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Frequently Asked Questions

Acronyms for Special Education (38 Questions)

1. ADA?

Americans with Disabilities Act

A federal law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities

2. ADRS?

Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

State agency that provides supports and services for individuals with disabilities and serves as lead agency for Alabama's Early Intervention System

3. AEIS?

Alabama's Early Intervention System

Statewide system of supports and services for eligible infants and toddlers, birth to age 3, with disabilities and their familes (AEIS operates under federal and state law)

4. AIDB?

Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind

ICC member state agency that provides supports and services for individuals with vision, hearing and other disabilities


Alabama State Department of Education

6. AOD?

Alabama Occupational Diploma

7. APE?

Adaptive Physical Education

8. AT?

Assistive Technology

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability

9. BIP?

Behavior Intervention Program/Plan

10. CRD?

Central Resource Directory

Directory of statewide public and private service providers, family support organizations and EI Programs

11. CRS?

Children's Rehabilitation Service

Division of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services that provides supports and services to children with special health care needs

12. CSPD?

Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Program that offers free workshops and training to parents and providers about AEIS and related topics

13. D/F?


Statewide system that compiles data and information on the cost and amount of services provided to eligible families

14. D/F?


Statewide system that compiles data and information on the cost and amount of services provided to eligible families

15. DCC?

District Coordinating Council

A group of parents and service providers who meet periodically to coordinate a districtwide plan of EI supports, services, workshops, and family forums (there are seven district councils in Alabama)

16. DEIC?

District Early Intervention Coordinator

AEIS staff who serve as the district contact point for referred families and who work closely with EI programs and District Coordinating Councils

17. DHR?

Department of Human Resources

ICC member state agency responsible for supports and services to families and children in abuse or neglect situations

18. DMH/MR?

Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation

ICC member state agency responsible for supports and services to individuals with developmental delays, mental illness and mental retardation

19. DPH?

Department of Public Health

ICC member state agency responsible for health-related services to families and children

20. DSP?

Direct Service Provider

Qualified individual or group that is authorized to provide specific early intervention services to eligible children and families

21. E&A?

Evaluation and Assessment

Required procedure by qualified personnel to determine a child's initial and ongoing eligibility for AEIS and the unique activities and supports needed by that child and family

22. EI?

Early Intervention

Supports and services designed to meet the developmental needs of each eligible child, age birth to three, who has a developmental delay or a diagnosed condition that will probably result in developmental delay, and the needs of the family related to helping the child's development

23. EPSDT?

Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

A statewide Medicaid program to screen, diagnose and treat health problems in children birth to age 21

24. ESY?

Extended School Year

25. FAPE?

Free and Appropriate Public Education

Education provided under public supervision and expense by State Department of Education

26. FBA?

Functional Behavioral Analysis

27. FPSC?

Financial Planning Subcommittee

A standing subcommittee of the ICC that reviews and provides advice on AEIS funding and expenditures

28. IDEA?

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The federal law that provides directives to states on the development of early intervention systems and special education services

29. IEP?

Individual Education Program

A written plan developed by the IEP team for eligible children ages 3-21 years.

30. IQ?

Intelligence Quotient

31. LEA?

Local Education Agency

The public entity legally responsible for the provision of public education within the community

32. LRE?

Least Restrictive Environment

The least restrictive educational environment where the eligible child's education needs can be met

33. NCLB?

No Child Left Behind

34. OT?

Occupational Therapy

Training and services administered by a qualified provider to aid development in self-care and in play to help motor development

35. PT?

Physical Therapy

Training and services administered by a qualified provider to aid motor development and movement

36. RTI?

Response to Intervention/Instruction

37. SDE?

State Department of Education

38. SES?

Special Education Services

Division within the State Department of Education

• Gifted Education (11 Questions)

1. Can my kindergarten child be identified as gifted?

Students must be enrolled in a public school in the LEA and must be six years old to be referred for gifted. If you have a kindergarten student who needs additional challenges and is not six years old, the gifted specialist can provide consultative services to the classroom teacher

2. Does my child ever have to be reevaluated for the gifted program once he/she has been identified as gifted?

No. Once a child has been identified as gifted, he/she retains that identification.

3. Does the "No Child Left Behind Act " (NCLB) address the gifted child?

The federal government does not prescribe programs and services for gifted students (unlike special education). NCLB focuses on improving student achievement with particular emphasis on students in high-need schools. Gifted students are not a subgroup population examined under NCLB testing parameters.

4. Does the federal government provide funding for gifted programs?

The only federal funds specifically earmarked for gifted education are the Javits Grants which support research centers. Gifted does not fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), so federal funds are not used for local gifted programming as they are for special education programming.

5. If my child does not qualify for gifted services, will he/she ever have another chance?

If a child does not qualify for gifted services, he/she is not excluded from future consideration. The gifted specialist reviews standardized test scores and outstanding work samples annually. If the student's work and other criteria indicate a possible need for testing the next school year, a new referral can be initiated.

6. We are moving to Montgomery from another public school system in Alabama where my child was identified as gifted. Does my child have to be referred for gifted services again.

No. If a student is identified as gifted in another LEA in Alabama, the student does not have to be referred for gifted. The school system automatically accepts the gifted identification.

7. We are moving to Montgomery from out of the state. How will my child's previous identification as a gifted student be handled?

Each Local Education Agency (LEA) in Alabama establishes procedures for the identification of gifted students and for the delivery of services to those students, consistent with the Alabama Administrative Code. In order to have your child assessed, you will need to complete a request for a gifted referral. It would be helpful if the information from the previous school was provided with the request. Depending on the information provided by the previous school, your child may or may not need additional assessments for the gifted program. For further information, contact your child's principal, teacher, the gifted specialist assigned to the school, or the gifted coordinator

8. What do I do if I disagree with the decision of the Gifted Eligibility Determination committee?

The parent/guardian should first contact the gifted specialist for a conference. If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome of the conference, he/she should contact the Gifted Coordinator at 334-269-3808.

9. What do I tell my child if he/she does not qualify for the gifted program?

As far as scores, sharing the specific scores is probably not in your child's best interest. There have been times when parents, meaning to be kind, tell their child they "just missed it by one" or "just missed it by a little." These generalizations, while meant to reassure, can also cause frustration in the child. Always congratulate him/her on his/her effort. Remind your child of the strengths and talents he/she has and how proud we all are of your child.

10. What is "twice exceptional"?

Students who are identified as twice-exceptional may have learning disabilities that mask their giftedness. These students may require different identification methods and program modifications to reach their full potential. It should not be assumed that students with disabilities cannot participate in gifted and talented programs.

11. Why is the program service delivery model in middle school different from the elementary school model?

The middle school concept is different from the elementary structure. At the middle school level, students have the option of advanced classes for which they have demonstrated a need for challenge. They also take electives in areas of interest. They receive this differentiated instruction from their subject area teachers and there is no QUEST resource pullout option.