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Glossary Item Description

PEERS is an acronym for the the UCLA Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills, a multi-component social skills training intervention for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum.

PEGASUS programme

PEGASUS is the acronym for the PsychoEducational Groups for Autism Spectrum Understanding and Support programme.

Penguin for Autism Behavioral Interventions

The Penguin for Autism Behavioral Interventions (PABI) is a compact humanoid robot.


A peptide is a small molecule consisting of 2 or more amino acids.

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.


Perinatal is a term used to describe the period immediately before and after birth.

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 involves a person with autism having a pet animal, such as a guinea pig, dog or horse.


Pexeva is a brand name for paroxetine, a type of SSRI antidepressant.


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 is an aromatic compound found in foodstuffs such as apple juice, citrus fruit juice and chocolate.

Phenol-Free Diet

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

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.