Frequent Terms and Acronyms used in Special Education


Accommodation - allows the student to do the same work as the regular education students with a change (e.g., taking tests in a quiet room) that helps them to be more successful. This change does not change the rigor of the material being taught

Adaptations - a part of the IEP that document aids and resources that meet individual needs of students for example; transportation, paraprofessional, support and assistive technology materials

Assistive Technology Device - any item, piece of equipment, or product system, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities

Behavior Intervention Plan - a plan to address challenging behaviors; it addresses both the source of the behavior and techniques to deal with the behavior so that the student can manage the behavior more appropriately

Case Manager - the license staff member who coordinates a student's IEP or IFSP and sees that it is carried out. This person is the first point of contact for any issues, questions or concerns

Consent - means that you say "yes." Consent means that you understand and agree in writing to the activity that is being requested, such as an evaluation or an IEP/IFSP

Curriculum - the coursework being taught

Direct Service - special education service provided directly to the student

Evaluation - student assessments and observations used to determine the eligibility of the student for special education services

FAPE - free appropriate public education as mandated by Federal Law

FBA - systematic behavior assessment that identifies challenging behaviors then determines factors precipitating those behaviors

IDEA-97 - The Individuals with Disabilities Act is the federal special education law that defines the rights of the student with disabilities

IEP - an individualized educational program is a written document for a student ages 3 up to 21. It describes the special education and related services necessary for a student with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education

IEP TEAM - the group of people responsible for defining a student's education plan. The Team must include:
• A parent
• A representative of the district who is authorized to assign resources
• At least one of the student's special education teachers
• At least one of the student's regular education teachers
There may be more team members as appropriate

IFSP - an Individual Family Service Plan is for children in Early Childhood Special Education (birth through age 2)

IIIP - Individual Interagency Intervention Plan (IIIP) coordinates school and community services for students from age 3 to 21

Inclusion - students with disabilities are educated with their peers in a general education setting

Indirect Service - consultation among team members to develop methodology to support goals on an IEP

Intervention - before a child receives a special education evaluation a 4 - 6 week period of interventions are implemented and documented

LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) - the educational setting that provides an appropriate program, including special supports needed for the student, so that the student spends as much time as possible in a typical student environment

Modification - a change that alters the rigor of the curriculum

PCA (Personal Care Attendant) - a staff person hired by the family to help a child learn skills so he or she can be more independent at home or in the community

Referral Review Team - The referral review team will receive a referral when interventions have been unsuccessful. The team will determine if an evaluation is warranted and what areas need to be evaluated

Related Services - support services provided that are related to a child's disability for example: occupational therapy, physical therapy and adaptive physical education

Respite Care - occasional county or private childcare to support the family

Resource Room - a student may receive his or her special education and related services in the resource room located outside of the regular education setting

Special Education - instruction specially designed to meet the unique needs of a student with disabilities, at no cost to parent(s)

ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder
DAPE Adaptive Physical Education
ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder
AT Assistive Technology
BIP Behavior Intervention Plan
CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder
DB Deaf-blind
DCD Developmental Cognitive Disorder
D/HH Deaf/Hard of Hearing
EBD Emotional Behavioral Disorder
ECSE Early Childhood Special Education
ESY Extended School Year
FAPE Free appropriate public education
FBA Functional behavioral assessment
GT Gifted and Talented
HI Hearing Impaired
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Act
IEP Individual Education Plan
IFSP Individualized Family Service Plan
LD Learning Disability
LEP Limited English proficient
NCLB No Child Left Behind Act
OCD Obsessive compulsive disorder
ODD Oppositional defiant disorder
OT Occupational therapy/therapist
PACER Parent advocacy coalition for educational rights center
PCA Personal care attendant
PDD Pervasive development disorder
PDD-NOS Pervasive development disorder - not otherwise specified
PLEP Present Level of Educational Performance
PRE-K Pre Kindergarten
PT Physical therapy/therapist
Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, illegal for organization to Discriminate against a person solely on basis of disability
SI Speech impaired
SLD Specific learning disability
SLP Speech-language pathologist
SPED Special Education
SSI Social Security Act
TBI Traumatic brain injury
VI Visually impaired
WISC-R Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised
WISC - IV Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children - Version IV