Development(al) refers to the steps or stages in the growth of a child.

Developmental delay is an expression that is used to describe a child who is behind in at least one area of development, including physical, cognitive, communicative, social-emotional and/or adaptive functioning. It specifically refers to development which does not occur within expected time ranges.

Developmental history involves information based on the reporting of the developmental progress of a child in skills such as, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, or talking.

Developmental language delay is characterized by a slow development of language in preschoolers.

Developmental milestones refer to the age, or age range, at which an infant or toddler normally develops a particular skill. For example, by nine months, a child should be able to grasp and toss a bottle. Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye-bye" are considered developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move.

Developmental tests are assessments that will indicate if a child has not realized the expected level of development based on his or her age group.

Diagnosis refers to the process of identifying a condition by its signs, symptoms, and from the results of various diagnostic procedures. The term "diagnostic criteria" is the combination of signs, symptoms, and test results that allows a doctor or other qualified personnel to ascertain the diagnosis of the respective condition.

Direct Instruction or DI refers to a rigorously developed, highly scripted method of teaching that is fast-paced and provides constant interaction between students and the teacher. Direct instruction emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons that are designed around small learning increments with clearly defined and prescribed teaching tasks.

Disability refers to a physical, sensory, cognitive or affective impairment that causes a student to need special education.

Discrete Trial Teaching or DTT involves skills that are broken down into smaller tasks and presented in trials. Trials are discrete in that they have a very clear beginning, middle and end. Discrete trial teaching is primarily taught on a one-to-one basis and allows for many opportunities to respond, practice, and earn reinforcement. In discrete trial teaching, data are collected on each trial and visual displays are used to monitor progress.

Disorder refers to a mental or physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning.

Early Intervention Official Designee or EIOD is the person who serves as the "single point of entry" for the Early Intervention Program or EIP. Every county in NYS, including New York City, has an Early Intervention Official Designee or EIOD who is responsible for making sure that eligible children receive evaluations at no cost. The EIOD is also responsible for choosing an initial service coordinator to help families arrange for their child's evaluations and assist with the Individualized Family Service Plan.

Early Intervention Program or EIP is a statewide program that provides many different types of services to infants and toddlers, from birth to 3 years old, and their families, who meet the eligibility requirements for Early Intervention. In New York State, the Department of Health is the lead state agency responsible for the Early Intervention Program.

Early Intervention services are those provided by qualified personnel that meet the needs of the child and family as described in the Individualized Family Service Plan or IFSP. These services are provided with parental consent and to the maximum extent possible in the child's natural environment.

Educational Psychologist refers to a psychologist who specializes in learning and in the behavioral, social, and emotional problems that interfere with school performance.

Eligibility or Eligibility requirements in general are requirements that a child must meet in order to receive services. This will include the age of the child and whether or not the child has a disability or developmental delay.

Eligibility requirements for the Committee on Preschool Special Education refers to children 2 years and nine months (2.9) through 5 years of age who exhibit a significant delay or disability in one or more functional areas of development related to cognitive, language, communication, adaptive behavior, social and emotional or motor development which adversely affect the child's ability to learn. Eligibility for Preschool Special Education Services is based upon the determination of the CPSE.

Eligibility requirements for the Committee on Special Education refers to students 5 years through 21 years of age, who, because of mental, physical or emotional reasons, have been identified as having a disability and who require special services and programs approved by the Department of Special education.

Eligibility requirements for the Early Intervention Program refers to children who are in need of support from birth to 3 years of age who have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay.

Errorless teaching refers to an instructional strategy that ensures a child always responds correctly. Following an instruction, a child is provided with the immediate correct response to that instruction. This prevents any chance for an incorrect response. No opportunities for mistakes are allowed. Prompts are systematically removed until a child is able to respond correctly on their own.

Evaluation refers to the use of various assessment methods to determine if an individual meets the eligibility requirements for special education services.

Evaluation process refers to when evaluations are arranged in order to formally assess an individual's abilities and needs.

Expressive language refers to the process of formulating and sending a message. One way to express language is through speech or sign language. Others may include Augmentative Communication Devices or ACD's, like pointing to words and pictures on a communication board (ex: PECS), or formulating written messages on a computer screen.

Extended school day refers to a provision for special education students to receive instruction for a period longer than the standard school day. This sometimes includes "double" kindergarten, later afternoons, or earlier starting times.

Extended school year refers to a provision for a special education student to receive instruction during ordinary school "vacation" periods.

Family assessment is the process used to identify and collect information related to the family concerns, priorities, and resources.

Family training services are provided by qualified personnel to assist families in understanding the special needs of their child and in promoting his or her development.

Feeding problems can be defined as the inability or refusal to eat certain foods because of oral-motor, sensory, positioning, and/or behavioral issues.

Feeding therapy involves the assessment and management of individuals with swallowing and feeding disorders. The speech-language pathologist is the primary qualified personnel involved in this type of therapy. In addition to performing a clinical swallowing and feeding evaluation and instrumental assessments of swallowing function, with medical professionals, as appropriate, identification of normal and abnormal swallowing structures and functions can be identified.

Fine motor function refers to the development of skills involving the smaller muscle groups or those skills which require tiny muscle movements. For example, writing or typing would require fine motor movement.

Fine motor skills include the ability to manipulate small objects, transfer objects from hand to hand, and various hand-eye coordination tasks. Fine motor skills may involve the use of very precise motor movement in order to achieve an especially delicate task. Some examples of fine motor skills are using the pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger) to pick up small objects, cutting, coloring, writing, or threading beads.

Fluency refers to the ability to express oneself readily, clearly and effectively. It is characterized by speech that is relatively smooth in rate and rhythm. It is free of interruptions such as fillers and repetitions.

Formal assessment refers to an evaluation of a student's needs using standardized tests and other tools. A team of qualified personnel uses the assessment to determine a child's eligibility for special education and related services.

Functional behavioral assessment is the process used to determine why a student engages in behaviors that impede learning and how the student's behavior relates to the environment. The functional behavioral assessment shall include, but is not limited to, the identification of the problem behavior, the definition of the behavior in observable and measurable terms, and the identification of the contextual factors that contribute to the behavior. From this assessment, a hypothesis is developed regarding the general conditions under which the behavior occurs and the probable consequences that serve to maintain it.

Functional capabilities, with regard to individuals with disabilities, refer to being able to accomplish daily living tasks, communicate, learn, work, and participate in recreation activities. The goal of maximizing the functional capabilities of an individual is for that individual to be able to achieve greater independence and to enhance his or her quality of life.

Functional evaluation involves the assessment of the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability to determine whether or not that individual could benefit from the use of an assistive technology device and the support of assistive technology services.

PARENTS CORNER