Glossary

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The systematic application of behavioral interventions, guided by the principles of learning theory, to positively change behavior and demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the behavioral improvement. 

Accelerated Intervention Services (AIS)

A program that provides supplemental instruction to accelerate student learning so that students are able to meet grade-level benchmarks in reading, writing, and mathematics. AIS supplements the general education program for students who are below grade level; it is not replacement instruction.  Students continue to receive their language arts and mathematics instruction from their classroom teacher with their peers in the general education setting.  

AIS instruction focuses intensely on specific areas of need unique to each student. 

Accommodations

Alteration of the classroom environment, curriculum format, and equipment and materials that allow a student with a disability to access content and/or complete assigned tasks within the general education setting.

Adaptive Physical Education (APE)

A carefully designed, implemented, and monitored instructional program for a student with a disability to help the learner develop skills necessary to participate in leisure, recreation, and sport activities and to promote physical fitness and wellness.

Alternative Assessment

An alternative to conventional means of assessing achievement (e.g., traditional paper and pencil tests), such as oral testing or work sample review. 

Assistive Technology

Any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

Auditory Discrimination

The ability to recognize, compare, and differentiate the discrete sounds in words. 

Auditory Memory

The ability to remember something heard very recently (short-term auditory memory) or in the past (long-term auditory memory).

Behavior Modification

Alteration of behavioral patterns through the use of learning techniques and various reinforcement strategies using motivational systems.

Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP)

A plan based on a functional analysis of behavior developed to promote positive behavior change through implementation of positive behavioral supports.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

Impairment in an individual’s central nervous system that result in deficits processing information auditorily.

Child Study Team (CST)

A group of school personnel, including a school psychologist, learning disabilities teacher-consultant (LDT-C), school social worker, and, when appropriate, speech-language therapist, who are primarily responsible for 1) conducting evaluations to determine eligibility for special education and related services for students with disabilities, 2) developing and implementing individualized education plans, and 3) providing case management services. 

Cognitive Ability

An individual’s capacity to perform mental activities associated with learning and problem solving.

Compensatory Strategies

Techniques or modifications to behavior or the environment used to compensate for a deficit in a specific area or skill.

Decoding

The process of translating a printed word into sound.

Developmental Delay

Failure to meet expected developmental milestones in one or more of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, speech/language, and adaptive development.

Direct Instruction

Structured, sequenced instructional approaches led by the teacher, such as through lecture or demonstration. 

Discrimination

The process of differentiating between or among auditory or visual stimuli. 

Due Process

A system to ensure that legal procedures are followed for all individuals in order to prevent prejudicial or unequal treatment.

Dyslexia

Disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and/or other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence. 

Educational Evaluation

Assessment based on standardized testing, analysis of schoolwork, classroom observation, and/or teacher feedback that is intended to determine a student’s achievement in certain academic areas, learning style, and perceptual abilities. 

Encoding

Spelling

Expressive Language

Communication of wants and needs using skills including facial expressions, gestures, intentionality, vocabulary, semantics (word and sentence meaning), morphology, and syntax (grammar rules).

Extended School Year (ESY)

Special education and related services provided to a student with a disability outside the regular school year in accordance with the student’s IEP. Eligibility is determined by the student’s ability to recoup after a break in the school program. 

Fine Motor Skills

Small movements (e.g., picking up or holding light objects) that use small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. 

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

A process that identifies a specific target behavior that is interfering with a student’s school performance, the function served by the behavior, and the factors that maintain the behavior.

General Education

An educational program that adheres to core curriculum content standards.

Gross Motor Skills

Bigger movements (e.g., rolling over, sitting up, walking, etc.) that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet.

 

Home Instruction

Instruction in the student's place of residence or other appropriate setting due to a documented medical or health condition or a period of exclusion from school for disciplinary or safety reasons.

 

IEP Team

The group of people responsible for developing, reviewing, revising, and implementing a student’s individualized education program (IEP).

 

In-Class Resource Program (ICRP) / In-Class Support

Instruction provided in a general education setting by a team composed of a general education teacher and special education teacher where students are expected to meet the general education curriculum requirements for the grade and subject being taught.  The special education teacher is responsible for overseeing the implementation of accommodations and modifications documented in each student’s IEP.

 

Inclusion

Participation of a student with an IEP in a general education setting for all or part of the school day.

 

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

A written plan that provides detailed information about a classified student and his or her special education program.

 

Individual Service Plan

A written educational plan developed to support students with special needs in non-public schools.

Learning Style

The way in which a student acquires and retains information most effectively.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

The principle, outlined in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), that students with disabilities should be educated with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent that is appropriate.

Mainstreaming

See Inclusion. 

Manifestation Determination

A procedure implemented when considering suspension, expulsion, or an alternative placement as a result of behavioral concerns exhibited by a student with an IEP.  The purpose is to determine if the behavior results from (i.e., is a manifestation of) the student's disability. A manifestation determination is conducted when a student is suspended for more than 10 days in a school year.

Neuropsychological Evaluation

A comprehensive, systematic assessment of cognitive and behavioral functioning using standardized tests and procedures.

Pull-Out Resource Replacement

Smaller group instruction provided by a special education teacher in a special education classroom or resource center instead of in a general education setting. 

Pull-Out Resource Support

Smaller group instruction provided by a special education teacher in a special education classroom or resource center to support a student’s placement a general education setting for a core academic subject or subjects. 

Psychiatric Evaluation

An assessment performed by a psychiatrist to diagnose emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions or disorders.

 

Psychological Evaluation

An assessment conducted by a psychologist to evaluate a student’s psychological, intellectual, behavioral, social, and emotional functioning and abilities.

 

Related Services

Services provided to classified students to help them benefit from their special education program, including counseling, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language services, consultative services, parent training, and specialized transportation.

 

Response to Intervention (RTI)

RTI is based upon three components: 1) the use of multiple tiers of increasingly intense interventions; 2) a problem-solving approach to identifying and evaluating instructional strategies; and 3) an integrated data collection and assessment system to monitor student progress and guide decision-making.  Student monitoring continues throughout this process by the identified individuals in the action plan.  This process is ongoing, in that, it continues to identify and evaluate problems, solutions, and progress.

 

Section 504

A federal law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education.

 

Self-Contained Classroom

A classroom where a special education teacher is responsible for the instruction of all academic subjects and where students generally share the same special education classification and similar academic, social, and emotional needs.

 

Supplemental Instruction

Extra instruction provided to enhance student learning.

 

Transition Services

Activities designed to assist student progression from high school to post-school activities.

 

Vocational Assessment

The process of evaluating a student’s employment skills and proclivities.