ADHD: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral condition that makes focusing on everyday requests and routines challenging. People with ADHD typically have trouble getting organized, staying focused, making realistic plans and thinking before acting. They may be fidgety, noisy and unable to adapt to changing situations. Children with ADHD can be defiant, socially inept or aggressive.

Altruism: Prosocial behaviors a person carries out without considering his or her own safety or interests.

Anorexia nervosa: An eating disorder in which an individual weighs less than 85 percent of her or his expected weight but still controls eating because of a self-perception of obesity.

Anxiety disorders: Mental disorders marked by physiological arousal, feelings of tension, and intense apprehension without apparent reason.

Apraxia:  Of speech may result from stroke or progressive illness, and involves inconsistent production of speech sounds and rearranging of sounds in a word ("potato" may become "topato" and next "totapo"). Production of words becomes more difficult with effort, but common phrases may sometimes be spoken spontaneously without effort.

Attachment: Emotional relationship between a child and the "regular caregiver.

Autism: is the most severe developmental disability. Appearing within the first three years of life, autism involves impairments in social interaction — such as being aware of other people’s feelings — and verbal and nonverbal communication. Some people with autism have limited interests, strange eating or sleeping behaviors or a tendency to do things to hurt themselves, such as banging their heads or biting their hands.


Behavior modification: The systematic use of principles of learning to increase the frequency of desired behaviors and/or decrease the frequency of problem behaviors.

Biofeedback: A self-regulatory technique by which an individual acquires voluntary control over nonconscious biological processes.


Catharsis: The process of expressing strongly felt but usually repressed emotions.

Cerebral Palsy (CP): is a general term for a group of permanent, non-progressive movement disorders that cause physical disability, mainly in the areas of body movement. There may also be problems with sensation, depth perception, and communication ability. Difficulty with cognition and epilepsy are found in about one-third of cases. There are subtypes including a type characterized by spasticity, a type characterized by poor coordination, and types which feature both symptoms or neither. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth, or after birth up to about age three. About 2% of all cerebral palsy cases are believed to be due to a genetic cause. Cerebral palsy is not an infectious disease and is not contagious. Most cases are diagnosed at a young age rather than during adolescence or adulthood.

Cluttering: A speech disorder that has similarities to stuttering.

Club foot or clubfoot: It is also called congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both. The affected foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle. Without treatment, people with club feet often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet.

Cognition: Processes of knowing, including attending, remembering, and reasoning; also the content of the processes, such as concepts and memories.

Cognitive behavior modification: A therapeutic approach that combines the cognitive emphasis on the role of thoughts and attitudes influencing motivations and response with the behavioral emphasis on changing performance through modification of reinforcement contingencies.

Conditioning: The ways in which events, stimuli, and behavior become associated with one another.

Counseling psychologist: Psychologist who specializes in providing guidance in areas such as vocational selection, school problems, drug abuse, and marital conflict.


Developmental age: The chronological age at which most children show a particular level of physical or mental development.

Developmental delays: Developmental delay can have many different causes, such as genetic causes (like Down syndrome), or complications of pregnancy and birth (like prematurity or infections). Often, however, the specific cause is unknown. Some causes can be easily reversed if caught early enough, such as hearing loss from chronic ear infections, speech delays, or any of the motor milestones are delayed.

Developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD): It is also known as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and developmental apraxia of speech (DAS) is an inability to utilize motor planning to perform movements necessary for speech during a child's language learning process. The exact cause of this disorder is unknown. Some observations suggest a genetic cause of DVD, as many with the disorder have a family history of communication disorders. There is no cure for DVD, but with appropriate, intensive intervention, people with this motor speech disorder can improve significantly.

Down's syndrome: Down’s Syndrome also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8 or 9 year old child, but this varies widely.

Dysarthria: is a weakness or paralysis of speech muscles caused by damage to the nerves and/or brain. Dysarthria is often caused by strokes, parkinsons disease, ALS, head or neck injuries, surgical accident, or cerebral palsy.

Dyslexia: The most common learning disability of all students with specific learning disabilities, 70%-80% have deficits in reading. The term "Developmental Dyslexia" is often used as a synonym for reading disability.  A reading disability can affect any part of the reading process, including difficulty with accurate or fluent word recognition, or both, word decoding, reading rate, prosody (oral reading with expression), and reading comprehension. Before the term "dyslexia" came to prominence, this learning disability used to be known as "word blindness." Common indicators of reading disability include difficulty with phonemic awareness—the ability to break up words into their component sounds, and difficulty with matching letter combinations to specific sounds (sound-symbol correspondence).

Dysphasia: Speech and language disorders can also be called Dysphasia/Aphasia. The DSM-IV-TR criteria for a Disorder of Written Expression is writing skills (as measured by standardized test or functional assessment) that fall substantially below those expected based on the individual's chronological age, measured intelligence, and age appropriate education, (Criterion A). This difficulty must also cause significant impairment to academic achievement and tasks that require composition of written text (Criterion B), and if a sensory deficit is present, the difficulties with writing skills must exceed those typically associated with the sensory deficit, (Criterion C).Individuals with a diagnosis of a Disorder of Written Expression typically have a combination of difficulties in their abilities with written expression as evidenced by grammatical and punctuation errors within sentences, poor paragraph organization, multiple spelling errors, and excessively poor handwriting. A disorder in spelling or handwriting without other difficulties of written expression does not generally qualify for this diagnosis. If poor handwriting is due to impairment in motor coordination, a diagnosis of Developmental coordination disorder should be considered. By a number of organizations, the term "dysgraphia" has been used as an overarching term for all disorders of written expression.

Dysprosody: is the rarest neurological speech disorder. It is characterized by alterations in intensity, in the timing of utterance segments, and in rhythm, cadence, and intonation of words. The changes to the duration, the fundamental frequency, and the intensity of tonic and atonic syllables of the sentences spoken, deprive an individual's particular speech of its characteristics. The cause of dysprosody is usually associated with neurological pathologies such as brain vascular accidents, cranioencephalic traumatisms, and  brain tumors.

Dyscalculia: Sometimes called dyscalculia, a math disability involves such difficulties as learning math concepts (such as quantity, place value, and time), difficulty memorizing math facts, difficulty organizing numbers, and understanding how problems are organized on the page. Dyscalculics are often referred to as having poor "number sense".

Developmental psychology: The branch of psychology concerned with interaction between physical and psychological processes and with stages of growth from conception throughout the entire life span.

Divergent thinking: An aspect of creativity characterized by an ability to produce unusual but appropriate responses to problems.


Ego: The aspect of personality involved in self-preservation activities and in directing instinctual drives and urges into appropriate channels.

Egocentrism: In cognitive development, the inability of a young child at the preoperational stage to take the perspective of another person.

Emotion: A complex pattern of changes, including physiological arousal, feelings, cognitive processes, and behavioral reactions, made in response to a situation perceived to be personally significant.

Emotional intelligence: Type of intelligence defined as the abilities to perceive, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately, to use emotions to facilitate thinking, to understand and analyze emotions, to use emotional knowledge effectively, and to regulate one's emotions to promote both emotional and intellectual growth.


Flat feet: most people have a gap under the arch of their foot when they are in a standing position. The arch, the inner part of the foot is slightly raised off the ground. People with flat feet or fallen arches either have no arch, or it is very low.

Fear: A rational reaction to an objectively identified external danger that may induce a person to flee or attack in self-defense.

Fixation: A state in which a person remains attached to objects or activities more appropriate for an earlier stage of psychosexual development.


Health: A general condition of soundness and vigor of body and mind; not simply the absence of illness or injury.

Heredity: The biological transmission of traits from parents to offspring.

Hierarchy of needs: Maslow's view that basic human motives form a hierarchy and that the needs at each level of the hierarchy must be satisfied before the next level can be achieved; these needs progress from basic biological needs to the need for transcendence.

Homeostasis: Constancy or equilibrium of the internal conditions of the body.


Intellectual disability (ID) or general learning disability: It is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors. Intellectual disability is also known as mental retardation (MR), although this older term is being used less frequently. It was historically defined as an intelligence quotient score under 70. Once focused almost entirely on cognition, the definition now includes both a component relating to mental functioning and one relating to individuals' functional skills in their environments. As a result, a person with an unusually low IQ may not be considered intellectually disabled. Intellectual disability is subdivided into syndromic intellectual disability, in which intellectual deficits associated with other medical and behavioral signs and symptoms are present, and non-syndromic intellectual disability, in which intellectual deficits appear without other abnormalities.

Intelligence quotient (IQ):  An index derived from standardized tests of intelligence; originally obtained by dividing an individual's mental age by chronological age and then multiplying by 100; now directly computed as an IQ test score.

Intelligence: The global capacity to profit from experience and to go beyond given information about the environment.

Intimacy: The capacity to make a full commitment — sexual, emotional, and moral — to another person.


Judgment: The process by which people form opinions, reach conclusions, and make critical evaluations of events and people based on available material; also, the product of that mental activity.


Learning: A process based on experience those results in a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential.

Learning disability: refers to significant learning problems in an academic area. Is used, it describes a group of disorders characterized by inadequate development of specific academic, language, and speech skills. Types of learning disabilities include reading disability (dyslexia), mathematics disability (dyscalculia) and writing disability (dysgraphia).


Meditation: A form of consciousness alteration designed to enhance self-knowledge and well-being through reduced self-awareness.

Memory: The mental capacity to encode, store, and retrieve information.

Mental retardation: Condition in which individuals have IQ scores 70 to 75 or below and also demonstrates limitations in the ability to bring adaptive skills to bear on life tasks.

Motivation: The process of starting, directing, and maintaining physical and psychological activities; includes mechanisms involved in preferences for one activity over another and the vigor and persistence of responses.

Muscle twitch or fasciculation: It is an uncontrolled fine movement of a small segment of a larger muscle that can be seen under the skin.

Muteness: is complete inability to speak.


Need for achievement (n Ach): An assumed basic human need to strive for achievement of goals that motivates a wide range of behavior and thinking.

Negative punishment: A behavior is followed by the removal of an appetitive stimulus, decreasing the probability of that behavior.

Negative reinforcement: A behavior is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus, increasing the probability of that behavior.


Occupational therapy, often called OT: It is the use of treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental or developmental condition. Occupational therapy is a client-centered practice that places a premium on the progress towards the client’s goals. Occupational therapy interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the client/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the client.


Pain: The body's response to noxious stimuli those are intense enough to cause, or threaten to cause, tissue damage.

Parenting practices: Specific parenting behaviors that arise in response to particular parental goals.

Parenting styles: The manner in which parents rear their children; an authoritative parenting style, which balances demanding and responsiveness, is seen as the most effective.

Perception: The processes that organize information in the sensory image and interpret it as having been produced by properties of objects or events in the external, three-dimensional world.

Personality: The unique psychological qualities of an individual that influence a variety of characteristic behavior patterns (both overt and covert) across different situations and over time.

Physical development: The bodily changes, maturation, and growth that occur in an organism starting with conception and continuing across the life span.

Psychiatrist: An individual who has obtained an M.D. degree and also has completed postdoctoral specialty training in mental and emotional disorders; a psychiatrist may prescribe medications for the treatment of psychological disorders.

Psychological assessment: The use of specified procedures to evaluate the abilities, behaviors, and personal qualities of people.

Psychology: The scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes.

Psychopathological functioning: Disruptions in emotional, behavioral, or thought processes that lead to personal distress or block one's ability to achieve important goals.

Puberty: The attainment of sexual maturity; indicated for girls by menarche and for boys by the production of live sperm and the ability to ejaculate.


Reasoning: The process of thinking in which conclusions are drawn from a set of facts; thinking directed toward a given goal or objective.

Recall: A method of retrieval in which an individual is required to reproduce the information previously presented.

Recognition: A method of retrieval in which an individual is required to identify stimuli as having been experienced before.

Retrieval: The recovery of stored information from memory.


Self-actualization: A concept in personality psychology referring to a person's constant striving to realize his or her potential and to develop inherent talents and capabilities.

Self-awareness: The top level of consciousness; cognizance of the autobiographical character of personally experienced events.

Self-concept: A person's mental model of his or her abilities and attributes.

Self-efficacy: The set of beliefs that one can perform adequately in a particular situation.

Self-esteem: A generalized evaluative attitude toward the self that influences both moods and behavior and that exerts a powerful effect on a range of personal and social behaviors.

Sensation: The process by which stimulation of a sensory receptor gives rise to neural impulses that result in an experience, or awareness of, conditions inside or outside the body.

Shyness: An individual's discomfort and/or inhibition in interpersonal situations that interferes with pursuing interpersonal or professional goals.

Social development: The ways in which individuals' social interactions and expectations change across the life span.

Social intelligence: A theory of personality that refers to the expertise people brings to their experience of life tasks.

Spasm or muscle cramp: It is an involuntary contraction of a muscle. Muscle spasms occur suddenly, usually resolve quickly, and are often painful.

Speech disorders or speech impediments: These are types of where 'normal' speech is disrupted. This can mean stuttering, liscommunication disorderps, etc. Someone who is unable to speak due to a speech disorder is considered mute.

Speech sound disorders: It involves difficulty in producing specific speech sounds (most often certain consonants, such as /s/ or /r/), and are subdivided into articulation disorders (also called phonetic disorders) and phonemic disorders. Articulation disorders are characterized by difficulty learning to produce sounds physically. Phonemic disorders are characterized by difficulty in learning the sound distinctions of a language, so that one sound may be used in place of many. However, it is not uncommon for a single person to have a mixed speech sound disorder with both phonemic and phonetic components.

Splint: is a device used for support or immobilization of a limb or the spine.

Stress: The pattern of specific and nonspecific responses an organism makes to stimulus events that disturb its equilibrium and tax or exceed its ability to cope.


Tolerance: A situation that occurs with continued use of a drug in which an individual requires greater dosages to achieve the same effect.


Varus deformity is a term for the inward angulations of the distal segment of a bone or joint. The opposite of varus is called valgus. Easy to remember VARUS, AIRUS, i.e. AIR in between or more space in between the joints. The terms varus and valgus always refer to the direction that the distal segment of the joint points. For example, in a varus deformity of the knee, the distal part of the leg below the knee is deviated inward, resulting in a bowlegged appearance. Conversely, a valgus deformity at the knee results in a knock-kneed appearance, with the distal part of the leg deviated outward.

Voice disorders: These are impairments, often physical, that involve the function of the larynx or vocal resonance.


Wellness: Optimal health, incorporating the ability to function fully and actively over the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental domains of health.

Working memory:  A memory resource that is used to accomplish tasks such as reasoning and language comprehension; consists of the phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad, and central executive.




Ms. Disha Shah is a qualified Child Psychologist and Remedial Educator. read more
“D” stands for Disha and Vruddhi is a Sanskrit word which means rise. The blue color in “D” signifies one of trust, honesty and loyalty. read more
Once referred, you will meet a coordinator who will take note to your concerns and gather information about you, your child, and your family. read more
ADHD: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral condition that makes focusing on everyday requests and routines challenging. read more