Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Alphabet Soup" of Special Education

Special educators love to use acronyms. I don't really know why. Perhaps it's because we spend so much time doing paperwork that if we actually used words throughout the paperwork, it would take us twice as long.....just kidding! :-) But the fact remains: If you want to sit at the table and know what the rest of the people at the table are talking about, then you need to have an understanding of the acronyms that will be tossed around the table. Here are some of the most frequently used in my district in Florida:

If you are one of my SCF students, pay close attention to the acronyms that are bolded.

Legal Acronyms:

FAPE = (pronounced with a long /a/) Free and Appropriate Public Education

PL-94-142 = (as in Public Law 94-142) the first law in the 1970's that guaranteed FAPE for students with disabilities

IDEA = (pronounced just like it looks "idea") Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; sometimes also referred to as the "reauthorization of IDEA" (because it has gone through and been approved by congress more than once)

IEP = Individual Education Plan (every child enrolled in special education services has an IEP)

LRE = Least Restrictive Environment

Disability Acronyms:

LD = Learning Disability

SLD = Specific Learning Disability

ASD = Autism Spectrum Disorder

EBD = Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

EH = Emotionally Handicapped (older acronym for EBD, no longer used in my district)

InD = Intellectual Disability

DD = Developmental Delay

LI = Language Impairment

SI = Speech Impairment

S/LI = Speech/Language Impairment

OHI = Other Health Impaired

VI = Visually Impaired

PI = Physically Impaired

OT = Occupational Therapy

PT = Physical Therapy

VE = Varying Exceptionalities (This is the exception! VE refers to a program that services students with many different types of disabilities. VE does not refer to the disability that a child has.)


Jeannette Van Houten, M.Ed, ATP said...

Hello! You forgot:

NCLB = No Child Left Behind
AT = Assistive Technology

Michelle_special_ed_teacher said...

How could I forget No Child Left Behind? Especially in the middle of our testing window? Thanks for reminding me!