Resources for Families

Acceleration:
Moving through schoolwork faster or earlier than usual.
ADD:
Attention deficit disorder is a medical condition characterized by a child’s inability to focus, while displaying impulsivity, fidgeting, and inattention.
Accommodations:
Changes that allow a person with a disability to participate fully in an activity. Examples include extended time, different test format, and alterations to a classroom.
Adapted Physical Education (APE):
Specially designed physical education program, using accommodations designed to fit the needs of students who require developmental or corrective instruction.
Annual Review:
An evaluation, conducted at least one time per year, for each child with an exceptionality for the purposes of recommending the continuation, modification, or termination of the special education program.
Assessment:
Evaluation procedures used to identify a child’s needs and the family’s concerns and priorities about their child’s development.
Assistive Technology Devices and Services:
Equipment and services that are approved to be used to improve or maintain the abilities of a child to function including such activities as playing, communicating, or eating.
Audiologist:
Person trained to diagnose hearing impairments and provide help for children with hearing impairments including determining the need for, selecting, and fitting of a hearing aid.
Autism:
A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP):
Special education term used to describe the written plan used to address problem behavior that includes positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and support. This may include program modifications and supplementary aids and services.
Career and Technical Education Programs (CTE):
Education programs which are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment or additional preparation for a career.
Cognitive:
A term that describes the process used for remembering, reasoning, understanding, and making decisions.
Consent:
The written approval parents give to have their child evaluated and/or receive services. Consent is always voluntary, and a parent may revoke it at any time.
Continuum of Placement Options:
When considering the appropriate educational placement (Least Restrictive Environment) for a student with disabilities, there is a spectrum of placements where a student’s special education program can be implemented. The least restrictive placement is considered the general education classroom. The most restrictive placement is in a hospital or institution. Supports, supplementary aids, and services can be incorporated as a part of any placement within the continuum. See the WVDE Hand in Hand for more information.)
Co-Teaching:
(Also referred to as Collaborative Teaching) When a general education teacher and a special education teacher work together to teach in the same classroom at the same time. They both are fully responsible for every student in the classroom. Both students with and without disabilities are in the co-taught class together.
Cumulative File:
The records maintained by the local school district for any child enrolled in school. The file may contain evaluations and information about a child’s exceptionality and placement. It also contains grades and the results of standardized assessments. Parents have the right to inspect these files at any time.
Deaf-Blindness:
Concomitant (simultaneous) hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
Deafness:
A hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Developmental Delay: For children from birth to age 3 (under IDEA Part C) and children from ages 3 through 5 (under IDEA Part B), the term developmental delay, means a delay in one or more of the following areas:
physical development, cognitive development, communication, social or emotional development, or adaptive [behavioral] development.
Developmental History:
Steps or stages of a child’s growth in such skills as sitting, walking, and talking. This information is gathered as part of the social history requirements.
Due Process:
A system that guarantees each individual equal protection and treatment under the law by affording notice and consent requirements and other safeguards.
Emotional Disturbance:

A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
  • A display of inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
  • The term includes schizophrenia.
Extended School Year (ESY):
An education program over 180 school days per year, provided if a child has the potential to regress significantly during the summer months.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE):
A legal guarantee that no child can be denied a public education because of a disability; that education must be the appropriate instruction to meet the child’s needs.
Historically Under-Represented Gifted:
Those children whose giftedness may not be apparent due to low socioeconomic status, a disability in accordance with Policy 2419, or a background that is linguistically or culturally different.
Impartial Hearing:
A formal process at which a family’s complaints can be heard by an impartial hearing officer who will resolve the dispute or complaint regarding the child’s evaluation, IEP, or certain other issues.
Inclusion:
The process in schools where students with disabilities have opportunities to learn alongside their nondisabled peers in the general classroom.
Intellectual Disability:
Significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently (at the same time) with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Until October 2010, the law used the term “mental retardation.” In October 2010, Rosa’s Law was signed into law by President Obama, which changed the name of the term to “intellectual disability.”
Individualized Education Program (IEP):
A written plan developed by the IEP Team which specifies the appropriate level of special education programs and services to be provided to meet the unique educational needs of a student with an exceptionality.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE):
The classroom setting that gives the child with exceptionalities as much contact as possible with typically developing peers while meeting the child’s learning needs. Placement of students with exceptionalities in special classes or other removal from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that even with the use of supplementary aids and services, education cannot be satisfactorily achieved.
Mediation:
A method for solving a problem that uses persons trained in helping people resolve their own problems. In mediation, the school district and parent work toward an agreement with which both parties are satisfied.
Multidisciplinary Evaluation:
A series of procedures to determine a child’s abilities. Conducted by a team of trained teachers and specialists, the evaluation determines the child’s strengths, weaknesses, and educational needs.
Observation:
A careful look at the child in school or home to note how the child works and plays in different situations, at different times during the day, and in different activities. The purpose of observation is to learn more about the child.
Occupational Therapist (OT):
Person trained to build the skills needed in daily living, such as feeding, dressing, play, and fine and gross motor skills.
Orthopedic Impairment:
A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g. cerebral palsy, amputations and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Other Health Impairment:

Having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that:

  • Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome and
  • Adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Parental Consent:
Permission given voluntarily by parents or person with parental educational rights which may be revoked (taken back by the parent) at any time.
Parent Support Group:
Discussion and information-sharing meetings for parents of children with exceptionalities.
Physical Therapist (PT):
Person trained to develop a child’s strength, endurance, and movement patterns so the child may become as independent as possible.
Placement:
The setting in which the child receives special education and related services.
Related Services:

Services required to assist an exceptional child to benefit from special education. These may include:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Transportation to and from school
  • Counseling for child and/or family
  • Recreation or special physical education
  • School health services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech/language therapy
  • Others
Reevaluation:
A reassessment of the child’s ability and achievement within a three-year period.
School Psychologist:
Person trained to do psycho-educational evaluations of children (i.e., intelligence testing, visual- motor assessments, social-emotional assessment, etc.) and to assist parents and teachers in providing help for students.
Section 504 Accommodation Plan:
An educational plan or modifications for a student suspected of a disability that may not require special education services. Section 504 Plans may be put in place for a temporary debilitating condition. Examples might be a broken limb or temporary physical needs due to recovery from surgery.
Special Education Teacher:
Person trained to provide instruction to meet the special learning needs of an exceptional child; special education teachers are qualified (certified) to teach in certain areas of exceptionality (e.g., specific learning disabilities, hard of hearing, intellectual disabilities, etc.)
Specific Learning Disability:
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of intellectual disability, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Speech/Language Pathologist (Speech Therapist):
Person trained to diagnose speech and language problems and provide help for children in improving speech and language skills.
Standards:
Standards are general statements of what students should know or be able to do because of their public-school education. Standards refer to what teachers teach in the classroom, the subject matter, the skills and knowledge, and the applications. They specify that “by the time students reach a particular grade, we expect them to be able to do [these specific things] and demonstrate that they can [use this specific information or knowledge].”
Transition Services:
Activities that prepare a student to become employable and prepared for independent living.
Traumatic Brain Injury:
Means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Visual Impairment Including Blindness:
An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.