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An A to Z glossary of disabilities

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Glossaries

Term Main definition
achondroplasia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

The most common form of dwarfism which can be diagnosed before birth.

People with achondroplasia are usually born with disproportionately short limbs.

The average height of somebody with the condition is 131 cm (52inches/ 4ft.4 inches) in men and 124 cm (49 inches/ 1 inch) in women.

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Addisons disease
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

An uncommon disorder that occurs when the body is unable to produce enough of particular hormones.

The adrenal glands, above the kidneys, produce too little cortisol and, in most cases, too little aldosterone.

Those with Addison's disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, can experience a range of symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain, irritability, depression, nausea, salt craving, muscle or joint pain, low blood pressure and body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women.

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ADHD
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be found in people with an intellectual ability, although most patients with the behavioural condition cope with leaning difficulties. The condition is usually diagnosed before a child reaches their teens. Symptoms include impulsiveness, restlessness and having a short attention span.

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agenesis of the corpus callosum
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare birth defect where there is a complete or partial absence of the nerve tract, located in the brain, known as the corpus callosum.

Symptoms include vision loss, low muscle tone, difficulty feeding, unusual facial and head features, difficulty sleeping, high tolerance to pain, hearing loss, seizures and chronic constipation.

Cognitive characteristics include problems reading facial expressions or voice tone, difficulty with problem-solving and complex tasks, lack of ability in assessing risk, difficulty understanding abstract concepts and difficulty understanding emotions.

ACC can also cause development delays with walking, speech, sitting and toilet training as well as difficulty with social and behaviour.

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agoraphobia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Feeling scared that something dramatic can go wrong in common situations such as leaving the house, shopping or travelling on public transport.

A person living with the illness can feel sweaty, sick and have a rapid heartbeat when they feel they are in a vulnerable situation.

Some people confuse agoraphobia with a fear of open spaces, but it’s a more complicated illness.

The condition is usually triggered by a complication of a panic attack.

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AIDS
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

HIV is a virus which attacks the immune system making it significantly more difficult to fight off illnesses. One of the syndrome caused by HIV is AIDS, the condition develops when HIV is in its advanced stages. Standing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome the illness can lead to pneumonia, fungal infections, toxoplasmosis and other health conditions. AIDS increases the risk of developing brain illnesses and cancer. There are no cures for HIV or AIDS.

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albinism
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Albinism affects the pigment that defines skin colour, eyes and hair…Known as melanin.

Depending how much melanin a person has they may have very pale hair, eyes and skin.

The condition usually affects a person’s eyesight as well.

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ALD
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

ALD, or adrenoleukodystrophy, is a genetic illness which affects 1 in 18,000 people. The condition is more common in boys and men.

The condition is usually diagnosed between the ages of four and ten. Symptoms include behavioural problems, vision loss, seizures, speech disorders, muscle loss, hearing loss and ALD can lead to progressive dementia.

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Alopecia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Alopecia is a condition which causes hair to fall out in small patches which can be unnoticeable, but if they connect it will become visible.

The condition is caused when the immune system attacks the hair follicles which causes hair loss. 

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Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare, inherited condition which can cause liver and lung problems. It’s estimated about 25,000 people in the UK have the condition although most are unaware they have it as they feel healthy.

Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency – also known as AATD – can also cause skin rashes and affect the immune system.

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ALS
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is the most common form of motor neuron disease which can cause dysfunction in the nerves which control the muscle movement.

Also known as Lou Gehig’s disease named after the baseball player who had the same condition.

ALS awareness was boosted in 2014 after the launch of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

One in Five people in every 10,000 are affected with the condition.

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Alzheimer's
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

The most common form of dementia which affects around 500,000 people across the UK. The cause of the condition remains unknown although those who at risk are the elderly, people who have suffered head injuries and have family history of the illness. Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition which can cause confusion, memory loss, speech problems, changes in personality, hallucinations and difficulty moving around independently.

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Synonyms - Alzheimers
AMD
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Wet age-related macular degeneration usually affects people in their 50s and 60s, it can make reading and face recognition difficult although it doesn’t cause total blindness.

If you have AMD you should seek treatment as your sight can deteriorate over several years (dry AMD) or a few weeks (wet AMD)

The cause of AMD is unknown although experts have linked it to high blood pressure, being overweight and a family history of the illness.

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amputee
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Somebody who has had one or more of their limbs removed by amputation.

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Anaemia
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Anaemia is the term given when either the level of red blood cells or when the protein used to carry oxygen around the body [haemoglobin] is lower than normal.

This can cause fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeats and cold hands and feet.

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