Acquisition Skill – A skill that is being taught.  This is a skill that the client does not currently possess, and the treatment team is currently working on developing.

Apraxia of Speech DisorderDifficulty carrying out purposeful, voluntary movement sequences of speech in the absence of paralysis or weakness of speech musculature

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) ABA is an evidence-based science that looks at the changes in the environment and how it affects one’s behavior.  It focuses on teaching socially significant behavior through positive reinforcement and other behavior analytic priciples.

Articulation/Speech Disorder Unable to produce age-appropriate sounds

ABLLS-R (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills)– Assessment, curriculum guide, and skills tracking system for children with language delays developed by James W. Partington, Ph.D. and Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.  The ABLLS-R can be used to guide skill development throughout the child’s treatment.

AFLS (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills) – An assessment and skill guide developed by James W. Partington, PhD, BCBA-D, and Michael M. Mueller, PhD, BCBA-D.  The AFLS provides a systematic way to evaluate, track, and teach functional, adaptive, and self-help skills so that individuals can become more independent.

BaselineAn experienced team of therapists works with the client to assess client’s current skill set across different skill domain areas (communication, self-care, play, etc.).  This begins when the client enrolls and is scheduled after the pre-admission assessment (PAA).  The goal of establishing the child’s current skill level is to determine what skills the child had before attending Partners and to determine a starting point for his/her programming.

ChainingThe process that breaks down a complex task (washing hands, tying shoes, etc.) into teachable steps, in which each step is then taught individually.  The steps are put together to complete the task being taught.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech – Difficulty carrying out purposeful, voluntary movement sequences of speech in the absence of paralysis or weakness of speech musculature.

Discriminative Stimulus (Sd) – An Sd is the instruction given to the client. It may be verbal or non-verbal.

Example:  “Clap your hands”  (child claps hands)

What is your Mom’s name?  (Child responds “Sally”)

A red stoplight (driver stops car)

Echoics – Repeating the exact same thing as another person says.

Example:  Therapist Client

“Cracker?”  “Cracker.”

“Cat?”  “Cat.”

Example:  Therapist Client

“Twinkle, twinkle little?”  “star.”

“What is your name?”  “Sam.”

Errorless TeachingA procedure used to minimize learner errors so the client remains successful.  When presenting a demand, the therapist follows it with an immediate prompt to get a correct response from the client.  The prompts are then faded to teach the client to demonstrate the correct response independently.

Expressive Language Communication of one’s ideas, desires, or intentions to others, usually through speech or printed words but may also include gestures, sign language, use of a communication board, and other forms of expression.

Expressive Language DisorderUnable to form and/or communicate meaningful messages using age appropriate words or grammar.

ExtinctionA behavioral principle in which the reinforcing consequence for a target behavior is eliminated which results in a decrease in the frequency of the behavior.  

Feeding and Swallowing DisorderDifficulties bringing food/drink to mouth, keeping food/drink in mouth, chewing food, and/or swallowing food/drink.

Fine Motor Skills–  Use of small muscle groups for precise movements.

Fluency DisorderDeviations in continuity, smoothness, rhythm and/or effort with which sounds, words, sentences are spoken (e.g., stuttering)

Follow ThroughTo continue with a demand placed on the client. 

Gross Motor SkillsThe ability to use large muscle groups that coordinate body movements involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping, throwing and maintaining balance.

Intraverbals A form of verbal behavior where the speaker responds to another’s verbal behavior.

Mands Requests, asking for items, actions, activities, and/or information.

Examples:  mand for item “cookie” or “I want cookie”

mand for information “Where is the ball?”  “What’s your name?”

Mastered SkillsA skill that has met mastery criteria and can be demonstrated across multiple stimuli, people, and environments.

Motor ImitationPhysical movements that are copied from a modeled action (adult claps then the child claps.)

Motor Planning or “Praxis”The ability to plan, initiate and execute a motor action.

Natural Environment Teaching (NET)Teaching new skills using the activities of interest to the clientin a natural context.

Occupational Therapy– Occupational Therapy in the pediatric setting involves the therapeutic use of play activities to increase independence and reach developmental milestones.

Oral Motor DisorderDifficulties with muscle function and/or motor planning that affect the individual’s ability to eat, drink or speak

Pairing or Pairing with ReinforcementThe therapist associates themselves and the teaching environment with the availability of high rates of positive reinforcement through access to desired items and/or activities. The goal is for the client to see the center as a fun place to be and the therapist as the person who delivers good things.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)A communication system using removable pictures to allow the client to indicate their wants and needs.

Proprioceptive SystemThe unconscious sense of the body’s position, movement, and actions arising from stimuli within the body itself.

PromptA prompt is a support given to the client to increase the likelihood of a correct response.


Receptive LanguageThe ability to understand other’s language. Involves listening to instructions or requests and acting upon the language.

Receptive Language Disorder Difficulty understanding what is being said to them

Redirection – The client is guided or shown a more appropriate behavior or activity.

Reinforcement – A stimulus given after the behavior occurs that increases the likelihood of the behavior happening agian in the future.

Self Help Skills– The basic daily living activities of eating, dressing, bathing, and use of the toilet.

Self-RegulationThe nervous system’s ability to attain, maintain and change levels of arousal or alertness.

Sensory Diet– A planned and scheduled activity program designed to meet a child’s specific sensory needs and increase success in functional activities.

Sensory Integration– Sensory integration is defined as the neurological process that organizes sensation from one’s own body and the environment, thus making it possible to use the body effectively within the environment.

Sensory Processing Disorder- Difficulty in the way the brain takes in, organizes, and uses sensory information, causing a person to have problems interacting effectively in the everyday environment.

Shaping – This is used to develop a behavior that a client does not already demonstrate. Shaping involves reinforcing approximations of a desired behavior.

Small Group – A structured therapy group that meets on a daily basis in which a leads a facilitator group of children in activities based on the programming goals identified for that specific group (examples include: Music and Movement, Stepping Stones, CREATE).

Social Language DisorderDifficulties with turn taking, initiating and/or maintaining a conversation, repairing conversation breakdowns, perspective taking and interpreting non-verbal cues

Speech Language PathologySpeech language pathology is the study of and treatment of receptive language, or the ability to understand words spoken to you, and expressive language, or the ability to use words to express yourself.  It also deals with the mechanics of producing words such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume, as well as pragmatics, or social communication.

Tact – Labeling or naming an item.

Example: Therapist Client
“What’s this called?” (pencil) ? “pencil”
“What do you see?” ? “a bird flying”

Tactile System– Provides us with our sense of touch.

Vestibular System– The sensory system that provides information about movement, gravity and changing head positions.

Visual Motor Integration The ability to interpret visual information and respond with a motor action.

Visual Perception– The ability to understand visual information.

Visual Schedule A list or sequence of pictures that illustrates the order of activities in which the child will participate.

Voice Disorder– Disturbance of pitch, loudness or quality of voice in relation to an individual’s age, gender or cultural expectations.








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Hours of Operation

Open Monday-Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

We are closed on the following days in 2024:

May 27th, July 4th, July 5th, September 2nd, November 28th, November 29th, December 23rd, December 24th, December 25th


Arden Hills Therapy Center
4255 Lexington Avenue
Arden Hills, MN 55126
 (952) 746-5350
Fax: (952) 746-6131

Burnsville Therapy Center/Corporate Office
14301 Ewing Avenue
Burnsville, MN 55306
 (952) 746-5350
Fax: (952) 746-6131

Minnetonka Therapy Center
5501 Feltl Road
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Phone: (952) 746-5350
Fax: (952) 746-0992



Winona Therapy Center
223 Center Street
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (952) 746-5350
Fax: (507) 474-4890

La Crosse Therapy Center
901 Caledonia Street
La Crosse, WI 54603
Phone: (952) 746-5350
Fax: (608) 785-4101