This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Acronym Alphabet Soup!

 There are sooo many acronyms in our life that it's hard to keep track. Plus there are a lot of acronyms that have more than one meaning! Here's a brief overview of the ones used frequently in the adoption/trauma world. Please add any you know in the comments!


AD - Attachment Disordered

ADD/ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder - Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity

ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorders

BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder - Officially this cannot be diagnosed until the person is 18 but prior to that the child can be diagnosed with BPD Traits. Many medical health professionals are reluctant to use this diagnosis because insurance often will not cover it as it is not "curable" with medications and most types of therapy. Many therapists refuse to treat people with BPD because they are very difficult to work with and the symptoms are very difficult to treat. EMDR and CBT are often recommended treatments.

Continuous Traumatic Stress (CTS) - Especially common among parents actively living with kids with trauma issues. Also known as Caregiver/Compassion Fatigue, PTSD (that is not "post" yet), Secondary PTSD, burnout...

C-PTSD/ DTD/ PTSD - Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Developmental Trauma Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

DSED - Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder

FASD - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)

IDD (formerly known as MR/ mentally retarded) - Intellectual development disorder (IDD) is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by deficits in general intellectual functioning such as reasoning, planning, judgment, abstract thinking, academic learning, and experiential learning.

ODD/CD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder vs Conduct Disorder. Both involve defiant and disobedient behavior toward authority figures, but Conduct Disorder is used when it is believed that the behavior is under the child's control and the child is willfully being defiant and disobedient.

PDD - Pervasive Developmental Disorder

PTSD -Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

RAD - Reactive Attachment Disorder - a severe type of attachment disorder found in children who may have been abused or neglected and do not form a healthy emotional attachment with their primary caregivers — usually their mothers — before age 3,. The DSM V has changed the diagnosis of RAD  - while Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) still exists, it is now used to describe "Inhibited RAD." What used to be called "Disinhibited RAD" is now called Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED).  

SMI - Severe Mental Illness - often used by health insurance. A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

For more information about Diagnoses in children with trauma and attachment issues - 
Overlapping Behavioral Characteristics Chart

Foster Care/Adoption Terms:

CPS – Child Protective Services – a governmental agency in many US states responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect of children
DFPS - Department of Family and Child Protective Services
DSS – Department of Social Services – State agency in charge of social programs, including those for children in foster care.
FCW - Family and Child Welfare
ICPC - Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children – a legal agreement between 2 states made before a foster child can be placed out of state,
ICWA - Indian Child Welfare Act - Federal law regarding custody and placement of Native American children. Preference is to be given to the child's extended family or a member of the child's tribe over a non-Native American adoptive parent.
LOC - Level of Care
TFC/TFH - Therapeutic Foster Care/Home
TPR – Termination of Parental Rights – court-ordered legal removal of a parent’s rights to their child(ren),

Medical Terms:

DSM V - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) - The latest version of the manual used by psychiatrists and other medical professionals treating mental health disorders

Pdoc - Psychiatrist
Phosp - Psychiatric Hospital
Tdoc - Therapist - usually refers to a psychologist 
ER - Emergency Room

Tx - Treatment. Can also mean Texas.
Rx - a medical prescription
Bx - behavior
Sx - symptom

RTC/RTF - Residential psychiatric Treatment Center/Facility


These are often used with a number for age. Ex. AD16

AD - adopted daughter 
AS - adopted son

FD - foster daughter
FS - foster son

SD - stepdaughter
SS - stepson

BioDD/BioDS - your biological child
Biosib, Biomom, Biofather... your adopted child's biological family

BM - birth mom or biomom
BD - birth dad or biodad

BF - usually boyfriend 
BFF - best friend forever
SO - significant other

I see these less often in the adoption/trauma world, but I still see them in certain forums:
DD - dear daughter
DS - dear son
DH - dear husband
YDD - youngest daughter
ODD - oldest daughter (this one always makes me laugh when I type it).
YDS - youngest son
ODS - oldest son

SAHD Stay-at-Home Dad
SAHM Stay-at-Home Mom
WAHM Work-at-Home Mom

CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate – a person appointed by the court to advocate for abused or neglected children.
CM - Case Manager
CW - Caseworker
CWSW - Child Welfare Social Worker
FAW - Foster Adoptive Worker
GAL – Guardian Ad Litem – a person appointed by the court to represent the “best interest of the child”
SLP - Speech/Language Pathologist
SW - Social Worker


ARD - Admission, Review, and Dismissal. This appears to a term specific to Texas. An ARD meeting is a meeting of a group of people who help to determine whether or not a student is eligible for special education and develops the Individual Education Program (IEP) for eligible students.

ED - Emotionally Disturbed. This is not a diagnosis. Created by Federal law, it is used in schools to label kids with severe emotional problems (like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, conduct disorder, C-PTSD...) that adversely affect their ability to learn in an educational setting. The label allows them to receive services and accommodations such as special ed. 

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – US Federal law that requires schools to provide students with a disability an education that is tailored to their individual special needs.

IEP Individual Education Program - a written document that's developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. It addresses their individual learning needs, accommodations needed, and educational goals.

OHI – Other Health Impairment – a chronic condition (such as ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome...)  that causes the child to struggle in the classroom, 

SED - Special Education


BRB - Be Right Back
BTDT - Been There. Done That.
BTW - By The Way
DM - Direct Message. Used mainly in social media-based conversation (Twitter or Instagram). A message between 2 people sent privately outside of the social media group or chat. 
FB - Facebook. This has other inappropriate meanings so be sure to use it in context!
FML - F*ck My Life
FWIW - For What It's Worth
FYI - For Your Information
HTH - Hope This/That Helps
OMG - Oh my God/Goodness/Gosh
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IRL - In Real Life
OTOH - On The Other Hand
PM - Private Message. Used mainly in computer-based conversation (instant messaging, email, text messaging, etc.
SMH - Shaking My Head
SSDD - Same S#it. Different Day.
TTYL - Talk To You Later
YOLO - You Only Live Once


 BIT - Brain Integration Technique/ Crossinology A stress management process said to permanently improves the flow of information in the brain in less than ten hours, with no drugs or surgery.

CBTCognitive Behavioral Therapy  - talk therapy that combines behavior therapy and cognitive therapy to address dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and cognitions.

DBT - Dialectical Behavior Therapy- talk therapy used to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness

EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  This is a great therapy for people with PTSD

EFT - "Tapping"  Emotional Freedom Techniques - "Tapping" on the meridian points of the body while saying certain statements.Works well for children of trauma (and their parents too).

RRHAFTBALL - Respectful, Responsible, Honest, Fun To Be Around, Loving, and Learning.

TBRI - Trust-Based Relational Intervention by Karyn Purvis - an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention focused primarily on Connection


SSA - Social Security Administration
SSI/SSDI - Social Security Income/Social Security Disability Income {Getting SSI for an Adult Child}
NAMI-CAN - National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Children and Adolescents Network
Title IVChild Welfare Act Section of the Social Security Act
Title IV-AAid to Families with Dependent Children (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title IV-BChild Welfare Services Program (Section of the Social Security Act
Title IV-DChild Support Enforcement Program (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title IV-EFoster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title VMaternal and Child Health (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XFederal Family Planning Program (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XIXMedicaid (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XVIIIMedicare (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XX/SSBGSocial Security Block Grant (Section of the Social Security Act)

No comments: