Education as a whole is known for their overuse of acronyms and of the countless to chose from we decided to share some of the most commonly used in special education.  This is simply a summary of each and is not intended to be comprehensive.

IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) 

IDEA has gone through many revisions over the years beginning with the Education for all Handicapped Children act that was enacted by congress in 1975. The most current revision was done in 2004.  The importance of this act is that it provides a set of laws and guidelines that governs how school districts provide education for all students.

FERPA(Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

This is a federal law that applies to all schools that receive programming funds from the U.S. Department of Education. This act protects the privacy of student education records and gives rights to the parents of children until they reach the age of 18.  Once they reach 18 the rights are transferred to the student.

IFSP(Individual Family Service Plan)

This plan exists to serve children birth to 3 years of age that have been identified with developmental delays. The focus of this plan is how to support the family and the child within the family setting.  Once a child reaches 3 years of age the plan then changes to an IEP.  This is Part C of IDEA.

IEP(Individual Education Plan)

This is a plan required by law for every student receiving special education services.  The purpose of this plan is to create an individualized program that will support student growth in the educational setting from their current level to a level of improvement or growth.  This is Part B of IDEA.

PWN(Prior Written Notice)

This notice is paperwork that is given to parents that may identify changes to their child’s IEP or outline an evaluation plan.  The purpose of the paperwork is to obtain parents permission, through their signature, to proceed with the IEP or evaluation.

ESR(Evaluation Summary Report)

There are different types of summary reports that you may come across.  An initial is the first report you will receive when your child first qualifies for special education services.  A comprehensive is the report you will receive when the required 3-year evaluation is done.  A Functional Behavior Assessment is the report you will receive when your child has demonstrated significant behaviors or a qualification under EBD (Emotional Behavioral Disorder) is being considered.  Each provides information about your child that was obtained through an evaluation process.

FBA(Functional Behavior Assessment)

This assessment is done when a student is presenting behaviors related to their disability that are negatively impacting their education.  All behavior is communication and therefore the intent of this assessment is to provide a detailed process to determine the communicative intent of the behaviors.

PBSP(Positive Behavior Support Plan)

A positive behavior support plan is a necessary component of an FBA.  This plan is in response to the findings of the FBA and provides a framework in which the IEP team has agreed will help reduce behaviors and best support the student in the educational environment.

For further information: IDEA Topic Areas

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