• Commonly Used Special Education Acronyms

    Special Education seems to have a language of its own. Educators often use many of these words in conversations with parents, so, as a parent, please ask for clarification or an explanation of the meaning.  Teachers, speech/language pathologists,  principals, etc. will be more than happy to do so.  As an equal partner in planning, parents must be comfortable with and understand the information they are seeing and/or reading. We welcome your questions!

  • ARD- Admission, Review, and Dismissal

    An ARD committee makes an initial assessment about a student's eligibility for special education services and continues to make most of the major decisions about that student's individualized educational program. If an ARD committee is formed for your child, you will be a member of that committee.

    The above definition can be found on the TEA website

  • AT- Assistive Technology

    300.105 Assistive technology.

    Definition from IDEA website 

    (a) Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both, as those terms are defined in §§300.5 and 300.6, respectively, are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the child’s—
    (1) Special education under §300.39;
    (2) Related services under §300.34; or
    (3) Supplementary aids and services under §§300.42 and 300.114(a)(2)(ii).
    (b) On a case-by-case basis, the use of school-purchased assistive technology devices in a child’s home or in other settings is required if the child’s IEP Team determines that the child needs access to those devices in order to receive FAPE. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0030)

    (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(1), 1412(a)(12)(B)(i))

    [71 FR 46753, Aug. 14, 2006, as amended at 82 FR 29759, June 30, 2017]

  • BIP- Behavior Intervention Plan

    In the behavior intervention plan (BIP), the behavior analyst summarizes the findings of the functional behavior assessment (FBA) and describes:

    • the strategies to prevent problem behaviors;
    • the strategies to address problem behaviors when they occur;
    • the behaviors that the consumer can substitute for problem behaviors;
    • the goals and objectives related to successful rehabilitation;
    • a plan to monitor the consumer's progress; and
    • recommendations for individual, group, or a combination of interventions and the number of intervention hours necessary to achieve the goals.

    Definition from Texas Health and Human Services

  • CMIT- Campus Management Intervention Team

    When a student’s name has been brought before CMIT, suggestions for appropriate interventions and the length of time for the interventions to be implemented are discussed. An additional CMIT meeting might be needed to discuss further interventions before referral to Special Education. After the review of written documentation of the student’s response to the interventions (RTI)

  • ECI-Early Childhood/Infant Programs or Early Childhood Intervention

    Please see IDEA website for the full definition. 

  • ECSE- Early Childhood Special Education

    Provides educational and support services for children ages three to five with identified delays in one or more of the five developmental areas. These developmental areas are: motor, social/emotional, self-help, communication, and pre-academic. Students are eligible for services on their third birthday, regardless of when the birthday falls within the school year. (previously known as PPCD - Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities)


  • ESY - Extended School Year

    Individualized instructional programs provided beyond the regular school year for eligible students with disabilities under IDEA.

    The definition is from TEA website

  • FAPE - Free and Appropriate Public Education

    Under the IDEA, FAPE is a statutory term. (2) It is defined to include special education and related services that

    (1) are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
    (2) meet the standards of the State educational agency (SEA), including IDEA Part B requirements;
    (3) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and
    (4) are provided in conformity with an IEP that meets the requirements of 34 CFR §§300.320 through 300.324.

    Further, each child with a disability is entitled to receive FAPE in the least restrictive environment (LRE). (3)

    Footnote 2: 20 U.S.C. 1401(9) and 34 CFR §300.17.
    Footnote 3: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5) and 34 CFR §§300.114-300.117

    The definition was taken from this link and can be found under #4 How is FAPE defined in the IDEA?

  • FBA- Functional Behavior Assessment

    Below is from the Texas Health and Human Services Website

    The functional behavior assessment (FBA) analyzes a consumer's behavior in a particular environment (such as, at a post-acute rehabilitation services facility) to determine what factors are causing problem behaviors. An FBA typically takes a minimum of four hours, and is limited to a maximum of eight hours.

    The FBA report summarizes data collected and provides information to assist in the planning of comprehensive rehabilitation services, such as:

    • creating a detailed definition of the consumer's behavior that is causing an obstacle to rehabilitation;
    • summarizing data collected;
    • determining the cause for each problem behavior;
    • determining the environments to avoid;
    • making recommendations related to the consumer's disability; and
    • making recommendations for possible intervention.

    Meet with the behavior analyst and consumer to discuss the FBA results and recommendations. If intervention is necessary, develop a behavior intervention plan.

  • FERPA- Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

    A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Parents have a right of access to their children's education records. When a student turns 18 or enters college, the rights under FERPA transfer to the student.

    The definition is from TEA

  • FIE - Full Individual Evaluation

    This assessment is conducted by trained professionals to determine if a student has a disability and, if so, the nature and extent of the resulting need for special education and related services. 

  • IDEA - Individual with Disabilities Education Act (PL 94-142)

    Refer to this link for more information and a definition of IDEA. 

    Below is the definition for TEA

    A law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

  • IEE - Independent Educational Evaluation

    Refer to this link that navigates you to the IDEA websites for more information about Independent Educational Evaluation. 

  • IEP - Individual Education Plan

    Individualized education program or IEP means a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with §§300.320 through 300.324.

    The above definition can be found on the IDEA websites

  • LEA - Local Educational Agency

    A public school district, open-enrollment charter school or regional education service center

    The definition can be found on TEA website.

  • LRE - Least Restrictive Environment

    Refer to this link for more information regarding LRE on the IDEA website. 

  • LSSP - Licensed Specialist in School Psychology

    See this link for more information about LSSP's 

  • PLAAFP - Present Levels of Academic Achievement & Functional Performance

    Refer to this link that connects you to the Texas Project FIRST website where there is a definition of PLAAFP.

  • RTI - Response to Intervention

    The practice of meeting the academic and behavioral needs of all students through high-quality instruction and scientific research-based tiered interventions, frequent monitoring of student progress, and application of student response data.

    The above definition is from TEA website

  • SBOE - State Board of Education

    A state board comprising 15 elected members from districts throughout the state that establishes policy and provides leadership for the Texas public school system. The board sets curriculum standards, determines passing scores for state-mandated assessment tests, and oversees the investment of the Permanent School Fund.

    The above definition was found on the TEA website

  • SLP- Speech Language Pathologist

    A Speech-Language Pathologist is a licensed, certified health professional who: evaluates, plans intervention programs and provides remediation through therapy for communication disorders.

    PISD Speech Services

  • TEA - Texas Education Agency

    The Texas agency that provides leadership, guidance, and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students. Located in Austin, Texas, TEA is the administrative unit for primary and secondary public education. Under the leadership of the commissioner of education, the agency manages the textbook adoption process, oversees development of the statewide curriculum, administers the statewide assessment program, administers a data collection system on public school students, staff and finances, rates school districts under the statewide accountability system, operates research and information programs, monitors for compliance with federal guidelines and serves as a fiscal agent for the distribution of state and federal funds.

    The above definition can be found on the TEA website

  • TEKS - Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

    State educational standards for what students should know and be able to do from prekindergarten through high school.

    The above definition can be found on the TEA website

  • Picture of white letters spread out and text saying Lots of Letters