Putting the (dis) in brackets is a deliberate choice. It depends on one's perspective whether it is a disability, a (learning) difference, a variability, an advantage, etc. The definition of the term is indefinite and depends on one’s perspective.


Agender individuals identify as genderless, which means that they do not have a gender identity (KW Counselling Service, n.d.).

Gender expression

External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being masculine or feminine.


Discrimination against people with disabilities (Eisenmenger, 2019).


See the optional anthropological chapter for more details.


ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental (dis)ability that can cause social, behavioral, communication challenges. 


People who identify as asexual show low to no interest towards sexual activity and sexual attraction is absent (KW Counselling Service, n.d.).

astral body

What humans and animals have in common

Biological Sex

The term sex describes a complex spectrum of biological factors that influence primary and secondary sex characteristics. Society usually only talks about two different sexes: female and male. Science shows us that this is not true as there are people who are born as intersex or with a difference in sexual development (Clements, 2019).


People who identify as bisexual are emotionally and physically attracted to individuals of their own gender and other genders (LGBTQIA Resource Center, 2020).


The definition of the word camouflaging contains mainly the words “something that is meant to hide something, or behaviour that is intended to hide the truth” or “to prevent it from being seen and attacked” (Cambridge Dictionary, n.d.), which clearly describes the motivation of girls as well as women to deal with their disorder.


Cognition is a term referring to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. These cognitive processes include thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem-solving.1 These are higher-level functions of the brain and encompass language, imagination, perception, and planning

cognitive processes

Processing of information, intelligence, reasoning, memory and language development are cognitive processes (Encyclopaedia of Children’s Health).


Comparative giftedness is when the student's level of performance is "significantly better than [peers] in one or more domains" (Loveless, 2020).


Belief system and teachings based on ethics and morality founded by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius (6th- 5th century BC).


The cortex is an area in the brain, which is the outer layer of the cerebrum, composed of grey matter. 

cultural perspective

Different cultures and sub-cultures may have a different understanding of what (dis)ability means and/or what constitutes a (dis)ability.

curative education.

Curative education or Heilpedagogy is Steiner's education aimed at students with special needs.


Comparing students to an average along a continuum and thereby describing students by quantifying their performances. This perspective leads to a tendency to view students with (dis)abilities as deficient.


For the purposes of this chapter, defining a disability is not about a ‘condition’ itself, but rather what effect or impact it has on daily life (Berg, 2020). Individuals are considered to be disabled whenever they are constrained in their ability to perform activities independently. In this chapter, we are considering physical disabilities as well as mental disorders.


Allowing the body to touch the natural ground can provide the individual with grounding energy (Lockett, 2019).


The ego or self is an anchor that gives direction and makes one self-aware. 


What humans and plants have in common


Stands for, ‘functional magnetic resonance imaging’ or ‘functional MRI’ which is a scan that measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow.

frontal lobe

An area of the brain which is right behind the forehead. 


Gender is a social construct which describes characteristics of girls, boys, men and women. These characteristics include behaviours, roles, norms and relationships with each other. As Gender is a social construct the aspects of it differ between societies and they shape over time (Kari, 2019).

gender bias

Prejudiced actions or thoughts based on the gender-based perception that women are not equal to men in rights and dignity (IPS Asia-Pacific, 2010).

Gender identity

One’s innermost feeling of maleness, femaleness, a blend of both or neither. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

Gender neutral

Not gendered, usually operating outside the male/female binary. Can refer to language (e.g., pronouns), spaces (e.g., bathrooms) or identities.


People who identify as gender-fluid experience changes over time in gender identity and/or gender expression.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Extreme and constant worry about anything that lasts for at least six months and interferes with daily activities.


To be hyper-focused means to get lost in what they are doing, this can make students forget to switch tasks. This is noticeable when a student with ADD is on the PC or doing something they are very interested in.


a person who avoids sensory input


a person who seeks for sensory stimulation


Intersex is an umbrella term for people who are born with a sexual or reproductive anatomy that may not fit the traditional, binary definitions of biological sex. (Intersex Society of North America, n.d.).


Musculo-skeletal disabilities refer to people being unable to execute activities connected to the movement of body parts due to the deformity of bones, degeneration or diseases. These disabilities affect joints, muscles and bones. Conditions grouped under Musculo Skeletal disabilities include (General Information on Physical Disabilities – Handicaps Welfare Association, 2020). 

neurological perspective

This perspective looks at (dis)abilities in a scientific way. This perspective looks at how neurons within the brain create variability within different people.


The functioning of the muscles is impaired.


Neurons are nerve cells which are vital units in the brain and nervous system. They send and transform electrical steps to different areas in the body. 


Neuroscience focuses on the nervous system. It is the science that looks at how the neurons link, work together and overlap to the nervous system and the brain.

Non binary/ Nonbinary/ Non-binary

People who identify as non-binary reject traditional binary definitions of sex and gender. People who are nonbinary might identify themselves as agender, genderfluid or even as something completely different (Morin, 2020).

Panic Disorder

Repeated feelings of severe fear and sudden attacks of panic.


Performance giftedness is the student's ability to use their raw talent to "perform at impressive levels in one or more domains" (Loveless, 2020)


Stands for ‘positron emission tomography’ which is an imaging technique or scan that uses radioactive substances to visualize and measure changes in metabolic processes, and in blood flow.

Popular Culture

Popular culture relates to media that appeals to a substantial number of people and that is typically delivered through music, film, art, books, dance, drama, fashion, television, social media, radio/podcasts, websites and videos. It is important to state the fact that this chapter is based on Euro-centric approaches to popular culture.

Preferred pronouns

The pronoun or set of pronouns that an individual personally uses and would like others to use when talking to or about that individual. Can include variations of he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/their/theirs, among others.


Questioning is a process that many people go through as they explore their own gender expression, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The term is also used by some people to show their identity inside the LGBTQ+ community (LGBTQIA Resource Center, 2020).

sensory processing disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children and adults.

separation anxiety

Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is a type of mental health problem. A child with SAD worries a lot about being apart from family members or other close people. The child has a fear of being lost from their family or of something bad occurring to a family member if he or she is not with the person.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

The experience of great distress caused by fear of being separated from home or a loved one or a constant worry that something will happen to a loved one.

Social Anxiety

The fear and avoidance of social performance situations, lasting for at least six months.

sociological perspectives

According to this perspective skills and traits are socially constructed. What makes a (dis)ability is the way we treat individuals we think of as different. All individuals are different and need non-judgemental support.


The spirit is where insights and higher reasoning derive from.

sterilization law

The Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring allowed the state to sterilize anyone who was deemed to be living with a genetic disorder.


Talent giftedness refers to the high level of raw talent in a student. This talent may be intellectual, creative, artistic, academic, or in leadership.

theory of mind

Theory of Mind is, "the ability to understand that other people have mental states (thoughts, desires and beliefs) that may be different from ones own.” (Woolfe, Want, and Siegal, 2002, p. 768)


This term is often used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who identify with a gender that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth. Someone who is transgender can identify not only as man or woman but also as genderfluid, non-binary, genderqueer or even multiple genders (LGBTQIA Resource Center, 2020).

umbrella terms

a term covering a wide range of concepts


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Inclusive Perspectives in Primary Education Copyright © 2021 by room305 and Inclusive Education Class 2020-2021 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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