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Frequently Used Acronyms in Education

Alphabet soup at school? Use this handy guide when you need help decoding the abbreviations and acronyms used in the world of education.

GreatSchools Blog

By GreatSchools Staff

As you sort through vast amounts of information to find ways to help your child with learning difficulties, you're likely to find many acronyms. If you're not sure what they represent, it may be difficult to gain a full understanding of the material you're reading. So to assist you in the process, here are some common acronyms and the words they stand for:

ABA Applied Behavior Analysis
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADR Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADD; AD/HD; ADHD; ADD/In Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; ADD Inattentive
AHEAD Association on Higher Education and Disabilities
AP Advanced Placement
AP; APD Auditory Processing Disorder
ARD Admission, Review, and Dismissal (Committee)
AS Asperger's Syndrome
ASL American Sign Language
AT Assistive Technology
BIP; BMP Behavior Intervention Plan; Behavior Management Plan
BOE Board of Education
CAP; CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CAST Center for Applied Special Technology
CBA Curriculum-Based Assessment
CCLD Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities
CEC Council for Exceptional Children
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CHADD Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
COPAA The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
CPSE Committee on Preschool Special Education
CSE Committee on Special Education
CST Child Study Team
DCD Developmental Coordination Disorder
DD Developmentally Disabled; Developmentally Delayed
DOH Department of Health
DSM-IV; DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - fourth edition; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - fourth edition, text revision
DSS Disability Support Services
EBD Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
ECDC Early Childhood Development Center
ED Emotionally Disturbed
EDGAR Education Department General Administrative Regulations
EH Emotionally Handicapped
ELL English Language Learner
ERIC Educational Resources Information Center
ESL English as Second Language
ESY Extended School Year Services
ETS Educational Testing Service
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
fMRI Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
FSP Family Support Plan
GATE Gifted and Talented Education
GE General Education
GED General Education Diploma
GPA Grade Point Average
GT/LD Gifted and Talented with Learning Disabilties
HI Hearing Impaired
HOH Hard of Hearing
HS High School
IDA International Dyslexia Association
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE Independent Educational Evaluation
IEP Individualized Education Program
IEPT Individualized Education Program Team
ITP Individual Transition Plan
IQ Intelligence Quotient
K-12 Kindergarten through 12th Grade
LEA Local Education Agency
LBLP;LiPS; LMB;LM-B Lindamood-Bell Language Program
LD Learning Disability
LDA Learning Disability Association
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
MBD Minimal Brain Dysfunction
MDT Multidisciplinary Team
MH Multiply Handicapped
MR Mental Retardation
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MS Middle School
NCLB No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
NCLD National Center for Learning Disabilities
NICHCY National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities formerly National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
NICHD National Institute for Child Health and Human Development
NIH National Institutes of Health
NILD National Institute for Learning Disabilities
NIMH National Institutes of Mental Health
NLD;NVLD Nonverbal Learning Disability
OCD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCR Office for Civil Rights
ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder
OG; O-G Orton Gillingham [reading method]
OHI Other Health Impaired
OMRDD Office of Mentally Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
OSEP Office of Special Education Programs
OSERS Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
OT Occupational Therapist; Occupational Therapy
P & A Protection and Advocacy
PAC Parent Advisory Committee
PACER Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights
PDA Personal Data Assistant
PDD; PDD-NOS Pervasive Developmental Disorder; Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
PSAT Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test
PT Physical Therapist; Physical Therapy
PTA Parent-Teacher Association
PTI Parent Training and Information (Center)
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
RFBD Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic
RSP Resource Specialist Program
SAT Scholastic Aptitude Test
SD School District
SED State Education Department; Severely Emotionally Disturbed
SI Sensory Integration
SLD Specific Learning Disability
SLP Speech and Language Program
SMT Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching
SP/Lang, SP/LG Speech and Language
SPED Special Education
SSI Supplemental Security Income (related to Social Security)
SST Student Study Team
TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
URL Uniform Resource Locator [website address]
V/V Verbalization/Visualization
WIAT Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
WISC; WISCIII; WISCIV Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
WJ; WJ-III, WJIII; WJ-4; WJ4 Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

01/4/2012:
"Please add (FAPE, LRE and OORS) "
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