Adaptive Physical Education (APE)
APE is an individual program of developmental activities, games, sports, and rhythms suited to the interests, capacities, and limitations of students with disabilities who may not safely or successfully
engage in unrestricted participation in the vigorous activities of the general physical education program.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
ABA is an intensive, structured teaching program. Lessons to be taught are broken down to their simplest elements. Children are presented with a stimulus through repeated trials. Positive reinforcement is
used to reward correct responses and behaviors, and incorrect responses are ignored.
Assistive Technology includes any item or piece of equipment that is used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Autism is a neurologically based developmental disorder that affects several areas of functioning including: social interactions, communication, abstract thought processing, and executive functioning. As the name implies, these disorders reside on a
spectrum with many levels of severity. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) present with a wide range of strengths and weaknesses. Autism is one of just five Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). PDDs are characterized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication. Individuals with autism may have difficulty in responding to change or transition. They may exhibit over- or
under-sensitivity to pain or other sensory stimulation. Autism often results in deficits in imaginative play and abstract thought. Parents report that the child with autism does not want to be cuddled and that he or she avoids eye contact or demonstrates
unusually intense eye contact. Children with autism often become preoccupied with parts of toys (the wheels of a truck), but rarely play with toys in the traditional manner. Left untreated, the communication and sensory problems associated with autism
may result in tantruming or aggressive behaviors. In the past, autism was defined as a rare disorder, but current estimates indicate that approximately one in 500 children have an autism spectrum disorder. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in
the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. It is thought that at least some of this increase is due to heightened awareness and improved diagnostics. The cause of autism spectrum disorders is not known; however, there is evidence to suggest that there is
a genetic component. Early identification and early intervention can help children with ASD reach their own unique potential.
Child and Family Connections (CFC)
CFCs serve as the entry point for Early Intervention services. They are located regionally around Illinois. CFCs accept referrals to Early Intervention, provide initial service coordination, and provide referral assistance to service providers.
Developmental Disabilities (DD)
A developmental disability is one that is attributed to mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy or a specific learning disability, or any other closely related condition that originates before the age of twenty-two, has continued or can
be expected to continue indefinitely, and constitutes a severe handicap to the individual's ability to function normally in society.
Early Intervention Services (EI)
Early Intervention services are those that are provided to children less than thirty-six months of age who meet state eligibility criteria. Appropriate Early Intervention services must be tailored to meet the unique needs of the eligible infant or
toddler and his or her family. These services must be designed in collaboration with the family to enhance both the development of the child and the family's capacity to meet the needs of the child.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Education must be provided to all children ages three to twenty-one at public expense.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The IEP is a written document that is developed by a team that includes the professionals involved in the child's education and the parents. The IEP must contain present levels of educational performance; annual goals including benchmarks or short-term objectives; and a listing of the special education and related services that are required to meet the
child's needs including the dates, frequency, location, and duration of services. The IEP must be reviewed at least annually. It can be updated sooner if the child's needs change.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
The IFSP is a written document developed by a multidisciplinary team that includes the family as a primary participant. Every child and family is assigned to a service coordinator who is
responsible for helping them navigate the EI Services System and who coordinates eligibility determination and service plan development. The IFSP describes the child's developmental levels in all areas; the family's resources, priorities, and concerns
relating to enhancing the development of their child; and the services to be received, including the frequency, intensity, and method of delivering services. In addition, the IFSP must contain a statement of the natural environments in which early
intervention services will occur. Projected dates for service initiation and duration must be given. The IFSP must be reviewed at least every six months and updated following annual assessments. It can be updated sooner if the child's needs change.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
LRE is the setting that least restricts opportunities for a child with disabilities to be with their peers without disabilities. The law mandates that every child with a disability be educated in a
Least Restrictive Environment.
The natural environment is defined as the home and other community settings in which children and families normally participate in activities. To the maximum extent appropriate for the needs of the child and family, early intervention services must be
provided in natural environments.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
OT is a therapy or treatment provided by an occupational therapist that helps individual development of physical skills that will aid in daily living. It focuses on sensory integration; balance and
coordination of movement; and fine motor and self-help skills such as dressing, eating with a fork and spoon, etc.
Physical Therapy (PT)
A treatment of physical disabilities given by a trained physical therapist (under doctor's orders) that includes the use of massage, exercise, etc., to remediate mobility and gait and to modify strength, balance, tone, and posture and help the person
improve the use of bones, muscles, joints, and nerves.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
PECS is an alternative communication system that uses picture symbols. It is taught in six phases starting with a simple exchange of a picture symbol for a desired item. Individuals learn use
picture symbols to construct complete sentences, initiate communication, and answer direct questions.
Pre-Admission Screening/Independent Service Coordination Agencies (PAS/ISC Agencies)
PAS/ISC agencies are contracted community agencies located throughout Illinois. They provide Pre-Admission Screenings to verify that individuals with developmental
disabilities meet criteria for Medicaid-reimbursed services. Additionally, they provide Individual Service Coordination to assist families and individuals with developmental disabilities with information, introduction, coordination, and linkage to
services and supports delivered by direct services providers.
Respite is temporary, short-term care provided to individuals with disabilities. Services can be delivered in the individual's home for a few hours or in an alternate licensed setting for an extended period of time. Respite care allows caregivers to
take a break in order to relieve and prevent stress and fatigue.
Sensory Integration Therapy (SI)
SI is a therapy designed for individuals with sensory integration deficits; this can include one or more of the senses. The goal is to improve an individual's ability to use incoming sensory information
appropriately and encourage tolerance of a variety of sensory inputs.
Speech/language therapy is provided by a speech therapist or speech and language pathologist with the goal of improving an individual's ability to communicate. This includes verbal and nonverbal communication. The treatment is specific to the