Colorado Center for Pediatric Learning and Development

enabling : development : function : achievement and a happy childhood


Activities of Daily Living-self-help activities like dressing/undressing, grooming, oral hygiene, eating, bathing and toileting.

AFO-Ankle Foot Orthosis, a brace that is custom fit to properly position the foot and provide support to the ankle.

Central Auditory Processing-the processing of auditory signals, particularly speech, into meaningful information. This process occurs within the central auditory nervous system.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder-the failure of the central auditory nervous system to adequately process speech information resulting in difficulty processing relevant/important auditory information in the presence of non-relevant background noise.

Cerebral Palsy-a collection of motor disorders resulting from damage to the brain that occurred before, during, or right after birth. The damage to the child's brain affects the motor system and negatively impacts balance, movement patterns and/or coordination.

Clonus–when a muscle or group of muscles rapidly alternate between flexion and extension (or tightening and relaxing) causing what appears to be shaking or tremors in all or part of a limb.

DME-Durable Medical Equipment, which would include large objects like walkers and wheel chairs.

Early Intervention-period of time between birth and a child’s third birthday. During this time, eligible children may receive a variety of services including but not limited to: OT, PT, Speech Therapy, vision therapy, education services, and services with coordinators to assist with plan of care.

Fine Motor Skills-small motor movements that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue to engage in activities like picking up small objects, writing, bead stringing, typing, etc.

Functional Performance-the way a person executes everyday activities. For children, these everyday activities would include: motor development, self-help skills, play skills, socialization, academic performance, etc.

Gross Motor Skills-large motor movements like walking, bike riding, skipping, rolling, crawling, etc.

Gravitational insecurity-atypical emotional and/or behavioral response to changes in the position of the head.

High muscle tone-or hypertonia, refers to overly tight and stiff muscles.

Hyper-responsivity-when a person over reacts to typical sensory experiences.

Hypo-responsivity-when a person under-reacts to typical sensory experiences.

Low muscle tone-or hypotonia, refers to floppy and loose muscles.

Muscle Tone-refers to the amount of tension or resistance of one’s muscles during movement.

NDT-neurodevelopmental therapy.

Praxis-commonly referred to as motor planning. The ability to plan, sequence and execute novel motor actions.

Proprioception-refers to input gathered from the receptors in joints and muscles which sense where the body is in space, how it moves in space and the body’s position in relation to objects in the environment. It also regulates the amount of force required to manipulate objects i.e. writing with a pencil, picking up heavy vs. light objects, throwing a ball.

Range of Motion-this is a measurement of how far a joint can move through typical movements. For example, full shoulder flexion range of motion (raising the arm overhead) is 180 degrees.

Sensory Processing-a process in which a child uses his/her senses to take in information from the environment, organize this information and then generate a response. Sensory processing is comprised of two components: sensory modulation and sensory discrimination.

Sensory Modulation-refers to the way in which one’s nervous system reacts to incoming sensory information. This is important as it is the way in which a person attains and maintains a constant alert and calm state of arousal. An alert and calm state of arousal is a necessary state to be in to generate an adaptive response to information gathered from the senses. Difficulties with sensory modulation may result in a person over or under responding to particular sensory experiences.

Sensory Discrimination-refers to the way person uses information gathered from sensory experiences to produce a skilled response. This is necessary for success during functional activities, both novel and learned.

Sensory Integration-the process whereby the central nervous system organizes sensory information received from the body and the environment, interprets this information and then allows for appropriate interaction in the environment.

Sensory Integration Dysfunction (DSI)-a disorder that occurs when typical sensations are received by the central nervous system and are processed in an atypical way, which results in atypical interactions in the environment, atypical behaviors or physiological reactions in response to typical stimuli.

Spasticity-high muscle tone

State Regulation-the ability to attain and maintain an alert and calm level of arousal for an age appropriate amount of time

Tactile hypersensitivity or tactile defensiveness- atypical aversion or over response to typical tactile (touch) inputs. A person may have tactile defensiveness in and around her mouth, hands and feet, and/or whole body.

Visual Motor Integration-commonly referred to as eye-hand-coordination. This refers to the coordination of the visual system and desired movement of the arms and hands to be successful with activities such as reproducing shapes, letters and forms.

Visual Perception-the way a person recognizes and interprets visual information. Visual perception is made up of seven components: visual memory, visual sequential-memory, visual closure, visual figure-ground, visual form-constancy, visual spatial-relationships, and visual discrimination.