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Glossary Item Description
Perceptual Isolation Therapy

Perceptual isolation therapy is another term for restricted environmental stimulation therapy, an intervention based around sensory deprivation i.e. minimizing sensory inputs such as sound, lights and smells.

Performance Lenses

Peformance lenses, another term for ambient prism lenses, are used to help improve ambient vision, the visual system related to spatial organisation.


Periactin is a brand name for cyproheptadine, an antihistamine drug which is also an antiserotonergic agent and a 5-HT2 receptor antagonist.

Person-Environment Relationship

Person-environment relationship is the subjective relationship between an individual and his or her environment i.e. how he or she feels about the world immediately around them.

Personal Frequency Modulation System

Personal frequency modulation (FM) systems are like miniature radio stations operating on special frequencies.

Perspectives program

The Perspectives program uses radio interviewing to teach social and communication skills to adolescents with Asperger syndrome.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified)

Pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified) is a term used to describe people who don't fit neatly into one of the specific kinds of autism, such as autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders

The term pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) has several meanings.

It is sometimes used as another term for autism (autism spectrum disorders).

It is sometimes used to describe a developmental disability or disorder that affects several areas of development, that is, it is pervasive.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test (PDDST)

The Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test (PDDST) is a screening tool designed to identify children between 12 to 48 months old who may be on the autism spectrum.

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is another name for animal therapies, a group interventions which use a more formal, structured set of sessions to help people reach specific goals in their treatment.


Pharmacology is that part of medical science dealing with knowledge of the action of drugs.

Phelan-McDermid Syndrome

Phelan-McDermid syndrome, also known as 22q13.3 deletion syndrome, is a condition caused by the loss of a small piece of chromosome 22.

Phenol-Free Diet

The phenol-free diet requires you to avoid foodstuffs, such as citrus fruits and chocolate, which contain the aromatic compound phenol.


Phenomenological research aims to describe a "lived experience" of a phenomenon.


Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, which the body changes into tyrosine, another amino acid.


Phenylketonuria is a rare hereditary condition in which the amino acid phenylalanine is not properly metabolised.


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


Phenytoin is a type of anticonvulsant, a group of drugs which aim to prevent or reduce the severity of seizures.


Pheraplay is a form of relationship-based therapy, which uses play to emphasize the bond between parent and child.

Photo Stimulation Therapy

Photo stimulation therapy is a type of lightwave stimulation in which an individual looks at coloured light produced by a special machine called a lumatron or a photron light stimulator.

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.