. One of the best places to find those resources is in an autism support group. Before you jump in, you’ll want to be conversant with some technical jargon and the common acronyms and derived slang terms that describe things particular to life on the spectrum.

That’s where this recent article from comes in especially handy, because it showcases a list of the top 10 words you’ll need to jump in and make those conversations as meaningful as possible:

1. Neurotypical (NT)
This term means “typically developing” or “not autistic.” “My oldest daughter is NT” would tell you that the child the speaker refers to is not on the spectrum.

2. ASD
An initialism for “autism spectrum disorder.” “People with ASD often dislike being touched” is an example of correct usage.

3. Aspie
“Aspie” is a shortened slang term for a person with Asperger syndrome, a very high functioning form of autism.

4. Stimming
“Stimming” refers to the repetitive self-stimulation motions common to those on the spectrum, such as hand-flapping or rocking.

5. Perseveration
“Perseveration” is a singular, obsessional interest in objects, characters, topics, or activities. “My son and I were in the car, waiting for a long train to pass, and now all he thinks about are boxcars” would be an example of perseveration.

6. ABA

7. IEP

8. DX

9. Elope

10. Transition

For definitions of terms 6–10, look to the article.

These 10 terms are just the beginning. As your autism journey takes you through schools, service providers, therapies, and more, you’ll be sure to build a new lexicon of words and phrases to help you navigate the issues and ideas surrounding the autism spectrum.

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