IEP, IFSP, ABA… Making Sense Of Acronyms

IEP- Individualized Education Plan. This is a written document for a child in special education that is three years old and up. The plan is formulated by the parents and multidisciplinary team who evaluated the child.

IFSP- Individualized Family Service Plan. This is a written document that is used for children birth to three years old. This document describes the child’s current level of development, goals, family’s concerns, pertinent medical information and a timeline. The IFSP is developed by a multidisciplinary team. This team includes a service coordinator, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and infant educator.

ABA-Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA also known as behavior modification is way of controlling behavior through the use of reinforcement of the appropriate behavior or discouragement of the negative behavior. For example, when a child exhibits good behavior they can get rewarded with a sticker or verbal praise.

OT- Occupational Therapist- An occupational therapist assesses and develops a treatment plan for children to be able to complete activities of daily living independently. Activities could include helping with tooth brushing, eating a variety of foods with different textures, getting dressed or picking up small objects using thumb and pointer finger.

PT- Physical Therapist- A physical therapist focuses more on the larger muscles of the body. They help improve or restore mobility. Physical therapy can assist a child with meeting their developmental milestones from sitting up to crawling to standing and walking.

SLP-Speech and Language Pathologist is also known as a speech therapist. Therapist works on improving the child’s speech and language skills and oral motor abilities.

E.I.- Early Intervention is for children ages 0-3 who have a developmental delay or are considered at risk. Services may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavior therapy and infant stimulation. Services are typically provided in the child’s natural environment which would be in home. At times, children can receive services in center depending on what best fits the needs of the child.

ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorder A diagnosis of autism is made when a child exhibits certain symptoms in social, language and thinking skills.

IDEA- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a nation wide law that ensures that children with disabilities will get the necessary services needed such as early intervention.

MR- Mental Retardation is a word that is no longer used. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has replaced mental retardation. A child who functions below their age level in intellectual and adaptive behavior is considered to have intellectual disabilities.

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