A Quick List of Special Education Terms
As you advocate for child, you may feel that everyone has started speaking in a foreign language during meetings. We have put together a quick reference list in the hopes that it may bring more understanding and clarity.
After all, knowledge is power.
Accommodations – Changes in how test is administered that do not substantially alter what the test measures; includes changes in presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing. Appropriate accommodations are made to level the playing field, i.e., to provide equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge.
Achievement test – Test that measures competency in a particular area of knowledge or skill; measures mastery or acquisition of skills.
Alternative assessment – Usually means an alternative to a paper and pencil test; refers to non-conventional methods of assessing achievement (e.g., work samples and portfolios).
Assessment – The process of testing and measuring skills and abilities. Assessments include aptitude tests, achievement tests, and screening tests.
Assistive technology device – Equipment used to maintain or improve the capabilities of a child with a disability.
AYP – Academic yearly Progress. Refers to annual improvement that states, school districts and schools must make each year, as measured by academic assessment, so that all public elementary and secondary schools have the same high academic standards.
IEP – Individualized Educational Plan.
Mainstreaming – Practice of placing special needs children in regular classrooms for at least a part of the children’s educational program. See also least restrictive environment and inclusion.
Modifications – Substantial changes in what the student is expected to demonstrate; includes changes in instructional level, content, and performance criteria, may include changes in test form or format; includes alternate assessments
Progress monitoring – A scientifically based practice used to assess students’ academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction; can be implemented with individual students or an entire class.
Remediation – Process by which an individual receives instruction and practice in skills that are weak or nonexistent in an effort to develop/strengthen these skills.
Transition Services – IEP requirement; designed to facilitate movement from school to the workplace or to higher education.