Acronyms and Glossary


ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

ADD/ADHD: Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder

AI: Auditory Impairment*

APA: Alternate Proficiency Assessment

APE: Adaptive Physical Education

APQI: Autism Program Quality Indicators

AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress

BIP: Behavior Intervention Plan

CI: Communication Impairment*

CST: Child Study Team

DLM: Dynamic Learning Maps

DOE: Department of Education

ERI: Emotional Regulation Impairment*

EIP:  Early Intervention Program

ESY: Extended School Year

FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education; a right mandated for every child under federal law.

FBA: Functional Behavior Assessment- a formal analysis of student behavior to identify problem behaviors and inform interventions.

FERPA: Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act

ID: Intellectually Disabled

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act

IEP: Individualized Education Program

ISP: Individualized Service Plan

I&RS: Intervention and Referral Services

LDT-C: Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant (or Learning Consultant)

LEA:  Local Education Agency

LEP: Limited English Proficiency

LRE:  Least Restrictive Environment

MSR:  Multi Sensory Reading

NCLB: No Child Left Behind Act

OHI: Other Health Impaired  

OI:  Orthopedic Impairment*

OSEP: Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education

OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education

OT: Occupational Therapy

PLAAFP: Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

PT: Physical Therapy

SLD: Specific Learning Disability- an significant learning difficulty in one (or more) of eight areas enabling a student to qualify for special education.

TBI:Traumatic Brain Injury

VI:Visual Impairment

*Updated State Categories for SE Classification [NJSMART 10/2020]

Auditory Impairment
Mild Intellectual Disability
Moderate Intellectual Disability
Severe Intellectual Disability
Communication Impairment
Emotional Regulation Impairment
Multiple Disabilities
Orthopedic Impairment
Other Impairment
Visual Impairment



Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

A set of scientific principles and guidelines which uses direct observation, measurement, and analysis of the relationship between the environment and behavior. In programming for students with autism, ABA employs intensive, highly structured teaching approaches where skills are broken down into their simplest most manageable form.


Techniques and materials that allow disabled individuals to complete school or work with greater ease and effectiveness. Examples include calculators, study guides, and extended time for completing assignments. It is important to note, accommodations don’t always have to be formalized in an IEP or a 504 plan. Sometimes teachers can provide informal supports on their own, or as part of Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS).

Assistive Technology (AT)

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP)

A component of a child's IEP that describes behavioral interventions and strategies to decrease the instance of target behaviors and increase the use of   positive replacement behaviors, as outlined in a Functional Behavioral Assessment.

Child Study Team

Consists of a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher/consultant, school social worker, and when needed, a speech-language specialist, responsible for conducting evaluations to determine eligibility for special education and related services for students with disabilities.

Developmental Delay

Failure to meet expected developmental milestones in one or more of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, speech and language and/or adaptive development. Developmental delay is usually a diagnosis made by a doctor or early intervention specialist based on strict guidelines. 

When considering eligibility for Preschooler with a Disability Is experiencing developmental delay, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the areas as measured by a standardized assessment or criterion referenced measure to determine eligibility, a developmental delay shall mean a 33 percent delay in one developmental area, or a 25 percent delay, in two or more developmental areas: (1) Physical, including gross motor, fine motor, and sensory (vision and hearing); (2) Intellectual; (3) Communication; (4) Social and emotional; and (5) Adaptive; or ii. Has an identified disabling condition, including vision or hearing, that adversely affects learning or development and who requires special education and related services.


A language processing disorder characterized by a difficulty in reading experienced by students who otherwise possess the intelligence and motivation considered necessary for accurate and fluent reading.

Extended School Year

Extended school year services are considered based on regression and recoupment of skills after a break in educational instruction.  It is not intended to teach new skills; rather it is intended to maintain skills noted in the goals and objectives of a student’s IEP from the previous school year.

Functional Behavior Assessment

A process to determine which behaviors are limiting educational progress; to design interventions that decrease target behaviors; and to promote appropriate behavior(s) through positive behavioral supports.

  • Behaviors must be identifiable to be measured
  • must have an impact on the student’s educational functioning and/or the learning environment 


The practice of exposing a student who has special education needs into general education classrooms for a least some or part of the student’s educational program as deemed appropriate by the IEP team. Generally speaking, mainstreaming holds an expectation of the student to attend a regular classroom and be able to demonstrate with support improvement in social skills and academic performance; whereas, inclusion holds an expectation of the student to participate in regular classrooms experiences for identified benefit(s).

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

The IEP is a written plan that describes in detail a child’s special education program. The IEP will describe how a child currently performs and the child’s specific instructional needs. The IEP will include detailed and measurable annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with students who are not disabled and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Manifestation Determination

In connection with the discipline of students with disabilities, a determination whether or not the misconduct at issue was a manifestation of the disability.

New Jersey Tiered System of Supports

NJTSS is a framework of supports and interventions to improve student achievement, based on the core components of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and the three tier prevention logic of Response to Intervention (RTI).  With a foundation of strong district and school leadership, a positive school culture and climate and family and community engagement, NJTSS builds on Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) and gives schools structure to meet the academic, behavioral, health, enrichment and social/emotional needs of all students.

Related Services

Services that are provided to help classified students to benefit from special education. The services are specified in the student’s IEP and are provided in conjunction with the special education program. Some examples of related services include: counseling services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language services.  There are students who are eligible for speech/language services as the sole special education service and as such are provided "Speech Only/ESLS" IEPs.


A coordinated set of activities for a student, for students identified as requiring special education and related services.  These services are designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, or community participation.  For more information on specific Transition to Adulthood, please go to the tab:  Resources for Parents, to the link: The Transition Process - Resources and Agencies to Know - June 2021.

Universal Design of Learning
Universal Design of Learning (UDL) is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and challenging for all. Ultimately, the goal of UDL is to support learners to become “expert learners” who are, each in their own way, purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal driven. UDL aims to change the design of the environment rather than to change the learner. When environments are intentionally designed to reduce barriers, all learners can engage in rigorous, meaningful learning.