Adapted from Michigan Early Intervention System, A Parent’s Dictionary: Early Intervention A-Z
Adaptive – Self-help skills used in daily life, such as feeding, toileting, dressing
Advocacy – Supporting/defending a child’s interests and rights
Assessment – Procedures to evaluate and identify the child’s unique needs and strengths, family resources and concerns, connection between evaluation procedures and the services needed to address those needs
Assistive Technology – Equipment to improve/maintain the abilities of the child
At Risk – Children who may, in the future, have problems in learning or development
Audiology – Finding/preventing hearing loss
Baseline – The first measurement of a function that is later compared to one in the future
Cognitive – The process of remembering, reasoning, understanding, and making decisions
Confidentiality – The right to privacy of information about the child and family; not released without parent consent
Consent – Parent approval in writing which is always voluntary and may be revoked at any time.
Counseling – Advice given by someone qualified to give it
Developmental – Referring to one of the four stages of child development
Developmental delay – When a child does not attain the expected level of development based on age
Disability – A delay or condition likely to result in a developmental delay
Due Process – Procedures to protect a person’s rights, including confidentiality and consent
Dominant language – The first language the family normally uses
Early Intervention Services – Services described in the IFSP, provided by qualified personnel, provided with parent consent and in the natural environment to the maximum extent.
Eligibility Requirements – Legal requirements a child meets to receive early intervention services, including whether they have a disability or developmental delay
Evaluation – Testing to determine if the child meets eligibility requirements
Family concerns – Parent input about needs and issues to be addressed in the IFSP
Family Resources – Strengths, abilities and supports used to address the desired outcome for the child
Family training – Services to assist the family in understanding and addressing their child’s special needs
Health Services – Health related services to help a child benefit from early Intervention
Home visits – When a professional visits the home to plan and provide early intervention services
IFSP – Individualized Family Service Plan, services written and developed by family and professionals to meet the child’s special needs
Impartial hearing – A formal process, similar to a lawsuit, to resolve a dispute between the parent and the agency paying for the services.
Lead agency – The state agency with the legal power and responsibility to implement a statewide early intervention system.
Mediation – A way to resolve a dispute without litigation
Multidisciplinary – When two or more professionals with different areas of training evaluate the child and develop the IFSP
Natural environment – Normal settings for young children without disabilities,including the home, child care setting, or other community settings
Nursing services – Evaluation of the health status of the child and providing nursing care to prevent health problems and restore and improve functioning through a licensed physician’s prescription.
Nutritional services – Identifying feeding skills, problems, food habits and food preferences
Occupational therapy – Services relating to self-help skills, adaptive behavior and play, and sensory, motor and postural development
Outcomes – The section of the IFSP that states the changes expected to be seen as the result of the child getting services
Parent – A parent/person in a parental relationship to a child
Personally identifiable information – Family names, social security numbers, addresses and other information that are private and not to be released without parent consent
Physical Therapy – Services to prevent/lessen movement difficulties and related functional problems
Placement – The place where the services are delivered, preferably in a natural setting
Psychological Services – Giving and interpreting psychological tests, planning services including counseling, consultation, parent training and education programs
Qualified personnel – Personnel who provide services within the limits of their licensure, certification or registration.
Respite – Temporary child care made available to families of children with disabilities
Screening- – A brief process to assess the child’s status to see if further testing is warranted
Service Coordinator – A representative of the agency providing services who works in partnership with the family to coordinate services and obtain services in the IFSP Social work services- An assessment of the child’s and family’s social and emotional Needs, and providing services to meet those needs
Special instruction – Includes designing learning environments and activities to promote the child’s development
Special Needs – Term used to describe a child with a disability
Speech-Language Pathology – Services in communication skills or with motor skills as weakness of muscles around the mouth or swallowing
Surrogate parent – A person appointed to act in place of the parent when the parent is not available
Transition – The process beginning at age 2 ½ where children at age 3 move from Early Intervention to the Preschool Special Education Program in the local school district
Transportation – The agency providing services pays for the cost of travel to enable a child to receive early intervention services
Vision services – Identification and provision of services to children with visual Disorders
(NOTE: The Michigan version of this dictionary is found at http://earlychildhoodmichigan.org/Dictionary.htm, which was adapted from the State of New York’s Parent Dictionary).