Glossary of ESE Terms

In Exceptional Student Education, there are a variety of abbreviations, acronyms, and other terms which may be used, and it is important to know what these terms mean.  While any staff member will be glad to explain the meaning or definition to you, below is a sample:

ESE – Exceptional Student Education.  Educational programs and services for students with special learning needs.  This is sometimes referred to as special education.
Resource – Pull out program designed to meet ESE students in a separate classroom for some academic subjects. Full-time – ESE students contained in one classroom for all academic subjects.
VE – Varying Exceptionalities.  A classroom that is composed of students of varying disabilities.
IEP – Individual Education Plan.  A yearly plan designed to meet each individuals student’s needs and outlines a disabled child’s current levels of performance, related services, educational goals and modifications.  This plan is developed by a team including the child’s parents, teachers, and supportive staff.
LRE – Least Restrictive Environment.  Applies to the education setting of exceptional children and the education of disabled children with non-disabled children whenever realistic and possible.  It is the least restrictive setting in which the disabled child can function without difficulty.
Re-Eval. – Reevaluation due date.  Each student who has been accepted into an ESE program is reevaluated at least every three years. Inclusion – Participation with general education students.  Amount varies depending on needs of individual student. SLD – Specific Learning Disability.
EBD – Emotional or Behavioral Disorder InD – Intellectually Disabled Gifted – Programs designed for gifted students. ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder.  Same as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder but without the hyperactivity. ADHD – Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity.  A psychiatric classification used to describe individuals who exhibit poor attention, distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Speech – Therapy for saying sounds and words correctly. 
Language – Therapy for difficulty in understanding or using verbal language.
OT – Occupational Therapy.
PT – Physical Therapy.
Age Equivalents – A very general score that is used to compare the performance of children at the same age with one another.  It is the estimated age level that corresponds to a given score.
Adaptive Behavior – Refers to an individual’s social competence and ability to cope with the demands of the environment.
Anecdotal Record – A procedure for recording and analyzing observations of a child’s behavior; an objective, narrative description.
Annual Goals – Yearly activities or achievements to be completed or attained by the disabled child that are documented on the Individual Educational Plan.
Assessment – The process of gathering information about children in order to make educational decisions. 
Baseline Measure – The level or frequency of behavior prior to the implementations of an instructional procedure that will later be evaluated.
Behavior Modification – The techniques used to change behavior by applying principles of reinforcement learning.
Distractibility – Refers to difficulty in maintaining attention.
Exceptional Children – Could, in Florida, be gifted or children with certain disabilities as defined by state or federal law that require specialized instruction, assistance or equipment.  In Florida gifted are also considered exceptional students.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) – Used in the Federal Law – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to mean special education and related services that are provided at public expense and conform to the state requirements and conform to the individual’s IEP.
Grade Equivalent – A very general score that is used to compare the performance of children in the same grade with one another.  It is the estimated grade level that corresponds to a given score.
Homebound Instruction – A special education service in which teaching is provided by a specially trained instructor to students unable to attend school.  A parent or guardian must always be present at the time of instruction.  In some cases, the instruction may take place on a neutral site and not in the home or school.
Hyperactivity – Behavior which is characterized by excessive motor activity or restlessness.
Impulsivity – Non-goal oriented activity that is exhibited by individuals who lack careful thought and reflection prior to behavior.
Inclusion – Returning disabled children to their home school so that they may be educated with non-handicapped children in the same classroom.
Interdisciplinary Team – The collective efforts of individuals from a variety of disciplines in assessing the needs of a child.
Intervention – Preventive, remedial, compensatory, or survival services provided on the behalf of a disabled individual.
Learning Disability – refers to children with average or above average potential intelligence who are experiencing a severe discrepancy between their ability and achievement.
Mainstreaming – The practice of educating exceptional children in the regular classroom.
Mental Disability – Refers to a disability in which the individual’s intellectual level is measured within the sub-average range and there are marked impairments in social competence.
Occupational Therapist – A professional who programs and/or delivers instructional activities and materials to assist disabled children and adults to participate in useful daily activities.
Paraprofessional – A trained classroom assistant who works with a classroom teacher in the education process.
Physical Therapist – A professional trained to assist and help disabled individuals maintain and develop muscular and orthopedic capability and to make correct and useful movements.
Positive Reinforcement – Any stimulus or event which occurs after a behavior has been exhibited that affects the possibility of that behavior occurring in the future.
Section 504 – Refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in which guarantees are provided for the civil rights of disabled children and adults.  It also applies to the provision of services for children whose disability is not severe enough to warrant E.S.E. classification but who could benefit from supportive services and classroom modifications.
Self-Contained Class – A special classroom for exceptional children usually located within a regular school building.
Sheltered Workshop – A transitional or long-term work environment for disabled individuals who cannot, or who are preparing for, work in a regular setting.
Fine Motor – Small muscle movements, use of hands and fingers.
Gross Motor – Coordinated movements of all body parts for performance.