Glossary of Terms

Absent Seizure – Also known as “complex partial seizure” or “silent seizure”. Abnormal electrical discharges that begin in a small area of the temporal or frontal lobe of the brain and  quickly spread to nearby areas. Usually begin and last from 1-2 minutes. Very hard to catch/observe. Consciousness is impaired but not completely lost. Symptoms include a stare, chew or smack lips involuntarily, utter meaningless sounds, inability to understand whats’s being said, resisting help, becoming off balance, or seem confused.

Note: A neurologist who does not hold certification in psychiatry will not treat your child unless they saw the seizure, they see a video of the seizure or the episode occurs during an EEG. Their certification does not allow them to diagnose outside their area. You need a neurologist who knows when to refer “up the chain”.

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (From the Mayo Clinic): Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

Children with ADHD also may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Symptoms sometimes lessen with age. However, some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms. But they can learn strategies to be successful.

While treatment won’t cure ADHD, it can help a great deal with symptoms. Treatment typically involves medications and behavioral interventions. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in outcome.

ARD – Admissions Review Dismissal (Committee) The school district has a vote and you have a vote. The school district will bring in all their experts, counselors/diagnosticians, etc. From experience, we can tell you they will try to bully you into thinking they know best. They will push their plan.

The committee has 50% vote. The district has the other 50% vote.

If you’re not satisfied, you can call another ARD meeting.  Mark the paper that you are in disagreement. ALWAYS put things in writing. ALWAYS record the meetings (with smart phone, etc). Check state laws with regard to “one party recording”. In Texas, “one party recording” is legal. “One Party Consent Law”.

Compensatory Services – When a parent finds they are in a disagreement with a school and they have a complaint and they are right, the district/area agency will demand and back date the compensatory services.

Diagnostician/Educational Diagnostician – A special education teacher with an MAED degree and certification.

Dyslexia – Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is a common learning disability in children.

Dyslexia occurs in children with normal vision and intelligence. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn’t recognized until adulthood.

There’s no cure for dyslexia. It’s a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how your brain works. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.  (Source: Mayo Clinic)

ECI – Early Childhood Intervention. A government program offering intervention for children 0-3 when there is some physical or mental impairment present. (Jack qualified by being born with a club foot). If the issue continues beyond 3, the baton gets passed to the child’s school district.

Note: For Jack, the testing and evaluations in ECI they did before they released him from ECI became the baseline for future diagnosis.

FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. For students and parents. The district/school can’t record a conversation about the student unless the parent records. In Texas, the parent can record any conversation about their student.

GORT 4 – Gray Oral Reading Test – Efficient objective measure of growth in oral reading and aids in diagnosis of reading difficulties. Language assessment.

Graphic Organizers – Subject specific. A visual display that demonstrates information that kids with disability cannot store in long term memory to use later. Visual aids.  Helps determine “is this a deficit?” or is it a “contributing factor to the deficit?”

Grand Mal Seizure – Have two stages: Tonic stage and Clonic Stage.

Tonic is loss of consciousness, sudden muscle contraction, causing person to fall. Lasts ten to twenty seconds.

Clonic phase muscles go into rhythmic contractions. Alternate flex and relax. Usually lasts less than two minutes.

Symptom: eyes roll back, scream, shaking, unresponsive. Go into a post-dictal stage. For about 20 minutes they go into a deep sleep. Extremely unresponsive. Then extremely wiped out for half an hour. Some have severe headache. Within an hour they can appear that nothing has happened, but memory is impaired for 48 hours because there has been damage to the brain.

IEP – Individual Education Plan. In education law, if the school doesn’t do what they say in an IEP they are in violation of FERPA. Violations : a due process complaint. Complain to TEA.

The wording on those complaints must be perfect (use a PhD or a journalist). Because it’s unheard of to get compensatory services.

504 IEP Plan – A plan developed for a child with disability identified under the law to receive accommodations. Parents can call a 504 meeting but the school doesn’t have to do what the parents ask in a 504 plan. Your child isn’t protected the way they are in an IEP. 504 plan is just accommodations. Doesn’t allow parents to ask for an IEE (Independent Education Evaluation).

You can’t make teachers do things in a 504 Plan. Only reviewed every 3 years.  IEP must be reviewed every year.

Office of Civil Rights investigates violations. No better than TEA

Parents can put in writing they want to skip the 504 Plan.

Schools will discourage parents from IEP’s because it saves the school money.

KTEA 3 – Koffman Test of Educational Achievement (third edition). Has a lot of misinformed information and is not reliable. Reports higher scores than the student is capable of scoring. Any reputable experts knows not to use this test.

The dirty little secret is school districts know if they use these tests it will score high and enable them to deny services to students.

LSSP – Licensed Specialist in School Psychology. (Unsuspecting parents may think they are a practicing psychologist. They are not. Completion of a degree in school psychology. Must pass a national certified school psychologist or educational equivalent exam. To become a clinical psychologist requires a doctoral degree.)

LSSP’s and diagnosticians are the low level “experts”. They are anything but experts. They are entry level. They get to pick sub-tests based on test results. They can skew the true diagnosis. Example: you can’t use a visual aid to test a kid with strong visual learning skills to test for a deficit because he/she will score high.

Neuropsychologist – Possess a Ph.D. Degree. Most but not all are LSSP certified. Also called an “individual education evaluator”. It’s within the parents’ rights to request this. Local districts may try to put restrictions on this that aren’t proper. E.G. “You must use one that is within 150 miles”. In other words, they are in the school’s back pocket and not working independently for the best interest of the child. Simply put, if the Neuropsychologist gets referrals from the school district, they aren’t unbiased.

Occupational Therapy – helps a child with exercises that help their memory and executive functioning skills. Trampoline, balance boards, swings, while asking them to perform academic tasks. Example: teaching sequential tasks. OT’s are under appreciated in their ability to help children.

Pediatric Developmental Specialist – a medical doctor. A certified pediatrician with extended education. Also certified in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics. FYI – most insurance carriers require a referral to one of these.

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Includes sleep deprivation which effects all cognitive levels. If child seems tired all the time, invest in a night vision camera. The brain is like a computer. REM sleep is a “restart” mode. Brain needs to hit REM in the deep stage of sleep cycle. If it doesn’t your brain can’t process information from short term to long term. Like data on a computer that stays in RAM and never makes it to the hard drive.

SPECO – South Plains Educational Co-OP. A “shared service” agency. Smaller districts use SSA’s to combine their monies to hire diagnosticians/specialists/OT’s/SP’s. Smaller schools can’t afford to have their own specialists.

Speech Therapy – Help the child articulate their speech, the language that is in reading. Help develop skill sets (sequential, compare/contrast, cause/effect). Speech therapy uses the actual language to show how they work. Work with Occupational Therapists.

TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury. There are three levels: Mild, Moderate, and Severe.

TEA – Texas Education Agency  –  The Texas Education Agency is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education. It is headed by the commissioner of education. The mission of TEA is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students.

WISC 4 –  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. An IQ test. No writing or reading ability is needed. Old school way of doing things was to take your IQ and match it to classroom performance and if there was a 16 point or more deficit then you qualified for whatever area of weakness you were 16 points below.

In 2004 in Texas so many kids were being served in SPED ED, they changed it to say you needed a battery of tests to determine strengths and weaknesses.

Woodcock-Johnson 4 – Test of cognitive abilities. Set of intelligence tests developed in 1977. To determine the “16 point” discrepancy. A portion of this test scores your ability.–Johnson_Tests_of_Cognitive_Abilities