Common Yerminology HOME

When it comes to Special Education, a lot of abbreviations and unfamiliar terminology may be used. Check out the chart below to help decode some of the most commonly used terms.  If you don’t find what you are looking for there, check out the resources in the links below.


Special Education Term




Individualized Education Program

This document will outline a tailored plan to meet the educational needs of the individual child.


Evaluation Report

This report will be written to explain findings from educational assessments and observation conducted to determine if a student is elligible for Special Education services.


Least Restrictive Environment

 An educational setting which gives students with disabilities a place to learn to the best of their ability and also have contact with children without disabilities. 


Free and Appropriate Education

A requirement that all school-aged children despite having a disability, be provided services in the public school system at no cost to the parent. 


Notice of Recommended Educational Plan/Placement

The NOREP is a form filled out by the school district which describes a child recommended placement as discussed in the IEP. It reviews the learner's needs and strengths, describes other settings that were considered, and explains why other options were rejected. 


Specially Designed Instruction

Specific instructional approaches and techniques to meet the needs of an individual student. 


Personal Care Assistant

An employed person who helps persons who helps identified students with their activities of daily living. 

Procedural Safeguards


As the parent of a child who may receive special education, you have certain rights that are guaranteed by federal law: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).These rights are listed in the Procedural Safeguards packet and include your right to participate in meetings dealing with the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of your child and the provision of a free appropriate public education to your child. 

Progress Monitoring

 Data Collection

A form of assessment in which student learning is evaluated on a regular basis (for example weekly, monthly) in order to determine the appropriateness of an intervention of teaching methodology. 

Assistive Technology


  Technology used to help a person with disabilities. The range of technologies can vary from use of rubber pencil grips through voice synthesizers.
 Mainstreaming/Inclusion  Some or all of the child's day is spent in a regular classroom; often used interchangeably with inclusion.


Web Resources for Special Education Terms


  • IEP Terms and Definitions by Letter: 
  • Special Ed. Acronym & Definition Pamphlet: Acronym Pamphlet
  • Special Ed. Terms Defined in Spanish: Spanish Terms