Terms S-Z

SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES: Related service; services provided by a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.

SECTION 504: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination due to disability.

SELF-CARE SKILLS: Activities in the domain of adaptive behavior, such as toileting, eating, grooming, bathing, shopping or housekeeping.

SELF-CONTAINED CLASS: A separate classroom located within a general education school, used by children with disabilities, usually in the same categorical grouping.

SELF-STIMULATORY BEHAVIOR: Repeated nonfunctional and non-responsive movements such as rocking back and forth; arm or hand flapping; eye rubbing, etc.

SEMANTICS: The rules of language governing the meaning of words in sentences.

SENSORY IMPAIRMENT: Sensitivity in the auditory, visual, tactile, taste, vestibular, olfactory, or proprioceptive senses.

SENSORY INTEGRATION: How an individual organizes, interprets and uses sensory information, from the tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive senses to move through space and coordinate movement.

SHORT-TERM OBJECTIVES: A required component of an IEP. Each annual goal must have at least one short-term objective.

SHORT TERM MEMORY: Memory that typically persists for only seconds to minutes.

SHORT TERM SUSPENSION: Any suspension of 10 school days or less in a school year.

SIGN LANGUAGE: A visual-gestural system of language for deaf or hearing-impaired students.

SOCIAL WORKER: Professionals who act as the link between home, school, and community by providing direct interventions with students, families, and the educational community; consultation with the school personnel and community; and advocacy regarding the special needs of those in the educational setting.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique educational needs of students with disabilities to help them develop to their maximum potential.

SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (SEPAC): A group of parents of students with disabilities from each local education agency within the intermediate school district. The SEPAC advises the Child Study Team on matters relating to special education programs and services.

SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY (SLD): Corresponds to “perceptually impaired” and means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
  1. A specific learning disability can be determined when a severe discrepancy is found between the student’s current achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas:
    1. Basic reading skills;
    2. Reading comprehension;
    3. Oral expression;
    4. Listening comprehension;
    5. Mathematical calculation
    6. Mathematical problem solving;
    7. Written expression; and
    8. Reading fluency
  2. A specific learning disability may also be determined by utilizing a response to scientifically based interventions methodology as described in N.J.A.C.6A:14-3(h)6.
  3. The term severe discrepancy does not apply to students who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual , hearing, or motor disabilities, general cognitive deficits, emotional disturbance or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
  4. The district shall, if it utilizes the severe discrepancy methodology, adopt procedures that utilize a statistical formula and criteria for determining severe discrepancy. Evaluation shall include assessment of current academic achievement and intellectual ability.
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY SERVICES: Related service; includes identification and diagnosis of speech or language impairments, speech or language therapy, counseling and guidance.

SPEECH OR LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT: Disability category under IDEA; includes communication disorders, language impairments, voice impairments that adversely educational performance.

SPEECH PATHOLOGIST: Professional trained to evaluate and provide therapy for speech and language disorders.

STANDARD DEVIATION: Statistical term used to measure how far a student’s score is from the score of most students, as measured in distances that represent a significant difference.

STANDARDIZED TESTS: Tests which compare one student to a large sample of students of the same age or group, which have been tested and through research methods established a “normal” score for purposes of comparison.

STAY PUT PROVISION: A legal concept from special education law. A student is allowed to stay in a class or program while an impartial hearing officer hears evidence and decides whether the student’s program or placement should be changed.

SUPPLEMENTARY AIDS AND SERVICES: Modifications to the general education program made to ensure that a student with a disability can participate fully in the program.

SURROGATE PARENT: A person other than the child’s natural parent who is named to act as the child’s “parent” in special education matters. Surrogate parents most often serve students who live in facilities or institutions.

TACTILE DEFENSIVENESS: Extreme sensitivity to touch.

TACTILE SENSE: Sense of touch over body surfaces, including pressure temperature and pain.

TARGET BEHAVIOR: A specific undesirable behavior(s) in a student’s behavior to be modified, reduced or eliminated; also refers to desirable skills, which are goals of behavior support plans for a child with a disability.

TASK ANALYSIS: A teaching strategy in which skills are broken down into smaller steps; and then used in a teaching method tailored to each child’s pace of learning.

TOKEN ECONOMY: A system of encouraging desirable behaviors through the delivery of tokens. These tokens can be in the form of stars, points, candy, chips, and so on.

TOTAL COMMUNICATION: The approach to the education of deaf students that combines oral speech, sign language, and finger spelling.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY: Corresponds to “neurologically impaired” and means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or insult to the brain, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech.

TRANSITION PLANNING: At a minimum, this is planning for adolescents' post-school lives and must begin by age 14. This involves preparation of a document called an Individual Transition Program (ITP). Good practice may involve planning for earlier transitions as well as incorporating such plans into the child's IEP.

TRANSITION SERVICES: IEP requirement; designed to facilitate movement from school to the workplace or to higher education.

TRANSPORTATION: Travel to, from and between schools; travel in and around school buildings; and specialized equipment (such as special or adapted bus lifts, and ramps), if required to provide special transportation to a child with a disability.

VALIDITY: Refers to how well a test measures what it claims to measure. A test is valid when it accurately measures one or more of a student’s skills or needs, such as the capacity (or lack of capacity) to see, hear, talk, reason, remember, or conform to certain standards of behavior.

VISUALLY IMPAIRED: Corresponds to “visually handicapped” and means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a student’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. An assessment by a specialist qualified to determine visual disability is required. Students with visual impairments shall be reported to the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.