*All services or programs listed below are determined on an individual basis by the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee for each student. This list of terms and services is not an exhaustive list.
Strategies, techniques and materials that make learning easier and help students share what they know without changing the basic curriculum
Tests (like the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, the TAKS) that measure acquired knowledge in certain skills, such as reading and math
Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee
A knowledgeable group of professionals, including the parents (or guardians) of a student with a disability that annually determines by consensus whether the student qualifies for special education services, has or continues to have an educational need for those services, and sets measurable goals for those services through an IEP. The IEP must be designed to help the student progress in an appropriate educational setting. When appropriate, the student must be a member of the ARD Committee.
The act of responsibly communicating the needs, interests and rights of students
This is a formal process used to learn about the strengths and needs of a group of students for the purpose of educational planning .
Assistive Technology (AT)
Any item a student needs to increase, maintain or improve how the student does in school. AT includes simple (e.g. a pencil grip) and advanced (e.g. a voice output computer) technological or manual devices that allow students with or without disabilities to carry out easy or complex educational tasks.
Assistive Technology Program (ATP)
The Assistive Technology Program uses technology, both sophisticated and simple to help students be more independent.
Auditory Impairment (AI)
AI is a disability of severe hearing loss as determined by a licensed otologist or an audiologist (specialist who determines the degree of hearing loss). Public schools serve students with auditory impairments from birth to age 22.
Autism is a brain disorder that typically affects a person's ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the environment.
The Autism Program recognizes the unique needs of students with autism and related disorders. Educational services are based on current research and documented effective teaching practices.
Career and Technology Education (CTE)
A general education program providing training and instruction designed to prepare students to work in certain trades or professions. These services may also be called Vocational Training or Vocational Education.
The Case Worker consults with personnel staffing Admission, Review, Dismissal (ARD) meetings to review possible community resources which may enhance the student's quality of life. Examples of support include: getting on appropriate waiting lists for funding and service programs, alternate home placement, post graduation transition planning, crisis intervention, etc.
A coordinated set of activities designed to help find student with disabilities aged 3-21 who may be in need of special education services. This includes student with sensory impairments (blind, deaf, visual or auditory impaired) who are birth to three years old.
Code of Student Conduct
The rights and responsibilities of each member of the school community in establishing and maintaining good discipline at district schools is called Code of Student Conduct. A copy of the code of conduct is sent home at the beginning of each year in your child's Student Handbook.
Community-Based Vocational Training (CBVT)
Training sites in the community are used to implement Individualized Education Program (IEP) objectives relating to independence and employment skills.
This is a formal legal process (much like a court case) for resolving disputes between parents and school districts in the area of eligibility, services, and placement of students with disabilities. The filing of a request for sue process hearing to be heard by an independent hearing officer is used as a last resort by parents who believe that the district is not doing the right thing for their child.
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
ECI is a program run by the Texas Department of Health for children with a disability under the age of three.
The determination of whether or not a student has a disability and an educational need that qualifies him or her for special education services.
Emotional Disturbance (ED)
ED is a certain psychological or behavior conditions which significantly affect a student's educational performance as determined by a licensed specialist in school psychology or a licensed or certified psychologist or psychiatrist.
This is a formal process using appropriate instruments used to learn about the strengths and needs of an individual student for the purpose of educational planning. A licensed professional gathers information about a student to decide if they qualify for special education, related services and/or the kind and amount of services the child needs. Evaluation can be testing, observing, or talking to people who work with the child. This may also be called a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE)
The ARD Committee gathers all evaluation information about a student who is being evaluated. They work together to write a final report about the evaluation. The report includes whether the student qualifies or continues to qualify for special education.
Extracurricular or Nonacademic Activities
Those school activities outside the educational coursework including activities such as meals, recess, clubs, athletics, and special interest groups usually led or supervised by faculty members.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This is the federal law that governs the privacy of a student's school records.
Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE)
Please see the term "Evaluation" listed above.
Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
The ARD Committee finds out what makes the student keep doing problem behaviors and how to help the student learn how to behave differently.
General Education Curriculum
The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) students without disabilities learn in their general education classrooms.
Homebound special education services are for medically determined illnesses (form completed by an MD licensed to practice in the U.S.) Homebound provides certified teachers for one-to-one instruction in the student's home. Lessons and exams are provided by the student's classroom teacher(s) to ensure that similar content is provided. If a student will be on homebound for the entire semester, the homebound teacher will provide the lessons.
Parents choose to teach their child with a home school curriculum in their home instead of in the public school to learn basic subjects. A home school is considered a private school in Texas .
An ARD Committee determination which states that a special education student is educated in classes or the community with his or her non-disabled peers for some or all of his or her school day with appropriate modifications and/or accommodations is called inclusion.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA is the federal law that requires school districts to provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities who have an educational need for those services.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
This is a plan that is set within an ARD that outlines specific education goals with strategies and services a student needs to help meet the student's annual goals.
The first setting in which a student receives special education services is the initial placement. Parents must sign an approval form for this first-time setting.
Intellectual Disability (ID)
This is a condition of low intellectual (cognitive) ability and adaptive behavior that is determined by either a licensed specialist in school psychology or an educational diagnostician which severely affects a child's educational performance.
Instruction that is provided by staff traveling to multiple schools or school districts and offer services in such areas as Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Orientation and Mobility, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc.
Learning Disability (LD)
A student who is not learning or achieving like his or her peers as determined by an evaluation team and based on very specific testing is LD. These problems may be due to perceptual disabilities, brain injury, dyslexia or aphasia, but are not due to visual, hearing or motor disabilities or mental retardation, emotional disturbance, lack of schooling or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
LRE is a concept referring to the extent of removal of a student from education with students who do not have disabilities as little as possible. The goal of special education is attempting to teach students with disabilities in settings that allow as much interaction as possible or as appropriate between disabled students, their non-disabled peers and the community.
Local Curriculum Classes
These classes have modified grade level content for special education students who also require prerequisite skills.
This is often confused with Inclusion or the term LRE. Placement of students with disabilities in a classroom with non-disabled peers is an accurate definition.
This is a formal meeting between parents and school personnel to settle, compromise, or reconcile serious differences in opinion regarding evaluation, an IEP or placement of a special education student. There is usually an outside mediator invited to help resolve these differences.
A change in the course content or instructional level which changes the standard for a student with disabilities is known as a modification.
Music Therapy (MT)
MT is a related service that uses techniques and strategies as a means to enhance and support educational programming for students. Services are ARD determined and provided by a certified music therapy professional to help students participate in school and make progress toward their IEP.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
OT is a related service that addresses participating in functional activities that may be difficult to perform due to cognitive, sensory, motor, or emotional/behavioral concerns. Services are ARD determined and provided by a licensed professional. These services address academic needs and daily living skills that may be impaired due to the above mentioned difficulties to help students participate in school and make progress toward their IEP.
Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
A bone or muscle disability, as diagnosed by a physician, severe enough to affect a child's educational performance makes a student eligible as OI.
Other Health Impairment (OHI/OH)
This is a medical condition diagnosed by a physician and not covered by other eligible disabilities that severely affects a child's educational performance. Examples include heart conditions, diabetes, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourette's, cystic fibrosis (CF) or leukemia.
Orientation and Mobility Training (O & M)
Orientation and Mobility Training is for students with visual impairments who need to safely move around the school and community.
Physical Therapy (PT)
PT is a related service that serves students with physical disabilities who have needs in the areas of mobility, positioning and/or accessibility in the school setting. Services are ARD determined and provided by a licensed professional to help students participate in school and make progress toward their IEP.
The educational setting in which a student with a disability receives special education services, either in a school or in the community
Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD)
The Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities provides early childhood education for students with disabilities, ages 3-5, in neighborhood schools, in employee collaborative classrooms and in some community-based day care centers.
These are the legal requirements outlined in a formal handout given to parents annually which is designed to ensure that students with disabilities are treated equally and fairly throughout the special education decision-making process
Referral (Referral Process)
A written request for an evaluation to see if a student may be eligible for and in need of special education services
Region 20 Education Service Center of Texas
A state funded regional organization in San Antonio that provides high quality and cost effective educational programs for teachers, professionals, nonprofessionals and parents.
These are additional services that a student with a disability may receive in order to benefit from special education and progress on their IEP. They are included in the IEP.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
High-quality instruction or tiered intervention strategies matched to individual student needs that have been demonstrated through scientific research and practice to result in high learning rates for most students such that they can progress in the general education classroom without referral to special education
This is defined by law as specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. The services are provided at no cost to the parents. The services can be provided in many different settings.
Speech-Language Program (SLP)
This program helps students improve their speech and/or language skills and assists students in becoming more successful in school by improving their listening and speaking skills.
Supplementary Aids and Services
Services and supports provided in general education classes, special education classes and other community settings to help a student with a disability be educated with students or adults who do not have disabilities as much as is appropriate.
Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)
Texas Education Agency (TEA)
The state agency that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that every student in Texas receives a free appropriate public education.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
The standards of knowledge and skills (the curriculum) that a student must complete to earn credit for a course K-12 as determined by the State Board of Education (SBOE) are called the TEKS.
Transition planning is required for every student moving from Birth to Three Programs to a school's Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) or Kindergarten. Sometimes transition planning happens when a student moves from one grade to the next, or one school to the next. Transition sometimes means moving from one class to the next class in school. Transition is also a term used in IDEA for preparing a child for life after high school. A Transition Plan is a required part of every student's IEP starting at age 16 (or younger if needed).
To assist students in making a successful transition from public school to adult living, the ARD must address post-secondary goals. This must occur no later than age 16. A coordinated set of activities and IEP objectives must be determined to help student reach these adult goals.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
TBI is an injury occurring after birth which impairs a person's normal cognition, memory, language or motor functioning and/or development.
Triennial Review (also called the Re-evaluation)
A special ARD (Admissions, Review and Dismissal) is held every three years. This includes an evaluation whereby parents and staff review previous and current information about a student with disabilities in an effort to determine if the disability continues to be present and if there is still a need for special education services. Additional or new testing may be requested or required at this time.
Visual Impairment (VI)
A serious visual disability, even with correction, as determined by a licensed ophthalmologist that affects educational performance.
Training and instruction designed to prepare students to work in a certain trade or profession. These services may also be called Vocational Training or Career and Technology Education.