F

Facilitation:
Helping to move, making movements easier.

Failure to Thrive:
A condition characterized by lag in physical growth and development.

Fair Housing Act:
As amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance and State and local government housing.

Febrile seizures:
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures brought on by a sudden rise of temperature to 102 degrees or higher.

Feeding Tube:
A tube made of soft plastic used for feeding children who are not able to get enough nutrition through regular feeding or eating.

Femoral bone:
The long, heavy bone extending from the knee to the hip.

FERPA:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Legislation giving parents the right to inspect and review their child’s educational records, to amend errors or inaccuracies in those records, and to consent to disclosure of records.

Fetus:
An advanced state of prenatal development, between the embryonic stage and birth; in humans, 16 or more weeks of development.

Fine motor:
Relating to the use of the small muscles of the body, such as those in the face, hands, feet, fingers, and toes.

Flexion:
The bending of joints.

Flexion deformity:
Abnormal flexion at a joint.

Flexor:
A muscle controlling joint flexion.

Floppy:
Having weak posture and loose movements.

Fluctuating tone:
Having a combination of low and high muscle tone.

Focal motor seizures:
jerking of a few muscle groups without an initial loss of consciousness.

FOIA:
Freedom of Information Act. Enacted in 1966, this law entitles any person to the right to request access to federal agency records or information. There are some exemptions and exclusions that apply. Nearly all state governments have FOIA-type statutes that apply to state and local public agencies.

Folate:
See Folic Acid.

Folic Acid:
A B Vitamin; there is now substantial evidence that during early pregnancy (the first several weeks), an additional intake of folic acid can help prevent defective development of the spinal cord (spina bifida) and of the brain (anencephaly) in infants with a predisposition to these abnormalities.

Form perception:
The ability to perceive a pattern of parts making up a whole.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE):
The basic right to special education provided at public expense. This right is guaranteed by IDEA.

Fundoplication:
A surgical procedure performed to prevent food in the stomach from coming back up into the esophagus or mouth. During the procedure, part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus. Also known as a Nissen procedure.

 

G

Gag reflex:
A reflex that causes a person to gag or choke when his palate or tongue is touched.

Gait:
A manner of walking.

Gait analysis:
A technique that uses camera recording, force plates, electromyography, and computer analysis to objectively measure an individual’s pattern of walking.

Gastroenterologist:
A specialist in digestive disorders.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER):
A condition in which stomach contents are forced back up into the esophagus and sometimes the mouth.

Gastrostomy:
A surgical procedure to create an artificial opening in the stomach.

Gastrostomy tube:
A tube that is inserted through an incision in the abdomen directly in to the stomach, and is used to feed an individual liquids, pureed foods, and medications. Also called a G-tube.

Generalization:
Transferring a skill taught in one place, or with one person, to other places and people.

Genetic:
Inherited. Related to a condition that is inherited or caused by an alteration in genetic material.

Genetic Disorder/Disability:
The body or cognitive abonormality resulting from an alternation in a person’s genetic code.

Genetics:
The science of gene location and function; heredity.

Glia:
Cells that surround nerve cells and are essential for their growth and survival and for providing the insulation (myelination) of nerve fibers.

Goniometer:
An instrument used to measure joint range of motion.

Grand mal seizure:
See Tonic-clonic seizure.

Gross motor:
Relating to the use of the large muscles of the body, such as those in the legs, arms, and abdomen.

Gross Motor Function Classification System:
Describes in detail five levels of function; within each level of function it describes performance at four age groups (before 2 years of age; ages 2 and 3; ages 4 and 5; and, ages 6 to 12). In the general terms, the five levels of performance are: Level I: Walks Without Restrictions; limitations are present in more advanced motor skills. Level II: Walks Without Assistive Devices; limitations are present in walking outdoors and in the community. Level III: Walks With Assistive Mobility Devices; limitations are present in walking outdoors and in the community. Level IV: Self Mobility With Limitations; children are transported or use power mobility outdoors and in the community. Level V: Self Mobility Is Severely Limited; even with use of assistive technology.

Guardian:
A person appointed or designated legally to manage the property or financial affairs and to exercise the rights of another person.