Special Ed Definitions and Acronyms

ACCOMMODATIONS: Instructional techniques, additional supports or specialized services to help a student make progress or demonstrate learning.

ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATION (APE): Physical education which may be adapted or modified to address the individualized needs of children and youth who have gross motor delays.

ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW: A meeting where parents, guardians or child advocates may present complaints to the superintendent of the school district regarding the evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education services to a student.

ANNUAL REVIEW: A scheduled meeting of school staff members and parents to develop, review, and revise a student's IEP goals and objectives. The purpose of the review is to determine appropriate new or continued services for each student.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: Assistive technology is defined as any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

CASE CONFERENCE: An informal meeting that allows the parent/guardian and/or the school district to review and interpret information regarding the child and his or her IEP in order to resolve problems.

CHILD FIND: The process of locating, evaluating, and identifying children with disabilities between the ages of 2 to 21who may be in need of special education and/or related services.

CHILD WITH A DISABILITY: Those children evaluated and identified, in accordance with regulations governing special education, as having a cognitive disability (mental retardation), hearing impairment, speech or language impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, emotional disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, severe disability, multiple disabilities, developmental delays, or specific learning disabilities and who, because of these disabilities, are in need of special education and/or related services.

CORE STANDARDS (OHIO ACADEMIC CONTENT STANDARDS): The outline of the basic knowledge and skills that Ohio children will be taught in kindergarten through grade 12 in the core academic areas.

COUNSELING SERVICE: Services provided by a qualified social worker, psychologist, guidance counselor, or other qualified personnel.

DUE PROCESS: A series of steps listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004 that protect the rights of parents and their children with disabilities.

EARLY INTERVENTION: Specialized services provided to children, birth through age 2, who are at risk for, or showing signs of developmental delay.

ELIGIBILITY MEETING: A meeting of professional staff members and parent(s) or guardian(s) to consider the individual needs of a student and determine whether the student is eligible for special education and related services.

EVALUATION: Procedures used by a multi-disciplinary team to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs.

FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education): Special education and related services provided at public expense, under public supervision, and at no cost to parents. These services must meet the standards of the Ohio Department of Education and be provided through your child's IEP.

GENERAL CURRICULUM: Refers to the curriculum that is used with non-disabled children.

HOME SCHOOL: The school that is in the community in which the child resides.

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IDEIA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004

IEP (Individualized Education Program): A written plan of measurable annual goals, including short-term objectives developed to meet your child's needs, according to federal and state regulations.

IMPARTIAL DUE PROCESS HEARING: Each school district shall provide parents and other educational agencies an opportunity to have an impartial due process hearing which may be requested at any time.

INTERPRETER SERVICES: Services designed to assist learners who are deaf or have hearing impairments by providing interpretation in English and American Sign Language, transliteration in a manual form of coded English or other coded forms of English.

ITINERANT SERVICES FOR A PRESCHOOLER WITH A DISABILITY: Services provided by an intervention specialist or related service personnel, which occur in the setting where the child, the child and parent(s) or the child and caregiver are located, as opposed to services provided at a centralized location.

LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT (LRE): The setting determined by the IEP team that will provide the child with as much time as possible in general education settings and activities while meeting the child's learning and physical needs. May also refer to special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of a child with disabilities from the general education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability if education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCY (LEA): The public school system.

MEDIATION: A meeting that may be held if efforts to resolve an issue have failed at the school district level or after a due processing hearing has been requested. A representative of the Ohio Department of Education may be asked to mediate the dispute.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: Services provided by a qualified occupational therapist designed to improve, develop or restore functions impaired or lost through illness, injury or deprivation. The goal of the occupational therapist is to teach the child to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired, or to list and prevent initial or further impairment or loss of function through early intervention.

ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SERVICE: Services provided to blind or visually impaired students by qualified personnel to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home and community.

PARAPROFESSIONAL SERVICE: Services provided by individuals employed by a school, county board or other educational agency who are adequately trained in the provision of special education and related services to children with disabilities. Paraprofessionals work under the supervision of teachers, intervention specialties, and/or related service providers.

PARENT: A natural or adoptive parent; the parent with legal custody of the children, if parents are separated or divorced; the guardian or custodian, but not the state if the child is a ward of the state; a person acting in place of a parent (such as a grandparent or step-parent with whom the child lives); a person who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with paragraph (I) of rule 3301-51-05 of the Administrative Code.A child at the age of 18 may act in his or her own behalf.

PERIODIC REVIEW: Those activities involved in reviewing each child's I.E.P. and, if appropriate, revising its provisions. A meeting must be held for this purpose at least once each year.

PHYSICAL THERAPY: Services provided by a qualified physical therapist with the goal of remediation or compensation for mobility, gait, muscle strength, and postural deficits as it relates to the educational setting.

RE-EVALUATION: A review by the IEP team that is required every three years, or more often if necessary. It determines if updated information used to decide continuing eligibility for special education is needed, and the types of information necessary to determine the individual needs of the student.

REFERRAL: The established process whereby the names of children suspected of having a disability that may require special education and related services are forwarded to a designated person, in writing, for a multi-factored and multidisciplinary evaluation.

RELATED SERVICES: Developmental, corrective, and other supportive services that may be required to help a child with a disability benefit from special education. Services may include speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, transportation, school health services, etc.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, designed to meet the unique needs of a child with disabilities, including classroom instruction, physical education, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. The term may also refer to speech therapy or other related services and vocational education, if these services consist of specially designed instruction at no cost to the parent.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY SERVICES: Include identification of children with speech or language impairments, diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments, referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments, provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments and counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.

TRANSITION SERVICES: A coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that are designed within an outcome-oriented process to promote movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation and the like.

ADDITIONAL DEFINITIONS may be found in the Operating Standards for Ohio's Schools Serving Children with Disabilities and the publication titled "Whose IDEA Is This?".


ABAApplied Behavioral Analysis
ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act
ADDAttention Deficit Disorder
ADHDAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ASDAutism Spectrum Disorder
ASLAmerican Sign Language
ATAssistive Technology
AYPAdequate Yearly Progress
BPBi-Polar Disorder
BSPBehavioral Support Plan
CAPDCentral Auditory Processing Disorder
CDCognitive Disability
DDDevelopmental Delay
DIDifferentiated Instruction
EDEmotional Disturbance
EIEarly Intervention
ELLEnglish Language Learners
ESYExtended School Year
FAPEFree and Appropriate Public Education
FASFetal Alcohol Syndrome
FBAFunctional Behavior Assessment
FERPAFamily Education Rights and Privacy Act
HIHearing Impairment
IATIntervention Assistance Team
IDEIAIndividuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act of 2004
IEPIndividualized Education Program
IFSPIndividualized Family Service Plan for Early Intervention
IQIntelligence Quotient
LEALocal Education Agency
LEPLimited English Proficiency
LRELeast Restricted Environment
MDMultiple Disabilities
MDMuscular Dystrophy
MFEMulti-Factored Evaluation
MRDDMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
NCLBNo Child Left Behind
OCDObsessive Compulsive Disorder
ODDOppositional Defiant Disorder
OHIOther Health Impairment
O/MOrientation and Mobility
OTOccupational Therapy
PBSPositive Behavior Support
PDDPervasive Developmental Disorder
PLOPPresent Levels of Performance
PTPhysical Therapy
PTSDPost Traumatic Stress Disorder
SEAState Education Agency
SERRCSpecial Education Regional Resource Center
SLDSpecific Learning Disability
SLPSpeech and Language Pathology
SSISupplemental Security Income
SWDStudent with Disability
TBITraumatic Brain Injury
VIVision Impairment
504Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
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