California Special Education Law

Advocacy Resources, Hearing & Appeal Decisions, Statistics and More for Parents

Glossary of Special Education Terms and Acronyms

504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ALJ Administrative Law Judge

Assistive Technology Device

Equipment used to maintain or improve the capabilities of a child with a disability

BD

Behavior Disordered

Behavior Plan

Plan of positive behavioral interventions that is part of an IEP for a child whose behaviors interfere with his/her learning or that of others

BIP

Behavior Intervention Plan

Case Law

Judicial opinions issued by a court

CDE

California Department of Education

DIS

Designated Instruction and Services

Disability

Under the ADA, an impairment that substantially affects one or more major life activities, record of having such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment

Discovery

Pre-trial process by which parties to a lawsuit exchange information with the other party

Due Process Hearing

Administrative hearing before an impartial hearing officer

Early Intervention

Special education and related services pursuant to the IDEA provided to children under the age of 5 years

ED

Emotionally Disturbed

EI

Early Intervention

ESY

Extended School Year

Expert Witness

Person called as a witness to testify because he/she has a recognized competence and expertise in a subject area

FAPE

Free Appropriate Public Education

FBA

Functional Behavior Assessment: process of identifying factors associated with the occurrence (and non-occurrence) of specific behaviors

FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA deals with confidentiality and access to student records

IDEA

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEP

Individualized Education Program

Inclusion

Educating children with special needs in regular education classrooms in their neighborhood schools

IQ

Intelligence quotient. An IQ score is an artificial number that is used to indicate levels of mental development

LD

Learning Disabled

LEA

Local Education Agency

LRE

Least Restrictive Environment

Least Restrictive Environment

Concept of educating children with disabilities in an educational environment that exposes the child to children without disabilities to the maximum extent possible

Mainstreaming

Placing children with disabilities in regular education classrooms to the maximum extent possible

MDE

Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation

MR

Mentally Retarded

NCLB

No Child Left Behind

NPA

Non Public Agency

NPS

Non Public School

OAH

Office of Administrative Hearings

Occupational Therapy

Therapy to remediate motor skills

OHI

Other Health Impaired: a category of eligibility pursuant to the IDEA

OT

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Therapy to remediate gross motor skills

PT

Physical Therapy

Reasonable Accommodation

Adoption of a facility or program for a child with a disability that can be accomplished without undue administrative or financial burden

Related Services

Services provided pursuant to the IDEA to supplement special education, such as counseling services, occupational therapy, and physical therapy

Resource Room

Special education placement that is provided in conjunction with or as a supplement to a child’s regular education program

Section 504

Part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that provides that program recipients of federal financial assistance may not discriminate on the basis of a child’s disability

SED

Seriously Emotionally Disturbed

SEHO

Special Education Hearing Office

Specially Designed Instruction

Modification or changes to the general curriculum instruction necessary to implement the goals, benchmarks, and objectives of a child’s IEP

Special Education

Educational programs and placements provided pursuant to the IDEA

Transition Services

A component of the IDEA to facilitate movement from school to the workplace or high education