Special Education Terminology

This section of the blog will give commonly used and not-so-commonly used terms in the field of Special Education:

  • Inclusion- this term is used to describe a classroom setting which encomposess children with disibilities and their non-disabled peers. Special needs children in this classroom are included most of the day or all of the day with assistance.
  • Spinal Bifida: Spinal Bifida is a developmental/physical disability caused by the lack of development of the spinal cord and sometimes can leave the spinal cord exposed.

  • Downs Syndrome: Downs Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by a presence of an extra chromosome.Downs Syndrome causes mental retardation and physical and facial normality's.

  • Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a "chemical storm" in the brain that. This happens when the nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses at a rate up to 4 time higher rates than normal. The pattern of repeatable seizures is called Epilepsy. Causes can range from head injuries to infectious illnesses.

  • Bipolar Disorder: This disorder is characterized by periods of mania followed by periods of depression. the disorder happens because of mood disturbances in the brain. Bipolar Disorder effects both men and women  usually between the ages of 15- 25 years.

  • Autism: Classified by The World Health Organization and American Phycological Association, Autism is " a developmental disability that results from a disorder of the human central nervous system."Children with Autism are unable to socially interact with others, have lack of interests  in activities, and or not able to communicate at all.  The causes, symptoms and some treatments seem to be highly controversial.

  • Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a group of brain injuries and non- contagious physical disabilities. The disability may effect an infant while in the womb, while passing through the womb or soon after birth. This disorder may cause speech difficulties, learning difficulties and limited motor skills.

  • ADD/ADHDADD- (Attention Deficit Disorder)or ADHD- (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) is a disorder that affects the span of a child's attention. The child seems to display certain characteristics over a period of time. characteristics including: distraction, implosive behavior and with ADHD- hyperactivity.

  • Learning Disabilities: This term is used to identify someone who has difficulty learning. The learning skills that are most likely to be effected is reading, writing, reasoning and math. Some researchers think learning disabilities are caused by the way a person's brain works, and it varies from person to person. Some children with LD can be high achievers in 1 subject and low achievers in another subject.

  • Occupational Therapy (OT): is a special service used to help with deficits or developmental problems that include sensory and fine motor skills.

  • Special Education: generally defined as a special designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child who has disabilities.

  • Early Intervention: is a system of support for children between the ages of birth and 5 with developmental  needs and their families. The services are coordinated to help promote the growth and development of the child. 
  • Indiviualized Family Service Plan (IFSP): is a plan put together by the family and specialist to meet the unique needs of the child involved and the family on a whole. IFSP's are usually used for a support service or home visitor purpose.