Special Ed Definitions
Accommodation: Techniques and materials that allow individuals to complete school or work tasks with greater ease and effectiveness (e.g., spellcheckers, tape recorders, and expanded time for completing assignments)
Age Equivalent Score: Individual student’s scores are reported relative to those of the norming population.
Alternative education (or interim) placement (AEP): A n alternate class option to improve classroom behavior and address needs that cannot be met in a regular classroom setting.
Assistive Technology: Equipment that enhances the ability of students to be more efficient and successful.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A medical condition involving developmentally inappropriate behavior (poor attention skills, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity).
Auditory Discrimination: Ability to detect differences in sounds.
Auditory Memory: Ability to retain heard information; can be short-term, long-term memory or sequential memory.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD): Difficulty accurately processing and interpreting sound information and recognizing subtle differences between sounds in words.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP): Positive strategies, program modifications and supplementary aids/supports that address a student’s disruptive behaviors to allow for continued education in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD): Occurs when the ear and the brain do not coordinate fully.
Context Clues: Sources of information outside of words that readers may use to predict the meanings of unknown words.
Decoding: Translating a word from print to speech or deciphering a new word by sounding it out.
Expressive language: Speaking or writing.
Fluency: The ability to read a text accurately and quickly using proper expression and comprehension.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): A federal requirement in the Individuals with Disability Act mandating that all disabled children must receive special education services and related services at no cost.
Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA): A problem-solving process to address student problem behavior; uses techniques to identify what triggers a given behavior(s) and to select interventions that directly address them.
Grade equivalent scores: Individual student scores are reported relative to those of the norming population.
Graphic organizers: Text, diagram or other pictorial device that summarizes and illustrates interrelationships among concepts in a text (e.g., maps, webs, graphs, charts, frames or clusters).
Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE): An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner, not employed by the school district, at the public’s expense.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): A plan outlining special education and related services specifically designed to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004): The federal law that guarantees all children with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education.
Informal Assessment: Teacher-designed procedures based on current instruction to assess student performance levels.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ): A measure of intelligence as indicated by an intelligence test. An average score is 100.
Language learning disability (LLD): A disorder that may affect the comprehension and use of spoken or written language and nonverbal language (eye contact, tone of speech).
Learning Disability (LD): A disorder that affects the ability to either interpret what people see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain.
Least restrictive environment (LRE): A learning plan that provides the most possible time in regular classroom.
Listening comprehension: Understanding speech.
Literacy: Reading, writing, and creative and analytical acts involved in producing and comprehending texts.
Multi-Sensory Instruction: Simultaneously using visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile cues to enhance memory/learning.
Occupational Therapy (OT): A rehabilitative service provided to students under a doctor’s prescription to develop strength and dexterity, hand-eye coordination, or other fine motor skills needed to access the curriculum.
Other Health Impairments (OHI): Students having limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems (e.g., asthma, ADHD, diabetes) that limit their ability to learn.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD): Students delayed or deviant in their social, language, motor and/or cognitive development.
Phonemic Awareness: The ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words.
Phonics: Instruction aimed at understanding and using the alphabet, the letters that represent those sounds and using that information to read or decode words.
Phonological Awareness: Identifying and manipulating words, syllables, onset, rime, rhyming and syllabification.
Physical Therapy (PT): Instructional support and treatment of physical disabilities, under a doctor’s prescription, that helps a student improve the use of bones, muscles, joints and nerves as related to accessing the curriculum.
Pragmatics: Language use to meet various needs or functions (e.g., asking, describing, telling).
Reading Disability: Significant difficulty in reading or understanding written text.
Receptive Language: Understanding spoken language through listening or reading.
Self-Advocacy: The development of specific skills and understandings that enable students to explain their disabilities to others and cope positively with the attitudes of peers, parents, teachers and employers.
Self-Monitoring: The mental act of knowing when one does/does not understand what one is reading, learning or doing.
Sight Words: Words that a reader recognizes without having to sound them out.
Special Education (SPED): One of 13 disability categories in New York State for which a range of special education services may be provided by decision of a school district’s Committee on Special Education: learning disability (LD), speech or language impairment (SI), intellectual disability (MR), emotional disturbance (ED), multiple disability (MD), hearing impairment (HI), orthopedic impairment (OI), visual impairment (VI), autism (A), deafness (D), combined deafness/blindness (D-B), traumatic brain injury (TBI), other health impairment (OHI).
Speech Impaired (SI): A disability category for students who have difficulty understanding or using language that impacts their ability to access the curriculum.
Transition: The change from secondary school to postsecondary programs, work and independent living typical of young adults; other periods of major change (early childhood to school or from restrictive to mainstreamed settings).
Vocabulary: Word knowledge in listening, speaking or writing vocabulary.