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By Jan Baumel, M.S.
Emotional Disturbance (ED): Under current federal law, students with emotional, behavior or mental disorders are categorized as having an ED. A student may have this condition if he displays inappropriate behaviors and feelings, an inability to learn or develop interpersonal relationships and a general mood of unhappiness over a long period of time.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Entitles a public school child with a disability to an educational program and related services to meet her unique educational needs at no cost to the parents; based on IEP; under public supervision and meets state standards
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Federal law that provides for special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities
Individualized Education Program (IEP): Written plan to meet the unique educational needs of a child with a disability who requires special education services to benefit from the general education program; applies to kids enrolled in public schools
Informed Consent: Agreement in writing from parents that they have been informed and understand implications of special education evaluation and program decisions; permission is voluntary and may be withdrawn
Intelligence Quotient (IQ): Score used to indicate general cognitive ability; average range of intelligence, which includes 84 percent of the population, is 85 to 115
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Educational instruction in a place that encourages maximum interaction between disabled and nondisabled kids and is appropriate to both
Learning Disability (LD): A neurobiological disorder that affects the way a person of average to above-average intelligence receives, processes or expresses information. LD impacts one's ability to learn the basic skills of reading, writing or math
Modification: Modifications are changes in the delivery, content or instructional level of a subject or test. They result in changed or lowered expectations and create a different standard for kids with disabilities than for those without disabilities
Multidisciplinary Team: Professionals with different training and expertise; may include, but not limited to, any combination of the following public school personnel - general education teacher, special education teacher, administrator, school psychologist, speech and language therapist, counselor - and the parent
Out-of-Level Testing: When a student who is in one grade is assessed using a level of a test developed for students in another grade. Below-grade-level testing is generally what is meant when the term "out-of-level testing" is used.
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