Glossary: S


A group of psychiatric disorders characterized by delusions and hallucinations and by extreme withdrawal from other people; now considered by many to be a developmental disorder.

Crossing legs together when standing or being held upright.

Curvature of the spine.

Screening test:
A test given to groups of people to sort out those who need further evaluation.

The State Education Agency.

Section 504:
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. A civil rights statute designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Some individuals who do not qualify for services under IDEA may receive services and/or accommodations under Section 504.

Section 508:
First adopted in 1986, and most recently amended in 1998, Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act requires governmental agencies to ensure the accessibility to and usability by persons with disabilities of a wide variety of communications equipment and other electronic devices purchased for agency use, or in many cases, purchased with Federal funds for use by the public or other entities.

Involuntary movement or changes in consciousness or behavior brought on by abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR):
A neurosurgical procedure. “Dorsal” means that the operation is done on the nerves that are toward the the spine. “Rhizotomy” means cutting of the nerves. Used by some pediatric neurosurgeons as a treatment for lower limb spacticity.

Relating to skills such as eating, dressing, bathing, and cleaning which enable a person to care for himself.

Sensorineural hearing loss:
Hearing loss resulting from damage to the inner ear, the auditory nerve, or both, which is present at birth or acquired later in childhood from meningitis, high fever, or medications.

Sensory ability (integration):
The ability of the central nervous system to process and learn from sensations such as touch, sound, light, smell, and movement.

Sensory impairments:
Problems handling information relayed to the brain from the senses. See also Dyspraxia; Tactile defensiveness.

Sensory Integration (SI) Therapy:
Techniques used by some OTs and PTs aimed at helping children sort out and organize sensations, thereby improving hyper- or hyposensitivites and fine motor skills.

Sensory seizures:
Seizures which produce dizziness or disturbances in vision, hearing, taste, smell, or other senses.


Sickle Cell Disease:
A genetic disorder producing crescent shaped red blood cells that reslut in anemia and blood cell clumping.

Side sitting:
Sitting with both knees bent and to one side of the body.

Social ability:
The ability to function in groups and to interact with people.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):
This money has been paid into the Social Security system through payroll deductions on earnings. Workers with disabilities are entitled to these benefits. People who become disabled before the age of twenty-two may collect S.S.D.I. under a parent’s account, if the parent is retired, disabled, or deceased.

Soft tissue releases:
Operations on the muscles, tendons, or ligaments to correct deformities or improve movement.

Having increased muscle tone (stiff muscles) resulting in difficult movements.

Spastic Diplegia:
A form of paralysis or palsy in which the legs are primarliy affected.

Spastic Hemiplegia (or paraparesis):
A form of paralysis or palsy in which one side of the body is affected.

Spastic Quadriplegia (or quadriparesis):
A form of paralysis or palsy in which all four limbs are affected.

A condition characterized by increase muscle tone due to damage in the upper motor neuron.

Special education:
Specialized instruction based on educational disabilities determined by a team evaluation. It must be precisely matched to educational needs and adapted to the child’s learning style.

Special needs:
Needs generated by a person’s disability.

Special Olympics:
An organized series of competetitive sports for persons with congnitive disabilities.

Speech Therapy:
A clinical program aimed at improving speech and language skills and oral motor abilities.

Speech/language pathologist (SLP):
A therapist who helps develop and maintain skills for communication, swallowing and eating and other oral-movement behaviors (including controlling saliva, maintaining nirmal oral postures and brushing teeth).

Spina Bifida:
Results from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. Because of the paralysis that results from the damage to the spinal cord, people born with spina bifida may need surgeries and other extensive medical care.

Spinal Cord Injury:
Usually refers to traumatic injury to the spinal cord; can also reslut from infection or tumors.

Devices made of molded, rigid plastic used to stretch the soft tissues or to hold a limb in a position that makes movement easier.

Posture or how one carries onself.

Difficulty perceiving and indentifying objets using the sense of tough.

The breast plate.

A physical object or environmental event that may have an effect upon the behavior of a person. Some stimuli are internal (earaches pain) while others are external ( a smile from a loved one.)

Lack of coordinated eye movement in crossing and/or wandering eyes due to an imbalance of the eye muscles and occurs in half of all children with spastic CP.

Streptococcus B Infection (Strep B):
Strep B is a very serious bacterial infection threatening the health of 7,500 newborn babies each year in the USA. 6% of the infected babies die, oftern in the first week oflife; of those infants who survive, 20% have brain damage, hearing loss or blindness. The infection is the most common cause in the newborn of sepsis (infection in the blood) and meningitis (infection of membranes covering the brain). The infant becomes infected during delivery, getting the infection from an unsuspecting mother, who is often symptom free. 10% to 30% of pregnant women have a Strep B infection but have no symptoms. The U. S. Public Health Service Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) has issued guidelines recommending that all pregnant women be screened for Streptococcus B Infection (Strep B).

A braod term including hemorrhage into or around the brain and brain cell due to a lack of blood supply.

Partial dislocation.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):
The death of an infant, generally while asleep and of no known cause.

Back-lying position.

Supplemental Security Income (S.S.I.):
is available for low-income people who are disabled, blind, or aged. Unlike S.S.D.I., S.S.I. is based on need, not on past earnings.

Supplementary Security Income (SSI):
SSI is the program of monthly payments to persons with disabilities who meet its standard for low income. Some States augment this amount with additional payments. Income or resources exceeding the limits of the program will result in loss of benefits.

Support Trust:
A trust that requires that funds be expended to pay for the beneficiary’s expenses of living, including housing, food, and transportation.

Supported Employment:
An employment option that facilitates competitive work in integrated work settings for individuals with the most severe disabilities (i.e., psychiatric, mental retardation, significant learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury) for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred, and who, because of the nature and severity of their disability, need ongoing support services in order to perform their job. Supported employment provides assistance such as job coaches, transportation, assistive technology, specialized job training and individually tailored supervision.

Supramalleolar Orthosis (SMO):
Foot brace that is smaller that an AFO.

Stitches, used to close a wound.

Having a cause that is identified.