Special Education: A continuum of services is available for students with disabilities, preschool through eighth grade, who are found eligible to receive special education. The steps to identifying a student as eligible for special education services is a carefully managed process guided by State and Federal regulations. Evaluations required to make this determination are completed only with parent permission. A multi-disciplinary team reviews assessment data to determine if the student has a disability that requires special education services. When a student is found eligible for special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed with the participation of the school staff, the parents and the student (when appropriate). An IEP is a statement of the special education and related services that will be provided to the student and is updated at least annually during a student's eligibility for special education.
Related Service Logs
School Personnel who provide related services to students are required to maintain written logs that contain the service provided, the date and number of minutes administered. These related service logs must be provided to parents/guardians during the student's annual review IEP meeting and also anytime upon request. These service logs are considered part of a student's temporary school records.
Section 504 Education Plan
Accommodation plan that supports the many disabilities not covered under IDEA.
Americans with Disabilities Act
This is a federal law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The student with ADHD is one who seems to have average or better ability, health, vision, hearing, and intelligence, but is still unable to learn things as quickly or easily as most other students at their age. The concern is due to a severe inability to stay on task or pay attention (distractibility) and/or inability to control behavioral impulses (hyperactivity). If the condition impacts a child's educational progress, she or he may be eligible for a 504 plan or Special Education services.
Adaptive Physical Education
Physical Education adapted to meet the unique physical needs and challenges of students with identified disabilities and medical conditions that prohibit their ability to fully benefit from a general physical education curriculum.
A related service that provides a device or service that helps a student function in the educational setting. These services may include evaluating the needs of the student, providing a device and/or services to match those needs; training for the student and family, and school personnel in using the selected device. An Assistive Technology device can be provided as special education services, related services or as supplementary aids and services to the general education program. An example of an Assistive technology device would be a "Touch Talker". This device simply displays an array of pictures with speech prompts which allows a non-verbal student to communicate.
Autism includes a spectrum of disorders, which may include PDD, Asperger Syndrome, Autism and Rett Syndrome. It is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.
Behavior Intervention Plan
A comprehensive plan designed to target and change specific inappropriate behaviors that interfere with a student's ability to benefit from their educational program or develop and maintain relationships.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CAPD is an auditory processing disorder characterized by difficulty in attending to, discriminating, recognizing, and understanding what is heard, even though hearing and intelligence are normal. CAPD creates difficulty in developing speech and language skills. These children are often thought to have hearing problems. Treatment includes speech and language therapy, modifications in the environment, and computerized therapy.
A general term for a group of permanently disabling symptoms caused by damage to the developing brain before, during, or after birth. People with cerebral palsy may have poor balance, difficulty in walking, movement, speech impediment, and/or cognitive limitations.
Case Study Evaluation
A CSE is a method of collecting information about a student’s individual learning needs, strengths, and interests, in order to assess whether or not a child has a disability. The assessment is a process by which qualified professionals, together with families, through standardized tests and observation, look at all areas of a child’s development: motor, language, intellectual, academic achievement, social/emotional, and adaptive/self–help skills. An assessment may include giving individual tests, observing the student, looking at records, and talking with the student and/or his parents. Eligibility for special education services is determined at the completion of the evaluation process. An individualized education plan is developed as appropriate.
A term used when there are concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with hearing impairment, or children with visual impairment.
A term used to describe children who need early intervention services because they: (1) are experiencing developmental delays, such that the child has not achieved skills and abilities which are expected to be mastered by children of the same age. Delays can be in any of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, speech and language, and/or adaptive development (self–help skills), or (2) have a diagnosed physical or mental condition which has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay. Children may only be eligible for special education services under this criterion through the age of nine years. (Caution: The term developmental delay may be used loosely and is occasionally used incorrectly, giving a false impression that the student will “catch–up.”)
Dynamic Learning Maps Assessment
The DLM is an alternate assessment instead of the IAR for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The system uses items and tasks that are aligned to the common core standards. IEP teams decide if students in grades 3-8 meet the criteria to be assessed using the DLM.
Early Childhood Education
Educational programs and support services are available to meet the needs of the young learner from three through five years of age. Students must be eligible to receive these supportive services which are to be delivered in the least restrictive manner. Students become eligible for Early Childhood through the Case Study Evaluation process.
A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over an extended period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
- Learning difficulties that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
- General pervasive mood of anxiety or depression
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
English as a Second Language
Includes instructional support for children who come to school speaking another language other than English as their primary language.
Extended School Year
Special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability beyond the typical school year, in accordance with the child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Students are eligible for ESY services when the educational team determines that the child's educational skills will significantly regress over the summer months if no educational program is provided.
Free Appropriate Public Education
Federal law mandates that students have the right to a free, appropriate public education, including special education and related services. The public school provides these services at the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels at no cost to parents. Students with visual and hearing impairments may receive services from birth. The programs and services must follow goals and objectives in the student's IEP.
Functional Behavior Assessment
A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is a behavioral assessment that looks at targeted behaviors from an environmental perspective. FBA is conducted when particular student behavior is either dangerous or interferes with student learning. The FBA collected data on targeted student behaviors with a focus toward the antecedents, consequences that reinforce the behavior as well as possible functional alternatives. The FBA may lead to the development of Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). A student's IEP may be changed to reflect the addition of a BIP.
An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance, but that is not included under the definition of deafness. (Definition of deafness: a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
This federal law, enacted in 1990--and reauthorized in 1997--amends and renames the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA). The law ensures a free appropriate public education to students with one of thirteen disabilities. A portion of special education funding to schools is dependent upon compliance with this law and its subsequent amendments.
Individualized Education Plan
The IEP team, including parents, general educators, and special educators, develops the individualized education plan when a student qualifies for Special Education Services. The IEP includes the student's present level of school performance, education goals, and objectives for the student, and accommodations the student will receive. It documents the specific services the student needs, how where and how often services will be provided, and how progress will be measured. IEPs are reviewed annually with the IEP team.
The child exhibits significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Illinois State Board of Education
ISBE is the State agency that oversees the implementation of public education, including special education, in the State of Illinois.
Learning Behavior Specialist
In District 109, teachers with special education certification are referred to as Learning Behavior Specialists. They are special education teachers charged with designing and implementing IEPs.
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, or do mathematics, including such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of a visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, or emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. For special education eligibility, districts use a Response to Intervention approach to determine a significant discrepancy in one of the areas: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics, calculation, and mathematics problem-solving.
Least Restrictive Environment
The special education setting or program that best meets the needs of the student with a disability. The intent is to provide as much access to the general education program as possible. The Least Restrictive Environment is determined by the student's IEP team.
Concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.) the combination of disabilities which causes severe educational needs (does not include deaf-blindness).
Orientation and Mobility
Focuses on instructing individuals who are blind or visually impaired to safely and effectively travel through their environment.
Other Health Impairment
Limited Strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that: is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia. Health problems need to adversely affect a child's educational performance and need to be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Facilitates the development of self-maintenance tasks including feeding, eating, dressing, and hygiene. Areas of assessment and intervention also include motor performance (manipulation of school-related materials and educational tasks), neuromusculoskeletal components (movement and postural control), sensory awareness and attending skills. Intervention is integrated within the student's total educational experience and closely coordinated with other aspects of the student's program.
A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance; includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.) impairments caused by disease (e.g, poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis) and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Facilitates the development of functional movement skills, including adapting equipment for mobility and positioning. Areas of assessment and intervention also include motor performance (safety and alternative positions), neuromusculoskeletal components(movement and postural control), architectural accessibility, utilization of appropriate assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers, adapted seating and workspaces), transfers and transportation (school and community). Intervention is integrated with the student's total educational experience and is closely coordinated with other aspects of the student's program.
Speech and/or Language Impairment
A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Speech and Language Pathologist
A specialist certified to design and implement special education programming for children with Speech and/or Language Impairments.
Traumatic Brain Injury
An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries by birth trauma.
An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance (includes both partial sight and blindness).