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Glossary Item Description

EFAs is an acronym for essential fatty acids - polyunsaturated fatty acids that cannot be created within the human body and must therefore be obtained from the diet.


EFT is an acronym for emotional freedom technique, a therapy that involves placing physical pressure on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body.

Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Eicosapentaenoic acid is a type of omega 3 fatty acid found in some foodstuffs such as fish oil.


EIRP is an acronym for the Early Intervention Readiness Program, a family support programme developed in response to the limited availability of comprehensive and individualized support for families in Australia during the challenging post-ASD diagnosis period.

Elective Mutism

Elective mutism is a condition in which children talk in one situation, for example, at home, but remain silent elsewhere, for example, at school.

Electro-Convulsive Therapy

Electro-convulsive therapy is an  intervention in which seizures are induced by passing electricity through the brain of an anaesthetised individual.

Electromagnetic Induction

Electromagnetic induction is another name for transcranial magnetic stimulation, a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.

Elephant Therapy

Elephant therapy is an intervention based around the use of elephants and elephant sound.


Eligard is a brand name of leuprolide, a drug which turns off the production of testosterone.

Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is a type of diet, in which the individual avoids foodstuffs containing certain things, such as gluten or casein, which are believed to be harmful to that individual.

Embryonic Cell Therapy

Embryonic cell therapy is another term for cell therapy, which includes a variety of procedures in which processed tissue from animal embryos, foetuses or organs, is injected or swallowed.


EMDR is an acronym for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, a treatment in which the therapist moves her fingers back and forth in front of your face and asks you to follow these hand motions with your eyes while recalling a disturbing event.

Emotion-Based Social Skills Training programme

The Emotion-Based Social Skills Training programme is a social skills group designed to improve emotional competence in school-aged children on the autism spectrum.

Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotional freedom technique is a form of acupressure, a therapy which involves placing physical pressure on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body.

Emotional Shuttling

Emotional Shuttling is another term for holding therapy, an intervention which consists of forced holding by a therapist or parent until the child stops resisting or until a fixed time period has elapsed.


Employment is often defined as the state of having paid work.


Encephalitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the brain tissue. It is caused either by infection, usually viral, or by an autoimmune disease. If it is severe it can cause brain damage.


An endorphin is natural chemical which acts as a neurotransmitter, pain killer and sedative.

Energy Medicine

Energy medicine involves the manipulation of various energy fields, which may or may not be measurable.

Enhancing Interactions Program

The Enhancing Interactions program is an intervention designed to help parents of young children on the autism spectrum.

About This Glossary

This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

You may be able to find more information, including links to other parts of this website, by clicking on the title of an item.

If you can't find the word you are looking for, or you know of a word we should include, please email info@researchautism.net


The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.