Glossary of Terms

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Glossary of Terms
Categorical placement

Special education programs in which students are grouped on the basis of their IDEA eligibility category. Alternative models include "noncategorical" placement and "cross-categorical" placement.

Child find

The responsibility of the school district to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities in their jurisdiction. 

Chronologically age appropriate

A standard by which children's activities may be evaluated. Instruction and materials should be directed at the student's actual age, rather than to the interests and tastes of younger children. 

Cognitive

A term which refers to reasoning or intellectual capacity.

Community-based

A standard by which special education services may be judged. Skills are taught at varied locations in the community rather than in the classroom in order to facilitate generalization and application. 

Conference

Generic term that may refer to a multidisciplinary conference, IEP meeting, annual review, or other type of meeting. When in doubt, it is important to clarify the purpose of any conference. 

Consent

Written permission from parents, which is required for all evaluations, and for the first IEP to be supplemented.

Continuum of services

The range of services which must be available to the students of a school district so that they may be served in the least restrictive environment. 

Cooperative

Voluntary association of school districts that band together to provide special education services using a shared administrative structure

Criterion referenced tests

Assessment that compares a person's performance to some specific established level (the criterion) or a specific degree of mastery; his or her performance is not compared with that of other people. 

Cued speech

Method of communication used by some persons with hearing impairments. It is used to reduce the ambiguities involved in lip reading. This method is caught in the controversy between teaching deaf children to rely on oral methods of communication or to use sign language. 

Curriculum

The subject matter that is to be learned. A curriculum is usually described in terms of its scope and sequence. One might examine the curriculum of a special school, for example, to determine whether it matches the IEP of a student who had been recommended to go there.

Curriculum-based measurement

An informal assessment approach emphasizing repeated direct measurement of student performance.