IEP, PBIB, ABA, OT, SLP… What does all this mean?

When you first realize that your child is struggling to develop at the same level as other children  their age,  you begin the early intervention process.  Little did you know that you would have to learn a new language: acronyms.


Below is a list of acronyms that I have learned over the years working through the early intervention process and ending with a diagnosis of autism.

The list is long and in alphabetical order.  It has taken many hours to complete and I am thinking that the organization of the acronyms may be better served by organizing them into related topics.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


ABA=Applied Behavior Analysis- the most recommended type of therapy for children diagnosed with autism and the most difficult for people to access via insurance due to the high cost per hour and number of hours needed in treatment.

ABAS-II=Adaptive Behavior Assessment System Second Edition-both a teacher and caregiver form used to assess and evaluate for developmental pediatrician

ADD= Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD=Attention deficit with Hyperactive Disorder

ADOS-2=Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition- used to help developmental pediatrician diagnose children with autism

ASD Unit= Autism Spectrum Disorder classroom with only autism students, most common in public schools

ASD= Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASRS=Autism Spectrum Rating Scales for Parent and Teacher- used to help developmental pediatrician diagnose children with autism

BCBA=Board Certified Behavior Analysis- a person certified to provide ABA therapy

CARD-USF=Center for Autism Related Disorders at University of South Florida-community resources for multiple counties in the west coast of Florida for families with children with autism related disorders

CMS= Children’s Medical Services- Provides health insurance to medically needy children whose families qualify.

Co-insurance= the % that the insurance pays versus what you pay once you meet your deductible.

DD=Developmentally Delayed- most common in the early intervention category when qualifying for FDLRS and public school placement

Deductible=amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance will pay

DSI=Dual Sensory Impairment

DSM-5= Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition-used by medical professionals to qualify mental disorders

Due Process=part of the IEP process that allows parents to solve disputes with the school district

Early Steps=part of the Early Learning Coalition that provides services for children under the age of three

ELC=Early Learning Coalition; responsible for running Early Steps and FDLRS

EOB=Explanation of Benefits- provided by insurance company will be needed for grants and to verify providers are being paid for therapy; also what you are financially responsible for

EP=Education Plan- used mostly with gifted children

ESE=Exceptional Student Education

ESY=Extended School Year- most people never qualify because the district has strict requirements for proving regression

FAPE=Free Appropriate Public Education- laws that parents should review if they have an IEP and a student in public school

FBA=Functional Behavior Assessment- used after a PBIP is not effective within the public schools.  It would outline what the teacher should do with problem behaviors.

FDLRS=Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System; places three year olds and up into the public schools with IEP’s

FDOE=Florida Department of Education

Gardiner Scholarship=the FDOE provides scholarship funds for students with specific disabilities ages 3 and up for private education

GFCF= Gluten Free Casein Free- the autism diet

GFCFSF=Gluten Free Casein Free Soy Free-autism diet

GOLD=assessment used in prekindergarten to measure the development and learning of students

Great Connections=community resource provided with Great Exploration Children’s Museum for once a month sensory friendly play

IDEA=Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-also laws that parents should be familiar with when they have a child with a disability

IE= Initial Evaluation-what the FDLRS team will call the appointment when they first assess your three year old for developmental concerns and delays and decide if she/he qualifies for an IEP within the public school

IEP= Individualized Education Plan- very important document that outlines your child’s goals as well as accommodations and services for their disability

InD=Intellectual Disability-related to low IQ and is a category as an exceptionality on the IEP

LI= Language Impaired

LRE=Least Restrictive Environment- laws that a parent must know when they send their special needs child to public school with an IEP (very important)

Matrix= a scoring rubric used to determine your McKay Scholarship award

McKay Scholarship= FDOE scholarship for any student with an IEP for use in public or private school

Medicaid=Federal Health Insurance for disabled and financially needy persons

OHI=Other Health Impairment

OT=Occupational Therapy

PARC=Pinellas Association for Retarded Children- provides community resources for children and adults with disabilities

PBIP=Positive Behavior Intervention Plan-first step in helping a teacher reduce or eliminate a problem behavior

PCSB=Pinellas County School Board

PDD=Pervasive Developmental Disorder

PDMS-2= Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2nd Edition – used to evaluate motor skills in an occupational therapy assessment

PK or PreK= prekindergarten

PLS-5= Preschool Language Skills, 5th Edition-used in evaluating speech and language

SBHC=School Board Hillsborough County

SDIS-C=Sleep Disorders Inventory for Students-Children’s Form

SI=Speech Impaired

SLD=Specific Learning Disabled

SLP=Speech Language Pathologists

SPAP=South Pinellas Autism Project- community advocacy and resources organization in South Pinellas County

SPD=Sensory Processing Disorder

TBI=Traumatic Brain Injury

VB-MAPP=Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program- used by BCBA to provide ABA therapy

VI=Visually Impaired







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