APPENDIX 1: Definitions and Terms

Aspiration: “Entry of secretions, food, or any foreign material into the airway that travels below the level of the true vocal folds. Aspiration may occur before, during, or after the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. It can also occur from reflux of gastric contents.” (American Speech, Language, & Hearing Association, 2020)

Brain Architecture: Neurological structures and physiology that support brain function.  The term brain architecture is a metaphor by the Harvard Center on the Developing Child to describe the complex development of the brain. 

Parent-Child Relationship: The relationship between the parent and child that nurtures the physical, emotional, and social development of the child. It is a unique bond that every child and parent can enjoy and nurture. This relationship lays the foundation for the child's personality, life choices and overall behaviour.

Parent Responsiveness: Sensitive awareness with active monitoring and appropriate responses to the child’s verbal and non-verbal communication and physiological needs. It includes acknowledgment of the child’s temperament, preferences and pace in feeding, and support of the child’s regulation. 

Regulation: Individual’s capacity to sustain optimum health while shifting between sleep and wake cycles, and maintain a calm and attentive state (feeling “just right”) during the awake cycle (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009). It is the ability to manage energy, emotions, behaviour, and attention in a socially acceptable way to support relationships and learning. (Shanker, 2012).

Co-Regulation: The supportive process between caring adults and children, youth, or young adults that fosters self-regulation development is called ‘co-regulation’ (Rosanbalm & Murray, 2017).  Other terms in the literature for the same process: interactive or mutual regulation.
Refer to: Co-Regulation From Birth Through Young Adulthood

Self-Regulation: The ability to maintain one’s own optimal state of arousal (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009).

Responsive Feeding: A caregiver response in a prompt, emotionally supportive, and developmentally appropriate way to a child’s hunger and fullness cues (DiSantis, Hodges, Johnson, & Fisher, 2011).

Sensory Integration:  The process by which people register, modulate, and discriminate sensations received through the sensory systems to produce purposeful, adaptive behaviours in response to the environment (Ayres, 2005).

Sensory Modulation: The capacity to balance the flow of sensory signals in a way that is appropriate to context (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009). The ability to self-organize and regulate reactions to sensory inputs in a graded and adaptive manner (Champagne, 2011).

Sensory Preference:  Information that provokes a response of pleasure, enjoyment or calm thereby naturally promoting self-regulation (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009).

Sensory Processing: The capacity to receive, translate, associate, and elaborate sensory signals within and across sensory modalities in a developmentally appropriate way (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009). The ability of the individual’s neurological system to interact, interpret, and respond to their environment (Alberta Health Services, 2022).

Sensory Trigger: Information that provokes a response of dislike or distress (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009).

Serve and Return: Metaphor developed by Harvard Center on the Developing Child to explain the back and forth verbal and non-verbal and emotional reciprocity between a dyad of child and parent or caregiver.

Refer to:
Serve and Return
From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts

State of Arousal: A cluster of physiological and behavioural signals (sensory-motor transformations) that regularly occur together and reflect the degree and type of response to internal and external sensory stimuli (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009); (Barnard, 1999). The chart below presents descriptions of the calm alert state and four adaptive stress responses.

Refer to: Sleep Wake States Arc

Toxic Stress Patterns:

  • over-reactivity: stress responses that occur too frequently and too quickly
  • repeated reactivity: can’t adapt to “normal” challenges and transitions
  • extended reactivity: prolonged stress responses that take too long to recover (more than 10 to 20 minutes)
  • dampened recovery: can’t recover from stress response back to baseline health (healthy sleep cycle, healthy awake state) (Lillas & Turnbull, 2009); (MacEwan, 2002).