Attention Deficit Disorder

ADD is a medical / neurobiological condition that affects the brain. It is genetic and its consequences such as poor attention, distractibility and short-term memory difficulties can have negative impacts on a student’s learning and school life. It is a treatable condition and more information about ADD can be found at hadd.ie.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a medical / neurobiological condition that affects the brain. It is genetic and can have consequences such as poor attention, distractibility and short-term memory difficulties. The hyperactivity aspect can appear as fidgeting, restlessness and constant talking. All these symptoms can have negative impacts on a student’s learning and school life. It is a treatable condition and more information about ADHD can be found at hadd.ie.

Adaptive Skills Test

Adaptive skills are those that ensure that a person is functioning in their day-to-day life. These tests examine a person’s ability to fulfil jobs such as taking care of one’s self or interacting with other people.


A person in the process of developing from a child into an adult, usually considered between 12 and 18 years of age.


Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People suffering from anxiety may have recurring negative thoughts and may avoid situations out of worry or concern. Physical symptoms such as sweating, dizziness and increased heartbeat can also be present.

Attainment Test

This test allows for the assessment of a broad range of skills most usually associated with school: reading, math, writing, and oral language.

Behavioural Difficulty

A behaviour that is present for an extended period of time and that is impacting negatively on the person’s ability to perform adequately in school. Examples of such behaviour might include: impulsivity, aggression, temper tantrums, or a sense of withdrawal.


A term used by Edmund Husserl to refer to suspending judgment about the natural world (precedes analysis). See more at phenomenologyresearch.


Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) focuses on addressing and prioritising the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities, from pre-school through second-level education (3 to 18 years). Details available at education.ie.

Developmental History

An outline of the client’s history from birth that provides background information relating to their academic, social, medical and family history pertinent to a psycho-educational assessment.

Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) aims to improve access to college for school-leavers with a disability or specific learning difficulty by allocating a number of third-level places to them on a reduced points basis. To be eligible for the scheme you must provide evidence that your disability has affected your educational performance significantly — see citizensinformation.ie.


Generally considered to be a specific learning difficulty in the area of mathematics or in particular arithmetic. For additional information see bdadyslexia.org.


A general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. There are a number of theories that seek to explain the condition. For more information, see dyslexia.ie.

Emotional and / or Behavioural Difficulties (EBD)

‘There are a wide range of emotional and / or behavioural difficulties which can affect the learning and social development of children and young people. These difficulties range from milder behavioural difficulties and anxieties that fade over time, to difficulties that are more serious and affect children’s relationships. A small number of children will have severe emotional and behavioural disorders that persist over time.’ ncse.ie.

Educational Psychology

‘Educational psychologists deal with the psychological and educational development of people in the education system. This may include students of any age, their parents or guardians and the people who work with them’. (psihq.ie).


Strategies and interventions that have been proved to be successful through rigorous and peer-reviewed scientific evaluation.

Friends Relisience

The FRIENDS Programs are a suite of evidence-based, social and emotional skills programs aimed at building resilience of individuals and families across the lifespan. The FRIENDS Programs are the only programs endorsed by the World Health Organisation as best practice for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression. For more information see friendsresilience.org.

Functional Analysis

A functional analysis is a method of analysis of a person’s behaviour that seeks to identify the function of, or reason for, that behaviour.


Children whose intelligence places them in the top 5–10% of the population when their intelligence is measured using an IQ score. Sometimes also referred to as ‘exceptionally able’ or ‘talented’ these children will need as much support as someone with a traditional ‘additional need’, such as differentiated tasks in class. For more information and support, see giftedkids.ie.


The understanding that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

Husserl, Edmund

Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (1859–1938) was a German philosopher who established the school of phenomenology. He sought to develop a systematic foundational science based on so-called phenomenological reduction.


Action or series of actions taken to improve any condition that is to be modified.

Learning Difficulty

Difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the normal level expected of those of the same age and cognitive ability.

Learning Potential

The qualities or abilities to learn that exist within the individual that may be developed.

Measurement Methodology

The technique or process of obtaining data describing the factors of the process being examined.

Mental Health

A person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. For more information see mentalhealthireland.ie or jigsaw.ie.

Mental Health Provision

The coordinated implementation of strategies and interventions that support people with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.


Literally meaning ‘beyond thinking’, it is the process of ‘thinking about thinking’. It is broken into two areas: the knowledge of thinking, and the regulation of thinking. Metacognition takes place every day and allows for people to be successful learners by taking control over the cognitive processes that are involved in learning, e.g. planning, remembering, monitoring and evaluating the process of learning.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

ODD is a psychiatric condition the symptoms of which include consistent recurrent pattern of negative, defiant and hostile behaviour. Behaviours such as losing temper, arguing, active defiance, refusal to accept responsibility, being spiteful and vindictive are symptomatic. These behaviours cause significant impairment in the areas of social and academic functioning.

Overgaard, 2015

Overgaard, Søren, 2015, How to do things with brackets, in Continental Philosophy Review, 48(2), 179-195.


Relating to or denoting a teacher's responsibility for the general well-being of pupils or students.


An approach that concentrates on the study of objects or concepts through direct experience rather than allowing prejudice or bias.

Reasonable Accommodations at the Certificate Examinations (RACE)

RACE is a scheme provided to students sitting Certificate examinations such as the Junior or Leaving Certificate who would have difficulties in accessing the examination or communicating what they know to an examiner because of a physical impairment such as a visual or hearing difficulty, a medical condition (such as DCD), or a specific learning difficulty (such as severe dyslexia). For further information see examinations.ie.

The Skeptics

An ancient or modern philosophy that derives from the classical Greek verb skeptomai, to search, as they suspend any preconceived judgment during investigation.


A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.

Transition Planning

A plan to ensure that students receive the appropriate support, plans and organisation to provide a clear process as they move from one educational environment to the next, e.g. from primary to post-primary or secondary to third-level.

Young Adult

A person in their teens or early twenties.

Educational Psychology