A larger than usual head.


A sign and symbol language progamme used to teach communication, language and literacy skills.

Manic depression

Bipolar disorder which is a condition causing extreme mood swings. The term manic depression is no longer used.

Manipulative and body-based practices

Therapeutic practices focusing on the structures and systems of the body – bones, joints, soft tissue and circulatory and lymph systems.

Manual signing

The use of the hands to communicate.

Massage therapy

Therapies based on massage.

MCDD (Multiple complex developmental disorder)

A disorder charaterized by deficits in affective modulation, ability to relate to others and stability in thinking.

Mears-Irlen syndrome

A condition causing visual stress whereby the individual sees a disjointed and confused world.


Techniques which require focusing and controlling the attention of the mind.


A larger than usual brain.


A naturally occurring compound which affects the daily biological clock and cycle of sleep.

Mental state reading

Theory of mind training which teaches individuals how to work out what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Message board

A tool for people to chat to one another through the internet or intranet.

Metabolic amino acid therapy

The use of amino acids for therapeutic purposes.


The process by which the body creates energy and uses energy to perform its functions.


The ability to pretend and to understand when others are pretending.


A smaller than usual head.

Milieu training

The use of the immediate environment to teach individuals.

Miller Dieker syndrome

A disorder which is characterized by a smooth surface of the brain, developmental delay, microcephaly (see Microcephaly) and seizures.

Miller method

An intervention based on the assumption that development depends on the ability to form systems and organised behavioural events.

Mind reading training

Mental state reading. (See Mental state reading)


Teaching a behaviour or skill by demonstrating the behaviour or skill.

Montessori education

A form of education based on learning through the senses in experiential situations.

Mood stabilisers

Medication used to treat the mood symptoms of disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.


The rate of incidence of a disease.

Motor coordination disorder

Another term for dyspraxia (see Dyspraxia).

Motor skills

Skills relating to movement of the body whether big (gross), such as walking and running, or small (fine), such as drawing or sewing.

Multi-sensory environment

An environment which is soothing and stimulating to the senses.

Muscular dystrophy

A disorder whereby muscles become weaker and there is a loss of muscle tissue.

Music therapy

A therapy which uses music to encourage both the creation of music and communication through music.

Mutism, elective

See Elective mutism.