Glossary of Commonly Used Terms and Abbreviations


AAC / Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. This can include sign language, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and Pragmatic Organized Dynamic Display (PODD).

AFU / Autism Funding Unit

The Autism Funding Unit is a division of the Ministry of Family and Child Development that deals with all Autism Funding programs and funding agreements as well as any renewals and parental responsibilities. To contact the AFU call: 250 387-3530 from Greater Victoria or 1 877 777-353 from elsewhere in BC toll-free. Email:

ASD/ Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder is the central diagnosis given to a continuum of complex, conditions that affect individuals from all walks of life (Gov’t of Canada). Diagnoses such as Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) are now considered to be part of Autism Spectrum Disorder and are diagnosed as ASD.

At Home Funding / At Home Program

The At Home Program assists parents with some of the extraordinary costs of caring for a child with severe disabilities at home through a range of health supports and services through providing additional funding for respite and medical benefits. To apply for the At Home Program or for more information visit or call toll-free: 1 800 613-3232 or Victoria: 250 387-9649.


BBRS-2 / Burks Behaviour Ratings Scales

The BBRS-2 is a behaviour assessment tool designed to help identify different areas of behaviour and personality that require further positive development.

BC / Behaviour Consultant

The behaviour consultant’s role revolves around assessment, treatment, and development of behavioural programs geared towards dealing with any challenging behaviour that interferes with an individual's ability to function and to be optimally prepared to learn and take in new information. This may include perseverative behaviours and self injurious behaviour as well as antisocial or disruptive behaviour. The behaviour consultant also contributes to the programming regarding play, social skills, and feeding.

BCaBA/ Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst

BCaBA’s work under the supervision of BCBA’s to conduct and interpret behavioural assessments and uses the results to develop and implement behavioural intervention plans with clients. BCaBA’s are able to teach others (usually behavioural interventionists) to carry out interventions.  

BCBA/ Board Certified Behaviour Analyst

BCBA’s conduct behavioural assessments and interpret the results to design and supervise behavioral intervention programs. BCBA’s are responsible for supervising BCaBAs.

BCBA’s are behaviour consultants who have completed the Board Certified Behaviour Analyst Examination. BCBA’s conduct behavioural assessments and interpret the results to design and supervise behavioral intervention programs. BCBA’s are responsible for supervising BCaBAs.

Behavioural Intervention / Intervention

Behavioural intervention is a type of behaviour modification therapy that uses reinforcement to intervene in behaviours that could negatively affect a child’s life.

BI / Behavioural Interventionist

Behavioural interventionists work directly with clients to implement therapy programs assigned by the client’s clinical team based on their individual needs. This allows your child to receive exposure to programs from each discipline every time they are seen.

BPI / Behavioural Plan of Intervention

A behavioural plan of intervention is an individualized program designed for a specific child that focuses on identifying areas where the child needs intervention. It is developed and written by a behaviour consultant in collaboration with the parents of the child, and includes input from professionals who are members of the child's team (e.g., speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist). Although a behavioural plan of intervention is not required to access Autism Funding, it is recommended that intervention is always guided by a plan that is regularly reviewed (Gov’t of Canada).


Clinical Team/ Clinical Staff

Both of these terms are commonly used to refer to the group of clinicians assigned to a particular client. This typically includes a behaviour consultant (BC), a speech-language pathologist (SLP), and an occupational therapist (OT).  

Cooperative Play

Cooperative play is a child’s ability to work with peers towards a specific common goal in a play setting or other activity.


Director of Clinical Services

The Director of Clinical Services is responsible for overseeing, directing and controlling all aspects of clinical services delivered by Little Steps Therapy Services Ltd. The Director of Clinical Services reports directly to the Shareholders and is responsible for managing all clinical service delivery. This includes supervision of all clinical staff to ensure that adequate clinical standards are being met and the vision and values of the organization are being practiced.

Director of Finance

The Director of Finance is responsible for planning, directing, and controlling financial resources for the Therapy Service Provider by following provincial and federal policies and procedures and in accordance with Federal and Provincial legislation. The Director of Finance reports directly to the Shareholders and is responsible for managing financial functions. This includes preparing the budget, conducting financial analysis and preparing financial reports; developing and implementing an effective system of accounting; managing the payroll system; and, maintaining accurate financial records.

Dramatic / Fantasy Play

Dramatic, or fantasy play is a child’s ability to accept or assign fantastical roles and then act them out consistent with the dramatic situation presented.


Feeding Therapy

Feeding therapy consists of slowly introducing children to different food textures, colors, or tastes with the eventual goal being the expansion of the foods a child will tolerate or enjoy on a regular basis. Feeding therapy can be overseen by either speech-language pathologists or occupational therapists.

Fine Motor

Fine motor is the term used to refer to the small muscles of the hand. Fine motor muscles are used for gripping, printing, hand-eye coordination, and finger isolation.


Gross Motor

Gross motor is the term used to refer to the larger muscles of the body. Gross motor skills refer to the movement and coordination of the arms, legs, and other larger body parts.


Independent Play

Independent play is a child’s ability to stay focused on a task or set of toys without any prompting or engagement from adults or other peers.

Instructional Control

Instructional control is the establishment of an authoritative relationship between a child and an adult. The adult may include a parent, behavioural interventionist, or other therapists.


Interdisciplinary is the term used to indicate a blending of knowledge from several different fields. For example, Little Steps Therapy Services’ model of care is interdisciplinary as it focuses on providing each child clinical programs from behaviour consultants, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists as opposed to only behaviour consultants.


MCFD/ Ministry of Child and Family Development

The MCFD is a division of the BC Federal government whose primary focus is to support vulnerable children and their families using a client-centred approach to service delivery that builds on the family’s existing resources and capacities. The MCFD also controls the Autism Funding Unit.


OT / Occupational Therapist

The occupational therapist tackles assessment, treatment, and development of programs in the areas of sensory processing skills, self-regulation, gross and fine motor skills, and activities of daily living (play, feeding, dressing, bathing, toileting and sleep).

OTA / Occupational Therapist Assistant

Occupational therapist assistants work under the direction of a certified occupational therapist to guide clients in prescribed therapeutic activities and exercises in order to help them achieve independent and healthy lifestyles in spite of injury or disability. OTA’s are able to access At Home funding a well as AFU Under/Over 6 funding.


Parallel Play

Parallel play is a child’s ability to play physically beside a peer without necessarily engaging with the peer.

PECS/ Picture Exchange Communication System

Augmentative and Alternative Communication system produced by Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc. which uses the exchange of pictures as a method to teach and support spontaneous and functional communication in a variety of settings.

PODD/ Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display

An augmentative and Alternative Communication system which uses full-word and symbol vocabulary organized in either a communication book or speech generating device. PODD focuses on providing the user with a means of continuous communication for a range of complex messages in multiple environments.

PT / Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists use the concepts of movement sciences to enhance or improve the function of an individual’s mobility, physical activity, and overall health and wellness.

PTA / Physiotherapy Assistant

Physiotherapy assistants work under the supervision of a certified physiotherapist to implement treatment plans designed to improve the function of an individual’s mobility, physical activity, and overall health and wellness.


RASP/ Registry of Autism Service Providers

The RASP is a listing of behavioural consultants, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists that are able to be billed directly from an under 6 child’s autism funding account. The RASP is maintained by the Ministry of Child and Family Development.

RTP / Request to Pay

The Request to Pay form gives Little Steps Therapy Services permission to directly bill your child’s government funding account. It needs to be updated each year as your child’s funding renews the first of the month following their birthday month.


Sensory Integration

Sensory integration is the brain’s ability to process and organize information from an individual’s environment through the use of the senses.

Social Skills

Social skills are the skills we use to act appropriately while in a public environment. While these skills often include how to appropriately interact with peers, it also includes the ability to know when not to seek interaction with peers or avoid it as per social custom. Often individuals with learning or developmental disorders such as ASD do not develop these skills intuitively as a typical individual will and are often taught these skills explicitly.

Social Thinking®

The Social Thinking® curriculums are written by Ryan Hendrix, Kari Zweber Palmer, Nancy Tarshis and Michelle Garcia Winner. They are designed to help individuals of a variety of ages and skill levels to develop their social skills.

SLP/ Speech Language Pathologist

The speech language pathologist is involved with assessment and development of programs to treat speech and language delays. This may include verbal and non-verbal receptive and expressive language as well as articulation disorders. The Speech Language Pathologist also contributes to programs regarding play, social skills and feeding.

SLPA/ Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

Speech language pathology assistants are support personnel who, following academic coursework, fieldwork, and on-the-job training, perform tasks prescribed, directed, and supervised by certified speech-language pathologists. SLPAs are able to access At Home funding as well as AFU Under/Over 6 funding.

Supervisor of Intervention Services

The Supervisor of Intervention Services is responsible for maintaining interventionist staffing requirements and overseeing the daily activities and management of all behaviour interventionists, lead interventionists and the Practicum Student Coordinator.  The Supervisor of Intervention Services liaises between the interventionists, clinical staff and Directors to ensure the goals of Little Steps Therapy Services are being carried out effectively and to resolve any concerns which may be brought forward.


VB-MAPP / Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program

The VB-MAPP is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. The VB-MAPP provides a baseline level of performance, a direction for intervention, a system for tracking skill acquisition, a tool for outcome measures and other language research projects, and a framework for curriculum planning, (Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA-D).