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Glossary Item Description
Diagnostic Tools

Diagnostic tools are instruments used to identify a condition, syndrome or disorder  - such as autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome.

Diaminoethanetetraacetic Acid

Diaminoethanetetraacetic acid is another term for EDTA, a synthetic solution used as a chelating agent to remove heavy metals from the body.


Diarrhoea is passing looser or more frequent stools than is normal for you.


Diazepam is a benzodiazepine, a type of drugs called anxiolytics, used to treat anxiety or anxiety associated with symptoms of depression.


Didactic refers to a wide group of behavioural interventions where the therapist directs and controls all aspects of the interaction.

Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other substances meant to improve diet.


There are many people who feel that diet is a key factor in causing and/or managing some of the problems experienced by individuals with autism.


Diflucan is a brand name for fluconazole, a type of antifungal medication used to treat a range of fungal infections.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are proteins that catalyse (accelerate) chemical reactions in the alimentary tract in order to break down food.

Digital Auditory Aerobics

Digital auditory aerobics is another term for auditory integration training, an intervention in which a person with autism listens to a selection of music which has been modified.

Dihydrolipoic Acid

Dihydrolipoic acid is another name for alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant that is manufactured in the human body.


Dilantin is a brand name for phenytoin, a type of anticonvulsant drug, which is designed to prevent or reduce the severity of seizures.


Dimercaptopropanesulfonate (DMPS) is a synthetic chemical used as a chelating agent to remove heavy metals from the body.

Dimercaptosuccinic Acid

Dimercaptosuccinic acid is another term for DMSA, a synthetic chemical used as a chelating agent to remove heavy metals from the body.


Dimethylglycine (also known as DMG) is a derivative of the amino acid glycine. It is found naturally in plant and animal cells and in certain foods such as beans, cereal grains, and liver.

Dipeptidyl peptidase

Dipeptidyl peptidase is a protein that acts as an enzyme.

DIR Method

The DIR Method is a comprehensive, multi-component intervention used to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities

Direct Synchronous Bonding

Direct synchronous bonding 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


DISCO is an acronym for the Diagnostic Instrument for Social and Communication Disorders, a diagnostic tool for assessing autism in children and adults.

Discrete Trial Instruction

Discrete trial instruction is another term for discrete trial training, a highly-structured training technique that involves a trainer instructing an individual with autism using a series of learning opportunities or trials.

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.