Happy Learners Glossary G-H

Happy Learners Banner

Glossary of terms and abbreviations G - H

Jump straight to H



The way a person walks or runs.

Global Developmental Delay

A child who is significantly below expectations across a wide spectrum of age benchmarks.

Gross Motor Skills

The development and practise of whole-body movements such as crawling, walking, balance etc.


The sense of taste. Individuals vary in the way they process sensory information including taste. This means that some people are more sensitive to food tastes than other. More sensitive people will avoid stronger tastes and textures whilst less sensitive individuals may do the opposite.


Hand Dominance

The preferred hand used to do writing, hold scissors or throw a ball.


The study of non-verbal communication involving touch. Acceptable forms of touch vary according to an individual's culture, status and age as well as specific social contexts.

Hearing Impairment

A hearing impairment can be a partial or total inability to receive sounds through one or more of the ears. A mild hearing loss may be experienced as a difficulty hearing quiet sounds or certain frequencies of sound. A person with this degree of hearing impairment may benefit from a hearing aid to amplify sounds. Many children experience temporary hearing loss because of otitis media (glue ear).


A condition of extreme social withdrawal where an adolescent or adult does not leave their homes or interact with others for at least six months.


To acquire reading skills at a very young age and have superior word decoding skills. Children with hyperlexia are often intelligent but many have social communication and pragmatic language difficulties leading to diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder.


A lower threshold of sensory perception. For example, someone with hypersensitivity to sounds will hear them louder than someone with normal sensory perception. They may hear sounds others would not or not be able to ignore background noises. Any of the senses can be affected and it can be a symptom of Sensory Processing Disorder. Compare with hyposensitivity. See full article on sensory needs.


A higher threshold of sensory perception. For example, a child with hyposensitivity to touch may not notice when they bump into others. They may also like being covered in heavy objects or having firm pressure in order to feel touch. Any of the senses can be affected by hyposensitivity and it can be a symptom of Sensory Processing Disorder. Compare with hypersensitivitySee full article on sensory needs.

Hypothalamus - pituitary - adrenal axis (HPA)

These three glands regulate and control the body's stress response.