On the Definitions page, you will first find definitions of many acronyms commonly used by school psychologists and special educators alike. Some of these acronyms you may already be familiar with and some may be new to you. Additionally, links are provided at the bottom of the page to a book for purchase entitled The Encyclopedia of School Psychology. Several sections of this book are available via the link to read online. Also, under definitions you will find links to a few websites offering definitions of specific terms beyond common acronyms.


AC: Augmentative Communication

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder

AT: Assistive Technology

BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills

BIP: Behavior Intervention Program

CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

CBM: Curriculum Based Measurement

CCC-A: Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology

CA: Chronological Age

CDC: Comprehensive Developmental Classroom

COTA: Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

CP: Cerebral Palsy

CPA: Child Protective Services

CSS: Children Special Services

DCS: Department of Children's Services

DHS: Department of Human Services

DMRS: Division of Mental Retardation Services

DOC: Department of Corrections

EIA: Education Improvement Act

ELL: English Language Learner (student whose first language is one other than English and who needs language assistance to participate fully in the regular curriculum).

FERPA: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

FBA: Functional Behavioral Assessment

IAEP: Interim Alternative Educational Placement

DD: Developmentally Delayed or Developmental Disability

D/HH: Deaf/Hard of Hearing

DOE: Department of Education

ED: Emotionally Disturbed

ESY: Extended School Year

FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education

HI: Hearing Impaired

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEE: Independent Education Evaluation

IEP: Individualized Education Plan

IFSP: Individualized Family Service Plan (for children under 3 years of age)

LEA: Local Education Agency (usually the local school district)

LD: Learning Disabled

LRE: Least Restrictive Environment

MA: Mental Age

MDT: Multidisciplinary Team

MR: Mental Retardation

NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children

NCLB: No Child Left Behind

NCSP: Nationally Certified School Psychologist

OCR:Office of Civil Rights

OI: Orthopedic Impairment

OT: Occupational Therapy/Therapist

OHI: Other Health Impairment

PBS: Positive Behavior Support

PL 94-142: Public Law 94-142 (federal legislation that authorized education for all children with disabilities)

PT: Physical Therapy/Therapist

RTI: Response to Intervention

SIB: Self-Injurious Behavior

SLD: Specific Learning Disability

SLP: Speech-Language Pathologist

SDOE: State Department of Education

SEA: State Education Agency

SEe Standard Error of the Estimate

TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury

TCAP: Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program

TCAP-Alt: Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program Alternate

TDOE: Tennessee Department of Education

TEIDS: Tennessee's Early Intervention Data System (system for entering progress monitoring data for children identified under TEIS)

TEIS: Tennessee's Early Intervention System (intervention system for the early identification of children with specific needs)

TP & A: Tennessee Protection and Advocacy, Inc.

TSCF: Tennessee State Curriculum Frameworks

VI: Visually Impaired


The Encyclopedia of School Psychology available to view at

A glossary on statistical terms available to view at Pearson Assessments

A glossary of terms available to view at What Works Clearinghouse

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