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Disability Glossary

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Term Definition
Angelman syndrome

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neuro-genetic disorder characterized by intellectual and developmental delay, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements (especially hand-flapping), frequent laughter or smiling, and usually a happy demeanor.

Aquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Aquired Brain Injury (ABI) refers to damage to the brain that has occurred as a result of disease or injury such as a road accident. This term is often used when damage has occurred following a period of otherwise normal development. A person with an acquired brain injury may experience minor temporary problems to severe, long-term changes in some bodily or mental functions.

Asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome or Asperger's syndrome or Asperger disorder is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.

Asperger syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy.

Ataxia-telangiectasia

Ataxia-telangiectasia is rare childhood disease that affects the brain and other parts of the body.

Ataxia refers to uncoordinated movements, such as walking. Telangiectasias are enlarged blood vessels (capillaries) just below the surface of the skin. Telangiectasias appear as tiny, red, spider-like veins. Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Ataxia-telangiectasia is inherited, which means it is passed down through families. It is an autosomal recessive trait. This means that both parents must provide a defective gene for the child to have symptoms of the disorder.

The disease results from defects in the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene. Defects in this gene can lead to abnormal cell death in various places of the body, including the part of the brain that helps coordinate movement.

Boys and girls are equally affected.