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EIP, CTT, ODD — OMG: Decoding the Special Education Acronyms

Understand the acronyms you're most likely to come across as a parent.
 

Learning Benefits

When our son began speech therapy through Early Intervention as a toddler, my husband and I suddenly found ourselves in the uncharted waters of Special Education and Related Services…and the seemingly endless list of acronyms that functions as a shorthand language for those who work in the field.

At first, we could get by knowing only that EI stood for Early Intervention and Speech and Language Pathology was known as SLP. But as Julian entered preschool and eventually qualified for additional services, several unfamiliar acronyms began showing up on our correspondence from Department of Education (a.k.a. DOE). We soon realized that in order to best advocate for our son (and communicate with his therapists), it was time to get with the program and learn to how to translate special ed jargon into a language we could understand.

Some acronyms are regional — in New York, for example, services for 3 to 5-year-olds are under the auspices of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), while Texas has the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities, or PPCD — but most are derived from regulations and definitions established by the U.S. Department of Education. The list below includes the nationally recognized special education acronyms you’re most likely to come across as a parent. Bookmark this page to make understanding the world of special ed as easy as, well, ABC…

ADD/ADHD – Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
AS – Asperger syndrome
ASD – Autism spectrum disorder
BIP – Behavior intervention plan
CD – Cognitive disability

CP – Cerebral Palsy
CREATE – Culturally responsive education for all: Training and enhancement
CTT– Collaborative team teaching (also called “integrated” or “inclusion” classrooms)
DS – Down syndrome
EBD – Emotional behavioral disturbance
ED – Emotional disturbance
EI – Early intervention
ELL– English language learner (formerly ESL– English as a second language)

GID – Gender Identity disorder
HI – Hearing impaired
IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP – Individualized education program 
LD – Learning disability/disabled
NCLB – No Child Left Behind
NVLD – Nonverbal learning disability

ODD – Oppositional defiant disorder
OT – Occupational therapy/therapist
PDD – NOS – Pervasive development disorder, not otherwise specified
PT – Physical therapy/therapist
REACh – Responsive Education for All Children Initiative

SID – Sensory integration dysfunction
SDD – Significant developmental delay
SL – Speech and language
SLD – Specific learning disability
SLP – Speech-language pathology/pathologist
SPD – Sensory processing disorder

VI – Visual impairment

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