Understanding Special Education Terms
By Richard Sorenson and Elizabeth H.Keith
Special education jargon is frequently misunderstood, especially when communicated verbally or in writing to those who are not familiar with the common terms used by school district leaders.
Such misunderstandings do not necessarily occur because school leaders purposefully mean to keep others in the dark; it is more often just a natural part of the leadership role. Think of those who serve in the military. Have you ever heard a military leader speak? The jargon may seem to be in another language, because military terms and acronyms are readily incorporated.
Overusing acronyms is something school leaders frequently do, especially when discussing issues related to special education. The terms and jargon can be quite confusing to school board members, especially those new to their role.
As a school board member, have you ever sat in a meeting and wondered, “What in the world did that administrator just say?”
We are here to help.
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