Glossary of Terms
A B C D E F G H I L M O P R S T V
Supports or services provided to help a student access the general curriculum and validly demonstrate learning. Does not change the expectation of learning. An example of an accommodation would be wearing glasses for poor vision.
Adaptive Behavior: The effectiveness of degree with which the individual meets the standard of personal independence and social responsibilities with respect to the age of the individual and cultural expectations.
Adapted Physical Education (APE): Special movement education and motor development designed to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability.
Area of Exceptionalities: According to Illinois Administrative Code; Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Health Impairment, Speech and/or Language Impairment, Specific Learning Disabilities, Behavior Disorder, Mental Impairment, Multiple Impairment, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Developmental Delay.
Assistive Technology (AT): Any item that a child needs to increase, maintain or improve how the child does in school. AT includes low-tech and high-tech items, from a calculator to a computer. AT also can mean services a child needs to help in choosing, getting, or using the item.
Assistive Technology Device: Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.Accommodations:Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The terms includes:
- The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
- Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
- Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and program;
- Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate that child’s family;
Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services; employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): A disturbance in which the predominant feature is the persistence of developmentally inappropriate and marked inattention that is not a symptom of another disorder. To accurately diagnose ADD/ADHD a comprehensive evaluation is necessary by the school in association with a pediatrician or child psychiatrist. There are many other conditions with similar symptoms of inattention and impulsiveness such as depression, anxiety, boredom, certain learning disabilities, inappropriate learning environments to name a few. Characteristic include:
- Often has difficulty following through on instructions
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention.
- Often seems not to listen.
- Often loses things necessary for tasks
- Often fails to give close attention to details
- Often is disorganized
- Often make careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Often forgetful
- Often daydreams when should be attending
- Often unmotivated to complete schoolwork or tasks.
Attention Deficit With Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A disorder with the essential feature of developmentally inappropriate degrees of attention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Disturbances in each of these areas, but to varying degrees, are displayed.
Autism: A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environment change or change in daily routines, and unusual response to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance. Autism is the broad-spectrum name for the many complex communication/social/behavioral/language disorders. There are no psychological tests to determine autism or its many subgroups and related, but distinct disorders. However, there are checklists that can identify the prevalence of autistic characteristics fairly reliably. Diagnosis is made when a person displays a number of category.
Baseline Performance: To measure baseline performance, a point in time is selected from which one can monitor changes or improvement in student performance.
Behavior Disorders (BD): Behavior Disorder is the broad category name of several disorders that concern interpersonal relations and learning. Students with behavior disorders demonstrate significantly different behaviors relative to their peers that adversely effect their social relationships and learning. Considerations for evaluation include the intensity (how much), duration (how long), and context (when the behavior happens) of the deviate (different from expected or typical) behavior. These are not necessarily lifelong behaviors. The three major types of behavior disorders are “externalizers” (aggressive, disruptive, acting out), “internalizers” (withdrawn, anxious, depressed) and mixed deficits.
Personality Disorders – Characterized by withdrawal, anxiety, and/or physical complaints. These students isolate themselves from peers, overreact to social situations with fear and/or tears, are hypersensitive to correction, worried about situations that do not exist or are not likely to occur, and/or constantly reporting they feel ill when they are not.
Immaturity – Characterized by passivity, poor coping skill and preference for younger playmates and/or activities.
Socialized Delinquency – Characterized by involvement in gang activity/culture.
ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) – Characterized by aggressiveness and a tendency to intentionally annoy, bother and irritate others. Thought to be a mild form of Conduct Disorder.
Conduct Disorder – Characterized by often initiating aggressive, threatening, intimidating and/or bullying behaviors. They generally project an image of toughness. Self-esteem is typically low. Students may be callous and have little concern about others’ well being, feelings or wishes.
There are four main groups of behaviors:
Aggressive Conduct – Threatening or harming people or animals. (Includes physical fights, physical cruelty, mugging, forced sexual behavior.)
Property Loss or Damage – Includes deliberate setting fires, smashing windows, school vandalism.
Deceitfulness or Theft – Includes breaking and entering a car, building or house, frequent lying, conning others, shoplifting or taking personal property.
Serious Rule Violations – Includes running away, school truancy.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP): Also called a "behavioral intervention plan." The IEP Team makes a plan to help prevent problem behaviors. The plan helps a child learn new appropriate behaviors. A positive behavior plan is not a list of punishments.
Case Study: A series of in-depth multidisciplinary diagnostic procedures, conducted within an established time frame and signed to provide information about the child, the nature of the problems which are affecting his/her educational development, and the type of intervention and assistance needed to alleviate these problems.
Collaboration: A style of direct interaction between at least two equal parties engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal.
Communication Disability (CD): This refers to a disability that results in difficulty understanding language or using language to the extent that it interferes with learning despite average cognitive ability.
Community Based Training: Instructional that takes place in the natural environment in which the skill taught will be expected to be performed.
Consent: The parent tells the school in writing that the parent understands and agrees to what the school plans to do. The consent form says the parent understands consent is voluntary and the parent can take it back at any time. You can revoke the consent, but it does not cancel what the LEA has already done.
Consultation: A process in which one professional perceives a problem and seeks assistance from another professional in order to systematically describe the problem, generate alternative solutions for it, implement an intervention, and evaluate the success of the intervention.
Continuum of Alternative Placements: The availability of different types of educational environments, for example: regular classes, resource room classes, self-contained classes, day and residential special schools, home instruction, hospital instruction, and other settings.
Districtwide Assessment: A large-scale academic achievement assessment.
Evaluation: Measures to decide if your child qualifies for special education. It is also measures to decide the kind and amount of services your child needs. The measures may be testing, observing, or talking to people who work with the child.
Evaluation Report: The IEP team gathers all evaluation information about your child. They work together to write a final report about the evaluation. The report includes whether your child qualifies for special education.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): FAS is a lifelong disability caused by the substantial use of alcohol during pregnancy (leading cause of mental retardation). Children with FAS are characterized by the following: Poor ability to adapt to demands of surroundings.
Lack skills to make logical decisions.
Distractibility/difficulty with concentration.
Anger outbursts, temper tantrums.
Difficulty with memory.
Weak predictive ability/poor judgment.
Inability to provide self-containment or self-regulation.
Outgoing, socially engaging, but immature.
Unaware of social cues or conventions.
Poor impulse control.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Special education and related services which are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, without cost and meets the standards of the Illinois State Board of Education.
Functional Behavioral Assessment: The IEP Team finds out what makes the child keep doing problem behaviors to help the child learn how to behave differently.
General Curriculum: The curriculum children without disabilities learn in the general education classroom.
Goal: A statement that describes what a child with a disability can reasonably be expected to accomplish within a twelve-month period in the child’s special education program. There should be a direct relationship between the goals and the present levels of educational performance.
Hearing Impaired (HI): This generally refers to a student who has a hearing loss that interferes with the ability to understand or use language and that affects learning in school.
Home-based Schooling: Parents choose to teach their child at home, instead of sending their child to school to learn basic subjects.
Homebound Schooling: When the child's IEP Team decides it is appropriate, the school teaches a child at home. The IEP Team's decision must be based on the child's needs.
Inclusion: A philosophy that fosters and values special needs students attending neighborhood schools and becoming members of general education classes. It is a belief that all children have the same needs for acceptance, friendship, and connectedness and that these needs should be addressed in an age-appropriate general education environment. It is expected that with supports or adaptations that student will actively participate in the modified curriculum activities satisfactorily. The factors of inclusion are home base is the general education classroom. The inclusion philosophy is based on the concept from IDEA that students with disabilities are legally eligible to a free and public education in the lease restrictive environment. Inclusion means every individual feels safe, accepted, and valued and is offered opportunities to develop their intellectual capacities.
District 79 practices responsible “inclusion”. Responsible inclusion means that a student will be placed in the regular educational environment if the student can be successful with or without supplemental aides and services, and the student will benefit academically and/or socially. Inclusive support involves the careful assessment of the needs of each student. The scope of inclusive support is broader than the regular class because appropriate support may be found outside the regular classroom. Inclusive practices help to develop patience, acceptance, diversity, and compassion within the entire school community. The components of inclusive support are:
The student is considered a member of the regular education classroom
A special education teacher is assigned as a case manager
The team, made up of support service staff and the regular education teacher, works together to support the student
The team meets on a regular basis to address academic and social needs and modification and adaptations are provided.
Independent Evaluation: An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): Every student with an identified disability that requires an individually designed education must have an IEP. The IEP is a tool. It does not guarantee results. As a process, the IEP assists in communication, accountability, and conflict resolution. A student’s IEP is a document that provides guidelines for instruction that is developed by a team of people, including, but not limited to: parents, guardians, special and general education teachers, counselors, administrators, school psychologists, social workers, District representatives, and any other advocate for the individual. The IEP Team meets annually on or before the anniversary date that the original plan was implemented. The designated Case Manager is responsible for notifying the team about meetings for annual review, 3-year evaluations, possible needs/changes, etc. The requirement is to give parents and other team members at least 10 days notice of meetings. Case Managers should remember to include sending timely invitations to the District of the student who is not a resident of the District the student is attending. A written statement for an exceptional child that provides at least a statement of: the child’s present levels of educational performance; annual goals and short-term instructional objectives; specific special educational and related services; the extent of participation in the regular education program; the projected dates for initiation of services; anticipated duration of services; appropriate objective criteria and evaluation procedures; and a schedule for annual determination of short-term objective.
Instructional Strategies: Those strategies that are used to allow a student to maximize his/her learning.
Integration: Students have opportunities to participate in the social aspects of the public school environment with supports and adaptations as needed. Some of these are lunch, recess, field trips, and assemblies. The components of integration are: The student is considered a member of an age-appropriate class and a special education class.
The student is supported with specialized services for more than 60% of the school day.
The student attends the activities, as appropriate, based on social needs and abilities.
Language Use Pattern: The language or combination of languages which the child uses to conceptualize and communicate.
Learning Disability (LD): Learning Disability is the broad name for different disabilities that interfere with a student’s processing. Students who are diagnosed with a learning disability must have average or above average IQs and due to a processing disorder there is a significant discrepancy between ability and achievement in one of the following areas of achievement: Basic reading
LEA Representative: A person on the IEP Team who can commit the school's resources so that the child receives the IEP services. An LEA representative must take part in IEP meetings.
Least Restrictive Environment: Each agency ensures that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment occurs only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and devices cannot be achieved.
Mainstreaming: A philosophy that foster and values special education student experiences in one or more general education classes, expected that with supports or adaptations the student will actively participate in the standard curriculum activities satisfactorily. In District 79 special education students are mainstreamed in one or more general education classes expecting that with supports or adaptations the student will actively participate in the standard curriculum activities satisfactorily. The components of mainstreaming are:
The student is considered a member of both the regular and special education classroom
The student is supported with special education services for 60% or more of the school day
The student attends general education classes, as appropriate, based on academic and social abilities.
Manifestation Determination: Manifestation determination refers to the overall process used to describe the relationship between the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of the student and the behavior of the student. A manifestation determination must be made in order to substantiate whether:
In relationship to the behavior subject to disciplinary action, the student’s IEP and placement were appropriate and the special education services, supplementary aids, and services, and behavior intervention strategies were provided consistent with the student’s IEP and placement.
The student’s disability did not impair the ability of the student to understand the impact and consequences of the behavior subject to disciplinary action.
The student’s disability did not impair the ability of the student to control the behavior subject to disciplinary action.
Mental Impairment (MI): This is a broad category used to describe disabilities of students with below average IQs. Students are usually identified by the severity of the disability. Students must not only have to have significantly below average IQs, but must also have significantly below average achievement and adaptive functioning.
Modifications: Are changes made to the content and performance expectations for students.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): This disorder is characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions that cause marked distress, are time consuming (more than one hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): ODD is a disorder that is characterized by aggressive, hostile and defiant behavior with a tendency to often intentionally annoy, bother and irritate others. ODD significantly interferes with academics, relationships, and occupations. ODD is known as a comorbid disorder because it most always is present with other disorders such as ADD or depression/anxiety. ODD seems to be a milder form of Conduct Disorder. Children with ODD seem to have poorer social skills, better academic skills and are annoying but not especially dangerous. The behaviors are almost always observed at home, but may not be evident in the community or school setting. Children with ODD often lose their temper, argue with adults, actively defy or refuse to comply with adult requests or rules, deliberately annoy people, blames others for his mistakes or misbehaviors, touchy or easily annoyed by others, and spiteful and vindictive.
Occupational Therapy (OT): Occupational Therapy is a treatment provided by an occupational therapist that helps the student with the development of physical skills that are necessary in daily living. Therapy generally focuses on sensory integration, balance, coordination of movement, and on fine motor and self-help skills (dressing, eating with a fork and spoon, etc.). Occupational Therapy is given when assessment shows that motor and perceptual difficulties interfere with classroom performance and are related to the disability.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD): Pervasive Developmental Disorder is a broad category term used for communication disorders such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and related disorders.
Physical Therapy (PT): Physical Therapy (PT) is a treatment of physical disabilities given by a trained physical therapist under doctor’s orders that includes the use of massage and exercise to remediate mobility/gait, to modify strength, balance, tone, and posture. This type of therapy is to help the person improve the use of bones, muscles, joints, and nerves. PT is generally given when assessment shows a significant difference between gross motor performance and other educational skills.
Placement: The child's IEP, the setting (regular class, resource room, self-contained class), and the school building the child attends.
Positive Behavior Plan: Also called a "behavioral intervention plan." The IEP Team makes a plan to help prevent problem behaviors. The plan helps a child learn new appropriate behaviors. A positive behavior plan is not a list of punishments.
Present Levels of Educational Performance: The descriptions of current functioning levels includes strengths and needs as determined by ongoing assessment in the areas of academic, motor, vocational, social/emotional, independent functioning and speech/language communications. This is part of the student’s IEP and contains the student’s most current academic, behavioral, and transitional levels. The information should be measurable and directly related to the goal areas and areas of need, address the student’s strengths and successful interventions. The Present Level of Education Performance contains current specific, measurable, objective baseline information for each area of need affected by the disability. In addition, it links the evaluation results, the expectations of the general curriculum, and the goals for the student. For preschool children, the PLOP describes how the disability affects the child’s participation in age appropriate activities. The PLOP also addresses the student’s transition needs in the areas of instruction, employment and post-school adult living, community services, and related services.
Psychological Evaluation: An individual evaluation of the child’s functioning in the cognitive, psychomotor, social/emotional, and academic achievement or aptitude areas using appropriately validated formal and informal test and evaluation materials.
Reevaluation: A series of diagnostic procedures which are performed to determine continuing eligibility for special education.
Referral: A formal procedure, established by the local school district, by which a case study initial and re-evaluating may be requested.
Regression: The loss during a scheduled break in instruction of one or more learned skills which have been specified in the short-term objectives of the child’s IEP.
Regular Education Initiative (REI): A concept which focuses on encouraging special education and regular curriculum personnel to work together to provide the best education possible for all students.
Related Services: Services a child may need to benefit from special education. They are included in the IEP.
Resident District (student): The resident district is the school district in which the student resides when: (1) the parent has legal guardianship but the location of the parent in unknown; or (2) an individual guardian has been appointed but the location of the guardian is unknown; or (3) the student is 18 years of age or older, and no legal guardian has been appointed; or (4) the student is legally an emancipated minor; or (5) an Illinois public agency has legal guardianship and has placed the student residentially outside of the school district in which the parent lives. In cases where and Illinois public agency has legal guardianship and has placed the student residentially outside of Illinois, the last school district of student residence until the student is no longer under guardianship of Illinois public agency or until the student is returned to Illinois. The resident district of a homeless student is the Illinois district in which the student enrolls for educational services.
Resource Programs: Specialized educational instructional services which are provided to the child for less than 60% of his/her school day.
Screening: The process of reviewing all children in a given group with a set of criteria for the purpose of identifying certain individuals for evaluations who may be in need of special education.
Social Developmental Study (SDS): A compilation and analysis of information concerning those life experiences of the child, both past and present, which pertain to the child’s problems and/or to the possible alleviation of those problems.
Special Education: Those instructional and resource programs and related services, unique materials, physical plant adjustment described in Article 14 of The School Code which, meet the unique needs of exceptional children, modify, supplement, support, or are in the place of the standard education program of the public schools. The specially designed instruction is at no cost to parents.
Special Education Placement: The provision of specified public special education services, including and limited to a special education instructional program, resource program, special education related services, speech and language services, homebound services, hospital services, referral to nonpublic program or a state operated facility.
Special Transportation: Those transportation services which are required because of the child’s exceptional characteristics or the location of the special education program or related services, and which are in addition to the regular transportation services provided by the local school district.
Speech/Language Pathology: Speech/Language Pathology is a planned program to improve and/or correct communication problems under the direction of a Speech Pathologist. Speech Therapy may be a related service noted on the IEP for students who need help in learning to speak and use language effectively.
Summary Report: Each IEP Team participant who evaluated your child writes a report telling about evaluation results that will help with program planning.
Technical Assistance:The expert assistance provided by certified supervisors/coordinators or special education to regular and special education teachers in the areas of programming for students with specific, categorical disabilities.
Transition: Transition is the term for preparing a child for life after graduation. Transition planning is a required part of every child's IEP starting at age 14. Transition planning is also required for every child moving from Birth to Three Programs to early Childhood. Sometimes transition planning happens when a child moves from one grade to the next, or one school to the next. Transition can also mean moving from one class to the next class in school.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability or psycho/social impairment or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma. TBI can happen from a variety of causes. The most common cause is a direct blow to the head of the injured person. However, a brain injury can occur even without a blow to the head – the brain can be injured by colliding with the inside of the skull. The brain can “ricochet” inside the skull as the result of an accident, resulting in injury even with little or no direct force to the outside of the head.
Physical Symptoms – Symptoms can affect strength, endurance, balance and ability to walk, coordination, and fine motor skills. Symptoms can also include tinnitus, visual blurring or double vision. An injured person may also suffer severe headaches or seizures as a result of TBI.
Psychological Effects – A broad variety of psychological effect can result from a brain injury, including change of personality, loss of impulse control, decreased judgment and depression. Depression may result from the brain injury itself, or as a reaction to the personality changes, loss of capacity, headaches, or other symptoms resulting from the injury.
Mental Functioning – Cognitive symptoms can include speech and communication difficulties, memory loss, problems processing information, disorientation, frustration, anger, and loss of perceptual skills.
Visually Impaired (VI): Visually Impaired is the name for a person with a disability who has a vision loss affecting the ability to learn in school. The child’s visual impairment must interfere with his or her education and require special services.
Vocational Education: An organized educational program that is directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment, or for additional preparation for a career requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.