Confusing Labels

I miss the simple days when chicken tasted like chicken, and kids who seemed just a little bit off were, well, just a little bit off. In this increasingly complex world, factory-farmed chicken slowly poisons your system with accumulated arsenic, courtesy of the FDA who ruled feed must contain arsenic. And the kid who is “off” now comes with ten DXs, eight RXs, their very own team of OTs, and psycho-therapists as well as a detailed IEP courtesy of IDEA. And if you haven’t a clue as to what most of that meant, you’re “lucky”. Those of us who frequent “special needs” lists, have developed short-hand tags, our own special “secret language” to reduce keystrokes.

I’ve thrown together a list of confusing tags or labels, the first one covering food, the second children. They seem to go hand-in-hand. Anyone interested in the second set of labels needs to understand the first, because changing a child’s diet can have profound benefits. Removing all processed, chemically-raised and injected foods with naturally-grown real food has helped our Autistic son tremendously. Quite simply, find a local farmer and make it yourself – easier today than it was a year ago!



Cage-free: A bird raised in a chicken house that may or may not offer access to the outdoors.

Thousands of birds stuffed into one confinement building, many of them crippled. The goal is to eat animals that have a good life and a good death and neither one of them would be found in this situation! I guarantee if you walk through any of these stench-filled facilities, you’d never touch a single egg or drumstick that came from their suffering. Romans 8 speaks to the suffering of animals, and don’t think we won’t be accountable.

Free-range: Poultry that has had some access to the outdoors each day.

This may mean a door was open to the outdoors and if they can squeeze their way through the crippled bodies housed in a confinement barn in order to catch a breath of fresh air, they can be considered free-range.

Pastured: Hens roaming free on farms, eating their natural diet (Bugs!! Grass!!) just like all those great paintings in museums depicting days of old.

Good luck finding this. We need more farmers raising poultry this way. When you do, it’s the absolute best you can buy, but expect to pay $4/lb or more in some parts of the country.

Vegetarian: Poultry that has been fed only corn and grain.

Poor poultry! They’re meant to eat bugs and grass! Poor us! The majority of the corn is now GMO, and “grain” can mean soy which should NOT be consumed by man nor beast if it isn’t roasted, sprouted or fermented. See for more information.

Grass-fed: Animals that have eaten nothing but their mother’s milk and grass.

The absolute best you can find! More farmers are switching over to this method of raising meat animals. It takes longer to get them up to slaughter-weight, thus, supply and price will be affected. In some parts of the country, prices range from $4 to $20 a pound. Those farmers who don’t like being on the government welfare system and still have a sense of independence are the backbone of the resurrection!)

Natural: Meat and poultry cannot contain any artificial flavoring, colors, chemical preservatives, or artificial or synthetic ingredients, and cannot be more than “minimally processed.”

Again, “natural” does not mean a natural diet. Confusing? Natural in the hands of a marketing person might mean corn, or soy. That’s about as natural to most ruminants as a Hot Fudge Sunday. This type of “natural” diet (the corn and soy, not the ice cream) perverts the animals Essential Fatty Acid ratio, making it unhealthy for beast and human alike.

Organic: Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products that come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. (This does NOT mean they ate food the good Lord intended for them to eat. Often grains are fed to ruminants which should only be given grass/hay. Research is showing that ruminants fed a grain-diet have an increased output of E Coli which is affecting water supplies, infiltrating food crops, etc.)


ABA Applied Behavioral Analysis
ABC Autism Behavior Checklist
ABI Adaptive Behavior Inventory
ACCESS Autistic Continuum Connections, Education, and Support Site
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADOS Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADI Autism Diagnostic Interview
ADOS, Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale
AFAIK “As Far As I Know”
AFGO “Another Fine Growth Opportunity” (sarcastic: means a difficult problem to solve)
AGUA Adult Gathering, United and Autistic
AIT Advanced Individual Training
AIT Auditory Integration Therapy
ALE Alternative Learning Experience
ALJ Administrative Law Judge
ANI Autism Network International
ANI-L The listserv (mailing list) for Autism Network International
APD Auditory Processing Disorder
APE Adaptive Physical Education
ARD Admission, Review, Dismissal (used in Texas)
ARI Autism Research Institute
AS Asperger’s Syndrome (DSM IV 299.80)
AS Autistic Spectrum
ASA Autism Society of America
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder
ASI Autism Society of Illinois
ASL, American Sign Language
ASPEN ASPEN of America – Asperger Syndrome Education Network, Inc., National advocacy/support organization
ASPEN Asperger Syndrome Parent Education Network
ASPIE A person with Asperger’s Syndrome (informal, don’t use unless sure it won’t offend)
ATI [definition needed]

BBB, Blood Brain Barrier
BBRS Burks’ Behavior Rating Scale
BD Behavioral Disorder
BD/ED Behavior Disordered / Emotionally Disturbed
BIC Behavior Improvement Class
BIP Behavior Improvement Plan
BMP Behavior Management Plan
BOCES Board Of Cooperative Educational Services
BP Bi-Polar (formerly called “manic-depressive”)
BP Blood Pressure
BTW “By The Way”

CAN Cure Autism Now – advocacy organization
CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CARD Committee for Admission, Review, Dismissal (used in Texas)
CARS Childhoold Autism Rating Scale (diagnostic and evaluation tool)
CBCL, Achenbach Childhood Behavior Checklist, diagnostic tool
CCF, Community Care Facility
CD, Celiac Disease
CD Conduct Disorder
CHAT, Checklist for Autism in Toddlers diagnostic tool
CF, casein free
CNS Central Nervous System
CO Conference
COSAC Center for Outreach and Services for the Autistic Community (New Jersey)
COTA Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
CP Cerebral Palsy
CPS Canadian Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialities
CPS Child Protective Services
CSE Committee for Special Education (called “MDT” in some states)
CST Child Study Team
CV Curriculum Vitae (a resume)
CVPD Central Vision Processing Disorder
CYA California Youth Authority

DAN Defeat Autism Now! (organizational site at
DAS Differential Abilities Scales
DAS, Developmental Apraxia of Speech
DCD Development Coordination Disorder (DSM IV 315.4)
DD or dd dear daughter
DD, Developmentally Delayed
DH or dh dear husband
DS or ds dear son
DW or dw dear wife
DD Development Disorder
DD Developmental Disabilities
DH Developmentally Handicapped
DHS Department of Human Services
DMG Dimethyl Glycine
DPT A triple inoculation given to kids: Diptheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), Tetanus
DR Disability Rights
DREDF Disability Rights Education Defense Fund
DSM Diagnostic Statistical Manual – enormous industry-standard catalogue of medical diagnoses
DSM-IV Diagnostic Statistical Manual (edition IV) – the current version of this publication
DSMR Diagnostic Statistical Manual (Revised) – preceded DSM-IV
DTVMI Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration
DVD, Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia
DX Diagnosis

EBD Emotional Behavioral Disorder
ECSE Early Childhood Special Education
ECT ElectroConvulsive Therapy (electroshock)
ED Emotionally Disturbed
EEG ElectroEncephaloGram (basically, a graph of brain-wave activity)
EFA, Essential Fatty Acids
EFD Executive Functioning Disorder
EI Emotionally Impaired
EI Early Intervention
EIBI Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
EKG ElectroCardioGram (basically, a graph of the heart’s electrical activity)
EPD Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization (say this one right the first try & win a prize!)
EPSDT Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment
ESD Educational Service District
ESE Exceptional Student Education
ESL English as a Second Language
ESY Extended School Year
EYSD Extended Year Special Ed

F2F “Face to Face”
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions (an info sheet in Q&A format)
FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
FBA Functional Behavior Assessment
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FERPA Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FOIA Freedom Of Information Act
FWIW “For What It’s Worth”

GAF Global Assessment of Functioning scale
GF, gluten free
GFCF Gluten Free Casein Free
GFSE, Grapefruit Seed Extract – Do NOT give to anyone taking an SSRI! as SSRI meds contain naringenin which modifies the metabolism
GT Get Together
GSE, Grape Seed Extract),

HFA High Functioning Autism (defined as autism occurring without mental retardation, e.g. w/ IQ 70 or higher)
HH Hard of Hearing
HH HouseHold
HHM [definition needed]
HMO Health Medical Organization
HSLDA Home School Legal Defense Organization

IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome
ICDM A book (used by health insurors for billing purposes) which classifies diseases by numbers
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP Individual Education Program
IFLACA “I Feel Like A Complete Ass” (used as an apology
IIRC “If I Recall Correctly”
IME Independent Medical Examination
IMHO “In My Humble Opinion”
IMMV “Individual Mileage May Vary” (meaning “your experiences might be different”)
IMNSHO “In My Not So Humble Opinion”
IMO “In My Opinion”
IMVHO “In My Very Humble Opinion”
InLv Independent Living (support group)
IOW “In Other Words”
IQ Intelligence Quotient
IRB Institutional Review Board
IRCA Indiana Resource Center for Autism
ISD Intermediate School District
ISP Internet Service Provider

JA Just Average (phrase is widely disliked and may offend)

LD Learning Disability
LEA Local Education Agency
LEA Local Education Authority
LEAP [definition needed]
LEP Limited English Proficiency
LFA Low-Functioning Autism (defined as autism occurring with mental retardation, e.g. w/ IQ lower than 70)
LFT Liver Function Test), LLD Language-based Learning Disability
LKS Landau-Keffner Syndrome
LRE Least Restrictive Environment (phrase used in IDEA)

M-D Manic Depression (now called bipolar depression)
MAAP More Able Autistic Persons (support group)
MAP McGill Action Plan
MBD Minimum Brain Dysfunction
MDLC Maryland Disability Law Center
MDO Major Depressive Disorder
MDT Multi-Disciplinary Team (called “CSE” in some states)
MFC Marriage and Family Counselor
MFCC Marriage, Family, and Child Counsellor
MFE Multi-Factored Evaluation
MI Mentally Impaired
MIL Mother-In-Law
MMR Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination
MPD Multiple Personality Disorder
MR Mental Retardation, Mentally Retarded (IQ less than 70)
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MSDD Multi-System Developmental Disorder

NAAR National Alliance for Autism Research
NACD National Academy of Child Development
NAS National Autistic Society
NBAC National Bioethics Advisory Commission
NBD Nazi Band Director
NDA Not Diagnosed with Anything (informal usage)
NICHCY National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
NIH National Institute for Health
NLD, Nonverbal Learning Disorders
NVLD Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
NOD Not Otherwise Diagnosed
NORD National Organization for Rare Disorders
NOS Not of Specific Origin
NOS Not Otherwise Specified, usually seen as PDD-NOS
NP “No Problem”
NPD Normal Person Disorder (used jokingly)
NPND National Parent Network on Disabilities
NS Noonan’s Syndrome
NT Neurologically Typical (no diagnosible neurological disorder)
NT Neurotypical (no diagnosible neurological disorder)
NVLD Non-Verbal Learning Disability
NVIC, National Vaccine Information Center
NYD Not Yet Diagnosed (informal usage)
NYS New York State

OAAC Office of Advocacy for Autistic Children
OASIS On-line Asperger’s Syndrome Information and Support (organizational site at
OB Obligatory
OB Specific to
OCB Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
OCD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCR Office of Civil Rights
ODD Oppositional-Defiant Disorder
ODE Oregon Department of Education
OHI Other Health Impaired
OIC “Oh, I See”
OPM Other People’s Money
OPM Over-Protective Mom
ORS Office of Rehabilitation Services
OSEP Office of Special Education Programs (located Washington, DC)

*OSERS Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
OT Occupational Therapist
OT Occupational Therapy
OTC, Over the Counter prescriptions),
OTOH “On The Other Hand”
OVR Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

P&A Protection & Advocacy
PA Parents’ Auxiliary
PANDAS Pediatric Autoimmune Neurological Disorder Associated with Strep
PAVE Parents Are Vital in Education
PDD Pervasive Developmental Disorder
PDR Physician’s Desk Reference
PEP Psycho-educational Profile PET Positron Emission Tomography
PITA “Pain In The A**”, not to be confused with PETA which is also a PITA.
PK Psychokinesis (moving things with the mind, a form of ESP – it takes all kinds…..just because I provide a list doesn’t mean I accept or approve wacky ideas. Then again, the field of psychology is still alive and well…...)
PKU Phenylketonuria
PLEP Present Level of Educational Performance
PLOP Present Level of Performance
POHI Physically or Otherwise Health Impaired
PI Physically Impaired
POV Point Of View
PPL People
PPO Preferred Physician Organization
PPO Preferred Provider Option
PPS Poor Parenting Syndrome
PPS Pupil Personnel Services
PQ Performance IQ
PRT Pivotal Response Training
PT Physical Therapist
PT Physical Therapy
PTIC Parent Training and Information Center
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PwD People with Disabilities

Q&A Question-and-Answer, generally referring to a document format

RAD Reactive Attachment Disorder
RL Real Life
ROFL “Rolling On Floor Laughing”
ROFLSHCT “Rolling On the Floor Laughing So Hard Can’t Type”
RPITB “Royal Pain In The Butt”
RX Prescription Medication

S&LP Speech and Language Pathologist
SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka “Wintertime Depression”)
SAH Mom Stay-At-Home Mom
SBH (?) Severe Behavior Handicap (Should also be called “Parents Need To Be Trained…. or PNTBT for short…..)
SCD Specific Carbohydrate Diet
SD School District
SED Severe Emotional Disorder
SED Severely Emotionally Disturbed
SERRC Special Educational Regional Recourse Center
SI Sensory Integration
SIAT Society for Integrative Auditory Training
SIB Self-Injurious Behavior
SID Sensory Integration Disorder
SIPT Sensory Integration and Praxis Text
S/L, Speech/Language
SLK Severely Labeled Kid
SLP Speech and Language Pathologist
SM Selective Mutism
SNT Special Needs Trust
SSD Social Security Disability
SSI Supplemental Security Income
SSRI Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (class of meds, incl. Prozac, Zoloft, Praxil, Luvox)
SST Student Study Team (used in CA)
STRANS Survey of Teenage Readiness And Neurodevelopmental Status
SULP Social Use of Langauge Programme
SVSU Southern Vermont Supervisory Union

TAN Tangentially
TEACCH Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Disorders
TIC “Tongue In Cheek”
TKD Tae Kwon Do (a martial arts discipline)
TLA Three-Letter Acronym
TLS Transitional Living Services – sort of a halfway-house organization
TLS Turbocharged Lycoming Saber (if you’re an aviation buff – you can tell the mother of an Asperger’s child came up with this one)
TOM Theory of Mind
TOPL Test of Pragmatic Language
TS Tourette’s Syndrome
TSS Therapeutic Support Staff
TTFN “Ta-Ta For Now!”
TTYL “Talk To You Later”
TTYS “Talk To You Soon”

USPDI United States Prescription Drug Information

VAERs Vaccine Adverse Experience Reports (published by FDA)
VCF syndrome Vera-Cardio-Facial syndrome
VP Virtual Party
VPIC Vermont Parent Information Center
VQ Verbal IQ
VR Vocational Rehabilitation

WAIS Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (an IQ test)
WIIA Work Incentives Initiative Act
WISC Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (an IQ test)
WNA Word Nitpickers Anonymous
WOMBAT Waste of Money, Brains, and Time
WTG “Way To Go!”

YMMV “Your Mileage May Vary” (meaning, individual experiences could be different)
YO Year Old

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