Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of SPED

Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of SPED

The SPED world runs on acronyms and abbreviations which can be VERY confusing. Everywhere you turn someone is talking about scheduling an ARD to ensure FAPE (what IS that?!) because an IEP (come again?!) needs to be updated and an FIE is about to expire…. What does that mean?! Don’t worry! We can help you decipher the special education code! Here are some helpful acronyms:

 

Acronym What it stands for What it means
RtI Response to Intervention Approach that many schools use for identifying and helping children who are at risk for not meeting grade-level standards. The basic elements of an RtI approach are: the provision of scientific, research-based instruction and interventions in the general education classroom; monitoring and measurement of the child’s progress in response to the interventions; and use of these measures of progress to make educational decisions.
FIE Full and Individual Evaluation FIE is the term used to refer to the completed evaluation that is used to help determine eligibility for special education services
IEP Individualized Education Plan The document that is created at an ARD which outlines a student’s strengths, areas of need and accommodations/modifications, goals to address areas of need, information about the student’s participation on state assessments, and transition services or graduation requirements (if age appropriate)
SLP Speech-Language Pathologist Assessment personnel who can complete evaluations in the area of speech and language to help determine if a student meets special education eligibility criteria
LSSP Licensed Specialist in School Psychology Assessment personnel who can complete evaluations to help determine if a student meets special education eligibility criteria. Evaluations can include suspicions of a Specific Learning Disability, Emotional Disturbance, Autism, Other Health Impairment, Intellectual Disability and/or NonCategorical Early Childhood disorder
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education Educational right of children with disabilities that emphasizes the specialized instruction required to meet their needs
ARD Admission, Review, and Dismissal Meetings held to review evaluations, determine eligibility for special education services, and propose major decisions (i.e. addressing state assessment, goals, accommodations/modifications, etc.) about a student’s special education program
ARDC Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee Members of the ARD, including:

-you, the parent or guardian

-at least one general education teacher -at least one special education teacher

-a representative of the school (typically an administrator)

– an assessment person who can interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation results (i.e an LSSP or an SLP)

-other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child and are invited by either you or the school (i.e. an Occupational Therapist or Behavioral Specialist)

-whenever appropriate, the child

-to the extent appropriate, with your written consent or with the written consent of the adult student, a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services

-a representative from career and technical education, preferably the teacher, if the child is being considered for initial or continued placement in career or technical education

-a professional staff member who is on the language proficiency assessment committee, if the student is identified as an ELL

-a certified teacher of the auditorily impaired, if the student has an auditory impairment

-a certified teacher of the visually impaired, if the student has a visual impairment

LRE Least Restrictive Environment Assurance to parents that to the maximum extent possible, a student with an identified disability is educated with students who are non-disabled.
The ARDC strives to keep students in their LRE while still providing the services appropriate and necessary for the student to make academic progress
PWN Prior Written Notice Essentially a summary of the decisions proposed in the IEP. Prior to any final decisions made in an ARD, the ARDC reviews the PWN which outlines certain actions concerning your child before the school actually takes the action. The PWN contains a description of the actions the school proposes or refuses to take; an explanation of why the school is proposing or refusing the action; a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the school used in deciding to propose or refuse the action
AT Assistive Technology Devices or materials that can help a student make reasonable progress towards mastery of IEP goals. Supports can be high tech (i.e devices which can speak for nonverbal students) or low tech (i.e visuals, graphic organizers, or calculators)
ESY Extended School Year A service that is considered at every Annual ARD; it is typically offered if a student comes back after a long break (i.e as Spring Break, Winter Break, or Summer Break) and exhibits regression on skills that is not able to be recouped within 6 weeks of returning to school
PLAAFP Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance The basis of the IEP. It specifies a student’s strengths and areas of need in the following areas: Reading, Math, Behavior, Speech/Related Services, Written Expression, Functional, and Other
IA Instructional Arrangement Each local school district is able to provide services with special education personnel to students with a disability during the regular school day for a defined period of time determined appropriate by the ARD committee. The instructional arrangements may vary from Mainstream (Special Education services and supports delivered in the regular education classroom), to Self-Contained (Special Education services and supports delivered in special education setting for 50% of more of the regular school day)
LEP or ELL Limited English Proficiency or English Language Learner Both terms used to refer to students who are in the process of acquiring the English language
TELPAS Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System Evaluations used to assess the progress that LEP/ELL students make in learning the English language.
REED Review of Existing Evaluation Data A REED occurs when the ARDC reviews any relevant evaluation information to determine- as a committee- whether an additional evaluation is needed or if the previous FIE still adequately represents the student’s functioning. A REED can be conducted at any time, but is typically conducted before the 3 year expiration date of the current FIE.
FBA Functional Behavior Assessment Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is a variation on procedures originally developed to ascertain the purpose or reason for behaviors displayed by individuals with disabilities. Functional behavioral assessment is generally considered to be a problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP teams select interventions to directly address the problem behavior.
BIP Behavior Intervention Plan A behavior intervention plan (BIP) is a plan that’s based on the FBA. A BIP can help to replace problem behaviors with more positive ones. The BIP should list the problem behavior, the reasons the behavior occurs and the intervention strategies that will address the problem behavior.
MDR Manifestation Determination Review This is a meeting for the ARD committee to undergo a process to review all relevant information and the relationship between the child’s disability and the behavior. Consequences for problem behaviors should not discriminate against a child based on his disability.
ECI Early Childhood Interventions Program that provides assistance to infants and toddlers with disabilities (such as developmental delays) and their families through early intervention services
PPCD Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities Programs available for students starting at age 3 who have an identified disability. Programs can be offered in a variety of settings based on the student’s needs and should include the opportunity for students to be educated with typically developing peers

 

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