Frequently Used Education Acronyms/Terms in Special Education

The following is a list of commonly used in special education and other areas related to individuals with disabilities. You may find some of these in the IDEA ’97 regulations, in meetings with school staff, and in the formal paperwork that describes your child’s evaluation, eligibility, and educational program. Knowing what these terms mean can help you become more fully informed and a more effective partner in making decisions for and with your child.

Acronym    Term
AAC Alternative Augmentative Communication
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD/ADHD Attention Deficit/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADLs Activities of Daily Living
APE Adaptive Physical Education
ARD Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee
ASL  American Sign Language
AT Assistive Technology
CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CF Cystic Fibrosis
CP Cerebral Palsy
DB Deaf-Blind
DS Down Syndrome
ED Emotional Disturbance
ESL English as a Second Language
ESY or EYS Extended School Year or Extended Year Services
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education
FBA Functional Behavioral Assessment
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
GE General Education
HI Hearing Impaired
IA Instructional Assistant
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE Individualized Educational Evaluation
IEP Individualized Education Program
IFSP Individualized Family Service Plan
LD Learning Disability
LEP Limited English Proficiency
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
OHI  Other Health Impairment
OT Occupational Therapy
PT Physical Therapy
RS Related Services
Section 504 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
SLD  Specific Learning Disability
S/L I Speech/Language Impairment
S/L P Speech/Language Pathologist
SSDI Social Security Disability Income
SSI Supplemental Security Income
TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
VI Visual Impairment
VAC Vocational Education