skip to main content

Special Education Terms & Acronyms

Accommodations

            Changes in how test is administered that do not substantially alter what the test measures; includes changes in presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing.  Appropriate accommodations are made to level the playing field, i.e., to provide equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge.

Achievement Test
            Changes in how test is administered that do not substantially alter what the test measures; includes changes in presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing.  Appropriate accommodations are made to level the playing field, i.e., to provide equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge.

Affective
            A term which refers to emotions and attitudes.

Americans With Disabilities Act
            Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  Legislation enacted to prohibit discrimination based on disability.

Annual Goals
            A required component of IEP.  Goals are written for the individual student and can be for a maximum of one year.

ADD/ADHD
            Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD).  Child with ADD or ADHD may be eligible for special education under other health impairment, specific learning disability, and/or emotional disturbance categories if ADD/ADHD condition adversely affects educational performance.

Assessment
            Systematic method of obtaining information form tests or other sources; procedures used to determine child’s eligibility, identify the child’s strengths and needs, and services child needs to meet these needs.

Assistive Technology
            Equipment used to maintain or improve the capabilities of a child with a disability.

Audiology
            Related service; includes identification, determination of hearing loss, and referral for habilitation of hearing.

Autism
            Developmental disability that affects communication and social interaction, adversely affects educational performance, is generally evident before age 3.  Children with autism often engage in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resist environmental change or change in daily routines, and have unusual responses to sensory experiences.

Basic Skill
            Skills in subjects like reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics.

Behavior Disorder
            See Emotional Disturbance.

Behavior Intervention Plan
            A plan of positive behavioral interventions in the IEP of a child whose behaviors interfere with his/her learning or that of others.

Chronologically Age Appropriate
            A standard by which children’s activities may be evaluated.  Instruction and material should be directed at the student’s actual age rather than to the interests and tastes of younger children.

Cognitive
            A term which refers to reasoning or intellectual capacity.

Continuum of Services
            The range of services which must be available to the students of a school district so that they may be served in the least restrictive environment.

Deaf Blindness
            IDEA disability category; includes hearing and visual impairments that cause severe communication, developmental and educational problems that adversely affects educational performance.

Deafness
            IDEA disability category; impairment in processing information through hearing that adversely affects educational performance.

Disability
            In Section 504 and ADA, defined as impairment that substantially affects one or more major life activities; an individual who has a record of having such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Emotional Disturbance
            Disability category under IDEA; includes depression, fears, schizophrenia; adversely affects educational performance.

EMR
            Educable mentally retarded.

Extended School Day
            A provision for special education student to receive instruction for a period longer than the standard school day.  This sometimes includes “double kindergarten”, later afternoons or earlier start times.

Extended School Year
            A provision for a special education student to receive instruction during ordinary school “vacation” periods.

FAPE
            “Free Appropriate Public Education.”  Provision as required under IDEA.

Handicap
            Pejorative term no longer in accepted use.
           
IDEA
            The Individuals with Disabilities Education Acts of 1997.

IEP
            Individualized Education Plan.  The document developed at an IEP meeting which sets the standard by which subsequent special education services are usually determined appropriate.

Inclusion
            Practice of educating children with special needs in regular education classrooms in neighborhood schools.  See also “mainstreaming” and “least restrictive environment.”

Learning Disability
            See “Specific Learning Disability”

Mainstreaming
            Practice of placing special needs children in regular classrooms for at least a part of the children’s educational program.  See also least restrictive environment and inclusion.

Manifestation Determination Review
            If child with disability engages in behavior or breaks a rule or code of conduct that applies to nondisabled children and school proposes to remove the child, the school   must hold a hearing to determine if the child’s behavior was caused by the disability.

Mediation
            A voluntary dispute resolution process for which a mediator will be provided on request.

Mental Retardation
            Disability category under IDEA; refers to significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive behavior that adversely affects educational performance.

Modifications
            Substantial changes in what the student is expected to demonstrate; includes changes in instructional level, content, and performance criteria, may include changes in test form or format; includes alternative assessments.

Multiple Disabilities
            Disability category under IDEA; concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.) that cause such severe educational problems that problems cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments; does not include deaf-blindness.

OCR
            Office of Civil Rights.

Occupational Therapy
            Related service; includes therapy to remediate fine motor skills

Orthopedic Impairment
            Disability category under IDEA; orthopedic impairment that adversely affects child’s educational performance.

Other Health Impaired
            Disability category under IDEA; refers to limited strength, vitality or alertness due to chronic or acute healthy problems that adversely affects educational performance.

Physical Therapy
            Related service; includes therapy to remediate gross motor skills.
           
Placement
            The setting in which the special education service is delivered to the student.  It must be derived form the IEP.

Present Levels of Educational Performance
            A required IEP component that examines how the student is currently achieving.

Related Services
            IDEA requires that school districts provide whatever related services (other than medical care which is not for diagnostic purposes) a child needs in order to benefit from his or her special education program.

Remediation
            Process by which an individual receives instruction and practice in skills that are weak or nonexistent in an effort to develop/strengthen these skills.

Section 504
            Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination due to disability by recipients of federal financial assistance.
           
Special Education
            Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

Specific Learning Disability
            Disability category under IDEA; includes disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language; may manifest in difficulties with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, and doing mathematical calculations; includes minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Speech-Language Pathology Services
            Related service; includes identification and diagnosis of speech or language impairments, speech or language therapy, counseling and guidance.

Speech or Language Impairment
            Disability category under IDEA; includes communication disorders, language impairments, voice impairments that adversely affect educational performance.

Standardized Testing
            Norm-referenced test that compares child’s performance with the performance of a large group of similar children (usually children who are the same age).

Transition Services
            IEP requirements; designed to facilitate movement from school to the workplace or to higher education.

Traumatic Brain Injury
            Disability category under IDEA; includes acquired injury caused by external physical force and open or closed head injuries that result in impairments; does not include congenital or degenerative brain injuries or brain injuries caused by birth trauma.

Visual Impairment including Blindness
            Disability category under IDEA; impaired vision that adversely affects educational performance.


SPECIAL EDUCATION ACRONYMS

 
ACSA
Association of California School Administration
ADHD
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
ADR
Alternative Dispute Resolution
AH
Aurally Handicapped
APE
Adapted Physical Education
ARC
Association for Retarded Citizens
AU
Administrative Unit (Same as RLA)
AUT
Autism
BIP
Behavioral Intervention Plan
CAC
Community Advisory Committee
CANHC
California Association of Neurologically Handicapped Children
CAPS
California Association of Program Specialists
CARS
California Association of Resource Specialists
CASP
California Association of School Psychologists
CATS
Career and Transition Services
CBI
Community-Based Instruction
CCS
California Children’s Center (An agency that provides physical and occupational therapy for eligible students.)
CEC
Council of Exceptional Children (A professional organization for parents, teachers, administrators, and others who deal with handicapped children.)
CH
Communicatively Handicapped
MH
County Mental Health
CSB
California School for the Blind
CSCD
Community Service Center for the Disabled
D/B
Deaf/Blind
DHH
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
DIS
Designated Instruction and Services (Educational programs and services not normally provided in a regular classroom, special class, or resource specialist program.)
DR
Department of Rehabilitation
EC
California Education Code
ECATS
Early Childhood Assessment & Team Services
ELL
English Language Learner
ESL
English as a Second Language
HH
Hard of Hearing
HI
Hearing Impaired
IP
Instructional Paraprofessional
IDEA
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP
Individualized Education Program
IFSP
Individualized Family Service Plan
IST
Intervention Support Team
ITP
Individual Transition Program
LCI
Licensed Children’s Institute
LEA
Local Education Agency
LH
Learning Handicapped
LRE
Least Restrictive Environment (an appropriate educational placement which permits a pupil to participate as fully as possible with normal peers providing both he/she and they can still be successful.
LSH
Language, Speech and Hearing (specialists)
MH
Multi-handicapped
MIS
Management Information System
NPS/NPA
Nonpublic School/Nonpublic Agency
O&M
Orientation and Mobility
OCR
Office of Civil Rights
OH
Orthopedically Handicapped
OHI
Other Health Impaired
OSEP
Office of Special Education Programs
OT
Occupational Therapy/Therapist
PH
Physically Handicapped
PS
Program Specialist
PT
Physical Therapy/Therapist
Region C
Regional Coordinating Council
RTI
Response to Intervention
ROP
Regional Occupational Program
RS
Resource Specialist
RSP
Resource Specialist Program
SDC
Special Day Class (Instructional settings in which the student receives special instruction more than 50% of the day.)
SDL
Severe Disorders of Language
SED
Seriously Emotionally Disturbed
SEEC
Special Education Early Childhood
SELPA
Special Education Local Plan Area
SH
Severely Handicapped
SLD
Specific Learning Disability
SLI
Speech and Language Impaired
TASH
The association for Persons with Severe Handicaps
TBI
Traumatic Brain Injury
TDD
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf
TEACCH
Treatment & Education of Autistic and Related Communicatively Handicapped Children
TPP
Transition Partnership Project
VH
Visually Handicapped
VI
Visually Impaired
WAI
Work Ability I
 

ADA Compliance Errors 0