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Introduction to Special Education

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Key Terminology Families Should Be Familiar With

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Lecture Notes

Once your child is eligible for ESE services, you will begin to hear words and jargon that are specific to your child's services and educational plan. It is important for you to become familiar with key terminology that will directly impact your child's education.


These terms are as follows:

IDEA - Individual with Disabilities Act = this refers to the body of law that governs special education services.


IEP - Individualized Education Plan = this is the plan that is developed based on your child's needs. The IEP plan outlines what supports he/she needs in order to be successful.


FAPE -Free and Appropriate Education = all public schools are mandated to provide children with disabilities a free and appropriate public education.

LRE - Least Restrictive Environment = this means that students are to be educated in the least restrictive educational environment with their non-disabled peers, to the maximum extent possible.


FBA- Functional Behavior Assessment = an FBA is a process in which the schools collect data on your child's behavior through observations, interviews and other relevant information.


BIP - Behavior Intervention Plan = Once appropriate data is collected regarding a student's behavior, the IEP team uses this information/data to develop a behavior intervention plan that consists of positive reinforcements and teaching appropriate behaviors.


PBS- Positive Behavior Support = PBS is based on understanding why problem behaviors occur - the behavior's function. PBS is the application of evidence-based strategies and systems to assist schools to increase academic performance, increase safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish positive school cultures.