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Glossary Item Description
Manual Signing

Manual signing is another term for sign language, any language which uses manual communication instead of sound to convey meaning.


MAOIs is an acronym for monoamine oxidase inhibitors, a type of antidepressant drug used to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.


Marijuana, also referred to as cannabis, is traditionally derived from the plant Cannabis sativa.  Please note: in the UK marijuana is classified as a class B drug and you may be imprisoned, or fined, or both for its possession or supply.


Marking is the act of making a visible mark on a surface, sometimes used by individuals with autism with limited motor skills.

Martial Arts

Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons including self-defence and spiritual development.


Maruxa is a brand name for memantine, a drug in a class of medications called NMDA receptor antagonists.


Masking is a  terem which has two meanings.

  1. Hiding the fact that someone is on the autism spectrum, usually through imitation of other people.
  2. Another term for blinding, the process of preventing those involved in a trial from knowing to which comparison group a particular participant belongs.


Massage is the practice of applying pressure, tension, motion, or vibration to the skin, muscles and other soft tissues of the body.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the use of massage to obtain therapeutic effects.


MAXout is a modified version of the SummerMax social skills group training programme, adpated for use in a outpatient setting rather than in a Summer school.

May Institute Program

The May Institute Program is a form of early intensive behavioural intervention for autism run by the May Institute in Rochester, Massachusetts.


MBCT is an acronym for melodic based communication therapy, an intervention designed to make use of the musical strengths of the child with autism in order to increase verbal output.


MDMA is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences.


Mean is an average value, calculated by adding all the observations and dividing by the number of observations.

Mears-Irlen Syndrome

Mears-Irlen syndrome is a type of visual stress, a condition in which an individual cannot see clearly so the world seems disjointed, confused and scary.

Mediated Learning

Mediated learning is an educational programme based on the idea that because intelligence is plastic and changeable, not fixed, it can be taught within a mediated learning environment.

Medical Device

A medical device is an instrument, apparatus, implant, in vitro reagent, or similar or related article that is used to diagnose, prevent, or treat disease or other conditions, and does not achieve its purposes through chemical action within or on the body.

Medical Home

A medical home is designed to meet the large majority of each patient's physical and mental health care needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.


Medication is any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.


Meditation includes a variety of techniques or practices, such as prayer, which are intended to focus or control attention.

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.