Academic Tutoring refers to one-to-one, or small group, academic support services that are tailored to fit each student's individual needs and learning abilities. By concentrating on the particular needs of each student tutors are able to deliver more efficient instruction.

Apraxia in children refers to a motor speech disorder. In childhood apraxia of speech, children have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.

Activities of Daily Living or ADL's refer to the things we normally do in daily living, including any daily activity we perform for self-care or self-help.

Adaptive behavior means the effectiveness with which an individual copes with, or manages, the natural and social demands of his or her environment. Adaptive skills include, but are not limited to, self-help skills, such as feeding, dressing and toileting.

Affective or Affect refers to that which relates to, arises from, or influences feelings, or the expression of emotion.

Annual goals are a required component of an Individualized Educational Program or IEP. Goals are written for the individual student and can be for a maximum of one year. Annual goals are developed sequentially with each new goal building on the previous one.

Annual review means an evaluation, conducted at least annually by the Committee on Special Education or the Committee on Preschool Special Education of the status of each student with a disability and each student thought to have a disability, who resides within the school district. This evaluation is for the purpose of recommending the continuation, modification, or termination of special education services to the Board of Education. This meeting will address whether or not the annual goals for the student have been achieved.

Aphasia refers to a language disorder typically resulting from a brain injury. This impairment can affect expressive and receptive language, articulation, fluency, and reading and writing skills.

Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA refers to a well-documented scientific and research based teaching strategy which utilizes the principles from the field of Operant Conditioning, particularly the principle of positive reinforcement. It is a science that has roots in the learning theories of B.F. Skinner, Watson, Thorndike, and Bandura. ABA is applied systematically to teach skills, measure, and then monitor progress. In 1987, I.O. Lovaas showed the efficacy of ABA instruction in treating children with Autism. The study demonstrated that children with Autism could make dramatic progress when receiving instruction of this type. In 1999, the New York State Department of Health recommended Applied Behavior Analysis as the primary treatment approach for children with Autism as well as other Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

Articulation delay or disorder refers to the consistent mispronunciation or misproduction of speech sounds that make it difficult for an individual to be understood. Errors in production may include substitutions, additions, omissions, and distortions.

Asperger's Syndrome or AS is considered part of the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD. Individuals diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome usually don't show any signs of major cognitive difficulties (ex: their IQ's fall in the normal or even superior range) and they exhibit few, if any, delays in speaking. These individuals also generally hit most of their developmental milestones within reasonable time periods. Because of this, some describe children with this condition as "high-functioning" or as having a "mild" form of Autism, at least compared to others on the Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD spectrum. Those diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome may seem just like other children, but not quite, since they are usually socially awkward in a manner that's not easily understood.

Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop an understanding of what an individual knows, understands and can do with knowledge gained as a result of his or her experiences. The goal of an assessment is to use the results to improve subsequent learning.

Assistive technology devices are any items, pieces of equipment, or product systems, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that are used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a student with a disability.

Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes an evaluation of the needs of a student with a disability, a functional evaluation of the student in the student's customary environment, and training or technical assistance for a student with a disability or, if appropriate, that student's family.

Audiologist refers to a hearing-care professional who specializes in the prevention, identification, and assessment of hearing loss, hearing impairment and other related disorders. Audiologists provide treatment, rehabilitative services, and assistive devices.

Auditory refers to that which is related to the process of hearing.

Augmentative Communication Devices or ACD's refers to those tools that aid children or individuals with special needs to communicate which, in turn, not only enhances their ability to participate and learn, but increases independence as well.

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a category of disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD. Sometimes, people may make reference to Autism as an Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with Autism. The cause of Autism remains unknown. Autism is distinguished by a pattern of symptoms rather than one single symptom. The main characteristics are impairments in social interaction and communication. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

Autism and Behavioral Services are intervention services designed to strengthen developmental skills and decrease severely challenging behaviors. Such interventions, as in Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA, identify the specific behaviors to change, identify environmental events that may currently be supporting or failing to support those behaviors, and then arrange antecedents and consequences in ways that help achieve the desired behavior change.

Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD's refer to Autism, along with related, but slightly different, disorders of Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified or PDD-NOS.

Autonomic function refers to that which is independent or self-controlling. For example, some autonomic functions include, but are not limited to heart rate, digestion, respiration rate, salivation, and perspiration. Whereas most of its actions are involuntary, some, such as breathing, work in tandem with the conscious mind.

Behavioral Intervention Plan or BIP is based on the results of a functional behavioral assessment or FBA. It includes a description of the problem behavior, global and specific hypotheses as to why the problem behavior occurs, and intervention strategies that outline how to understand, prevent, replace, and manage problem behaviors. A Behavioral Intervention Plan should include an operational definition of the behavior and be consistent with the principles and fundamentals of behavior. It should be a good fit for the values of those involved and the setting, and effectively change the student's behavior and those working with the child. A BIP is a professional and legal document.

Behavior Management refers to developing, strengthening, maintaining, decreasing or eliminating behaviors in a planned or systematic way.

Bilingual education involves an educational program in which two languages are used to provide content matter instruction. Bilingual education programs vary in their length of time, and in the amount that each language is used.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder or CDD is a rare condition that is part of the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder or CDD is characterized by late onset, usually greater than 3 years of age, and is marked by delays in language, social and emotional development, and motor skills. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder or CDD has some similarity to Autism, but an apparent period of fairly normal development is often exhibited before a regression in skills or a series of regressions in skills.

Classroom readiness skills include the ability to use functional communication to express wants and needs and follow classroom routines. Also, the ability to work independently, transition between activities, follow multiple step directions, observe and imitate peers, participate in small group instruction and follow directions when presented in a group are all part of classroom readiness.

Cognitive development or Cognition refers to learning and thinking skills. It describes the process used for remembering, reasoning, understanding, and making decisions. Cognition is a scientific term for "the process of thought".

Committee on Preschool Special Education or CPSE refers to a team that is responsible for the special education needs and services for children 2 years and nine months (2.9) through 5 years of age. Every school district and/or county has a Committee on Preschool Special Education. You are a member of the committee for your child and will be invited to attend a CPSE meeting. Other members of the committee are people who have a broad range of experiences planning for and/or working with children with special needs. Together, you will work to make sure that the recommendations made at the CPSE meeting are appropriate and, necessary services (if any), are provided to meet your child's needs.

Committee on Preschool Special Education or CPSE meeting refers to a team meeting whose purpose is to determine if a preschool-aged child between the ages of 2.9 to 5 years old meets the eligibility requirements for preschool special education services. Once a child is determined to be eligible, an Individualized Educational Program or IEP will be developed and implemented. The CPSE will also determine the child's placement in the least restrictive environment and ensure that the child receives the support necessary to prepare them to enter kindergarten. For students receiving services, this meeting is sometimes referred to as an annual review or IEP meeting.

Committee on Special Education or CSE refers to the team that is responsible for the special education needs and services for students 5 years through 21 years old. You are a member of the committee for your child. Other members of the committee are people who have a broad range of experiences planning for and/or working with students with special needs. Together, you will work to make sure that the recommendations made are appropriate and necessary services (if any) are provided to meet your child's needs. If your child meets the eligibility requirements to receive school-age special education services, the Committee develops and implements an appropriate Individualized Educational Plan or IEP to meet the needs of the student in the least restrictive environment.

Communication delay is when a child is noticeably behind his peers in the acquisition of speech and/or language skills. Sometimes a child will have greater receptive than expressive language skills, but this is not always the case.

Communication disorder encompasses a wide variety of problems in language, speech, and hearing, affecting the ability to utilize skills to interact with others. Speech and language impairments include articulation problems, voice disorders, fluency problems (such as stuttering), aphasia, and delays in speech and/or language. Speech and language delays may be due to many factors, including environmental factors or hearing loss.

Communicative or Communication skills refer to understanding and using words. Communicative skills involve receptive and expressive language.

Community-based refers to special education services that occur at varied locations in the community, rather than in the classroom, in order to facilitate the generalization and application of skills.

Confidentiality refers to the privilege that personal information about a child and family is not released without parental consent, or only when permitted, or as required by law.

Consent is a requirement that the parent or legal guardian of a child, or minor, be fully informed of all information that relates to that child. Parental consent is voluntary and may be revoked at any time.

Consultant teacher services means direct and/or indirect services provided to a student with a disability who attends regular education classes and/or to such student's regular education teachers.

Consultation refers to the seeking and giving of advice, information, and/or opinion by qualified personnel. A consultant can provide advice in a particular area of expertise including, but not limited to, special education, Applied Behavior Analysis, speech and language therapy, feeding problems, occupational therapy, sensory integration, physical therapy, child development, toilet training and counseling.

Continuation of services is a category indicated on a student's Individualized Educational Program or IEP, and is marked at an annual review, where it is determined that there is no change in the type, frequency, or duration of the present level of special education services being delivered to that student.

Counseling services is a related service that includes services provided by social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel.