Parent Resources

Parent Support

We provide assistance to families of students with disabilities and serve as the link between school personnel and families.

Candy Squilla
Special Education Parent Liaison
Rosie Beattie
Special Education Parent Liaison (en español)

Support is offered through:
• The monthly Coffee – A less formal program of support. This option offers parents a chance to share the experiences, resources, frustrations and triumphs of living with a special needs child. These are held at the Family Resource Center. Parents often check out books from the lending library at this time.

• Special Education Parent Liaisons – Families seeking help or information about services provided by the district may call a Parent Liaison to help insure that all applicable services are arranged for their child. The Parent Liaisons maintain a family resource center with books and tapes focused on special needs students. They also assist parents in understanding and using the ARD/IEP process. You may reach a Parent Liaison through the Parent Liaison website or by calling 512-464-5980 (Candy Squilla) or 512-464-5984 (Rosie Beattie en español)

Parent Companion First Five Years website is a guide for Texas Parents and caregivers of children diagnosed or suspected disabilities from birth through 5 years of age.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Prohibits discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations and transportation, and providing telecommunication relay services. Provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Auditory Impairment (AI): is used synonymously with “hearing impaired” and both terms are understood to include “deaf” and “hard of hearing.” These students have been determined to have a serious hearing loss even after corrective medical treatment or use of amplification.

ARD: Admission, Review and Dismissal committee which makes decisions concerning the educational program of a student referred or placed in special education. Responsibilities of the ARD Committee include:

-Review all diagnostic test results
-Establish eligibility for special education services
-Develop the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
-Provide for educational placement in the least restrictive environment
-Review all special services assignments annually to determine the need for continuation, change, reappraisal or dismissal
-Ensure that alternatives are reviewed and additional services are discussed
-Determine eligibility for Extended Year Services (EYS)

Adapted Physical Education (APE): A special education (remedial) program for students who require developmental or corrective instruction and who are precluded from participation in the activities of the general physical education program, modified general physical education program or in a specially designed physical education program in a special class.

Assistive/Adaptive Technology (AT): any piece of hardware which addresses the physical or cognitive needs of the user.

Assistive Technology Device (ATD): means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): A biologically based mental disorder that typically has the following characteristics: short attention span, distracted behavior, difficulty following directions and staying on task, and an inability to focus behavior. The disorder compromises many skills needed for academic success.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A biologically based mental disorder in which a person has inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

Autism (AU): is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism’s occurrence.

Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. Persons with autism may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking), unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. Individuals may also experience sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

(ADA Allowances): Average Daily Attendance per pupil accounting of student attendance.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP): Implementation of procedures for the elimination of maladaptive behaviors, which are significantly interfering with the implementation of the student’s IEP. A systematic implementation of procedures, identified in the IEP, that result in lasting positive changes in the individual’s behavior.

Cerebral Palsy (CP): is a loss or deficiency of motor control with involuntary spasms caused by permanent brain damage present at birth.

Chronological Age (CA): is the number of years a person has lived, used especially in psycho-metrics as a standard against which certain variables, such as behavior and intelligence, are measured.

Community-Based Instruction (CBI): means working together with community businesses, to provide special needs students hands-on opportunities to acquire knowledge, develop skills for real jobs and learn appropriate social behaviors through interaction with co-workers that occurs naturally in a work setting. The student is not paid nor does he/she provide benefit or advantage to the employer. Students will earn high school credits towards graduation.

Deaf – Blind (DB): means medically verified visual loss coupled with medically verified hearing loss that, together, interfere with acquiring information or interacting in the environment.

Emotional Disturbance (ED): Students who exhibit one or more characteristics of a severe emotional disturbance as specified by law and whose condition has existed for a long period of time and to a marked degree. The condition must also adversely affect the student’s educational performance. A serious disturbance is to be distinguished from antisocial/socially maladjusted behavior, which is not a special education handicapping condition.

English as a Second Language (ESL): The term ESL is used frequently in the USA. If you maintain an EFL/ESL distinction, then ESL refers to English language learning in countries where English is the main and / or official language, and the student’s own native language (first language) is not English. This term is problematic when we consider learners for whom English is their third or fourth language.

Extended School Year (ESY): An individualized program, based on those goals an objectives on the IEP of the year preceding ESY, offered to special education students during all or part of the summer vacation period. ESY extends instruction beyond the conventional number of instructional days in the school year.

Free Appropriate Public Education(FAPE): The federal provision for special education and related services for students at public expense; under public supervision and direction; and without charge to a parent, student or guardian.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): This federal special education law, re-authorized in 1997, provides funding to states and sets substantive and procedural requirements for educational agencies. This law re-authorized and expanded discretionary programs, educational benefit, mandated transition services and assistive technology services to be included in the IEP and added autism and traumatic brain injury to the list of eligibility categories, among other items. It was originally titled the Education for All handicapped children Act and enacted as P.L. 94-142.

Individualized Education Program (IEP): A written plan prepared at an IEP meeting that includes the student’s present level of educational performance, eligibility for special education, annual instructional goals and objectives, services to be provided, needed transition services, type of instructional setting, and provisions for integration /mainstreaming in regular education programs.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ): an intelligence test score that is obtained by dividing mental age, which reflects the age-graded level of performance as derived from population norms, by chronological age and multiplying by 100: a score of 100 thus indicates a performance at exactly the normal level for that age group.

The Individual Transition Plan (ITP): is created in conjunction with students who are 16 and above. This plan assists in the student’s transition from school to adulthood.

Local Educational Agency (LEA): is

(a) a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control of or direction of, or to perform service functions for, public elementary or secondary schools in: (1) a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State; or (2) such combination of school districts or counties a State recognizes as an administrative agency for its public elementary or secondary schools; or

(b) any other public institution or agency that has administrative control and direction of a public elementary or secondary school.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): A requirement in both state and federal laws that to the maximum extent appropriate, a student with a disability should be educated in classes with non-disabled peers. Separate schooling and other removal from the regular environment should occur only when the nature or severity of the disability prevents satisfactory education in regular classes even with the use of supplementary aides and services.

Learning Disabled (LD): pupils with specific learning disorders affecting educational performance.

Mental Retardation (MR): Students with significantly below-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior.

Other Health Impairments (OHI): Limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to a chronic or acute health problem such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes.

Orientation and Mobility (O&M): is the educational process that prepares an individual to travel safely and independently in his or her surrounding environment. Orientation uses the remaining senses to establish one’s position and relationship to other significant objects in the environment. Mobility is the ability to move from a present position to a desired location or position in another part of the environment in a safe and efficient manner.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): is a recurring pattern of negative, hostile, disobedient, and defiant behavior in a child or adolescent, lasting for at least six months without serious violation of the basic rights of others.

Orthopedic Impairment (OI): An IDEA disability category that includes physical impairments that adversely affects a student’s educational performance and are caused by congenital anomaly (for example, clubfoot or absence of an appendage); disease (for example, poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.); or from other causes (for example, cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contracture).

Occupational Therapy (OT): A therapy or treatment provided by an occupational therapist that helps individual developmental or physical skills that will aid in daily living; it focuses on sensory integration, on coordination of movement, and on fine motor and self-help skills, such as dressing, eating with a fork and spoon, etc.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD): is a complex developmental disorder that includes children with symptoms associated with poor to severely impaired social skills, repetitive and often compulsive, ritualistic behavior (stereotypes) and to varying degrees of severity, a communication disorder. The hallmark disorder in this group is Autistic Disorder. Other conditions included with Autistic Disorder are Asperger’s Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified, Rett’s Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Physical Therapy (PT): Services to individuals to prevent or minimize disability, develop and improve sensory and motor function, control postural eviations and establish and maintain maximum performance within the individual’s capabilities.

Speech Impairment (SI): A communication disorder such as stuttering impaired articulation, a language and voice impairment.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): is a federal program that provides money to low-income people who are aged, blind or disabled. You may be able to get SSI even if you don’t qualify for Social Security disability or retirement benefits.

The Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD): is designed to provide coordinated assistance, training and other services to regional programs serving identified students with disabilities ages 3-5.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psycho-social impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. 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 ability, psycho-social behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Visual Impairment (VI): A visual impairment, which, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

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