Special Education Acronyms PDF | 35 Most Common IEP Acronym List

Special Education Acronyms and Terms

When I first started this journey, I swore that I wouldn’t do this! I swore that I would never be one of “those people.” Those people who speak in IEP and special education acronyms. Guess what? I am one. And let’s face it, acronyms exist for a reason. IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan.

To say “individualized education plan” over and over is much more cumbersome than IEP. Note: on the IDEA website, they use Program, not Plan. However, on the Pattan site, it says Plan. Plan and Program are often used interchangeably.

special education acronyms

Or NOREP, that’s a long one. What’s a NOREP? Glad you asked!

For a long time, I thought of publishing a list of acronyms on here. Pattan puts one out and I have it. But they are also available online. Some of the sites I have seen list up to 3 pages of them! So what I decided to do, poll the parents in the Facebook group about what acronyms they find themselves using frequently. So no, I haven’t statistically or scientifically verified that these are the most commonly used special education acronyms, this is anecdotal.

But there definitely was a pattern. If I was going to recommend a list of special education acronyms that you should memorize, this would be the list. In this list of special education acronyms, I also have hyperlinked most of them to a post explaining more about it. I wanted to keep the explanations brief on this list.

IEP Acronyms

For most of them, you can click on the Special Education Acronym to get more information. Also, if you scroll down I have more information and even a free printable of IEP Acronyms.

Chart of Special Education Acronyms

ABAApplied Behavior Analysis
APSApproved Private Schoool
AT/AACAssistive Technology/Augmented Communication
BCBABoard Certified Behavior Analyst
BIP/PSP/PBSPBehavior Improvement Plan/Positive Support Plan
BASCBehavior Assessment System for Children
CBICommunity Based Instruction
DIBELSDynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills, an early reading assessment.
EDEmotionally Disturbed
ER Evaluation Report. Your child only ever receives one ER report. Everything after the first one is an RR.
ESYExtended School Year
FAPEFree and Appropriate Education
FBAFunctional Behavior Assessment
IEEIndependent Education Evaluation
LEALocal Education Agency
LRELeast Restrictive Environment
MAMedical Assistance, Medicaid
OCROffice of Civil Rights
PLOPPresent Levels of Performance or PLAAFP
PTPhysical Therapy/Therapist (work on gross motor skills)
PTEPermission to Evaluate
PWNPrior Written Notice
O & MOrientation and Mobility
RRRe-evaluation Report, for most every 3 years.
SDSchool District
SDISpecially Designed Instruction
SLDSpecific Learning Disability
SLPSpeech Language Pathologist
TVITeacher of the Visually Impaired
OTOccupational Therapy/Therapist (fine motor skills)
ASDAutism Spectrum Disorder (one of the disability classifications on an IEP)
EDEmotionally Disturbed (one of the disability classifications on an IEP)
ELL/ESLEnglish Language Learner/Second Language
EIEarly Intervention
IFSPIndividual Family Service Plan
OHIOther Health Impaired (one of the disability classifications on an IEP) ADHD falls under this
RTI/MDSSResponse to Intervention or Multi Disciplinary Supports Services, RTI is NOT special education
FERPAFederal Education Records Privacy Act
HHHard of Hearing
IEPIndividualized Education Plan
AEDYAlternative Education for Disruptive Youth

State Specific Special Education Acronyms

  1. IU-Intermediate Unit, these are unique to PA and we have 29 of them, they are the “intermediate unit” that is the link between the state department of education and the school district, provide special ed services
  2. ARD-this is unique to Texas, stands for Admission, Review, Dismissal
  3. PDE-Pennsylvania Department of Education
  4. LTFLocal Task Force, PA only, please join yours!
  5. NOREP-Notice of Recommended Educational Placement. It’s what PA calls the PWN.

Printable List of Special Education Acronyms


Do you speak the Special Education language?

special education acronyms chart

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