ABCs of SPED: J is for Jargon

abcs of sped May 02, 2018

I first got a glimpse into the world of educational acronyms on my very first day of a new job many years back. I had been called into a meeting to listen in on a conference call, and they spent the whole time talking about an "L.O.A." An L.O. ...what? I was totally in over my head, and I had no idea at that point how many other acronyms and abbreviations I'd come to learn over the next few years.

Today, I'm breaking these down for you so that you don't have to be the odd one out at your next meeting (or conference call)! 

(And by the way, L.O.A. stands for "Letter of Agreement"-- it's not as common in the education world but it may be familiar to those of you in business!)

Rather than expound the virtues of each abbreviation or acronym, today I'm giving you a neat and tidy list. Are you ready? 24 of my most-commonly used acronyms coming at'cha!

A.B.A.: Applied Behavior Analysis
A.D.A.: Americans with Disabilities Act
A.T.: Assistive Technology
B.C.B.A.: Board Certified Behavior Analyst
D.O.E.: Department of Education
B.I.P.: Behavior Intervention Plan
F.A.P.E.: Free, Appropriate, Public Education
F.B.A.: Functional Behavior Assessment
F.E.R.P.A.: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
I.D.E.A.: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
I.E.E.: Independent Education Evaluation
I.E.P.: Individualized Education Program (or Plan)
L.E.A.: Local Education Agency (i.e. the school district)
L.R.E.: Least Restrictive Environment
O.T.: Occupational Therapy or Therapist
Para: Paraprofessional
P.B.I.S.: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
P.W.N.: Prior Written Notice
P.T.: Physical Therapy or Therapist
R.T.I.: Response to Intervention
S.E.L.: Social and Emotional Learning
S.L.P.: Speech Language Pathology or Pathologist
SPED: Special Education
V.R.: Vocational Rehabilitation

If I were you, I'd print this list and put it in your IEP binder (don't have one of those? Start here!). Then, next time you're in a meeting and hear an unfamiliar acronym you can either reference it on this list or add it to the bottom if it's not included.

Anything that I've missed that you hear regularly? Let me know on Facebook! I'd love expand my internal dictionary :)

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