From the moment of diagnosis, life with disability felt like I landed on a new continent where a whole other language was spoken. At our first IEP meeting it was confirmed! I didn’t know most of the special education acronyms used.
We are coming up on one of our final IEP meetings. It is typical for me to feel reflective as we approach a meeting each year. Makes sense, I guess that really is the point. But it also sends me down memory lane. One of my favorite expressions is that “days are long and years are short”. After all, I can’t describe motherhood any better!
At that first IEP meeting I possibly understood half of the special education acronyms being thrown around!
That sure made me feel inept in yet another way. I suppose it is typical for every area of expertise. In fact, I just looked up the acronym NASA and found a 22 page pdf of abbreviations used in the space program. 22 PAGES! Man, they don’t just speak a language from another continent but from another PLANET! I don’t know about them, but a cheat sheet would sure be helpful for me!
I’ll never forget the first time I didn’t know an acronym used by a friend to describe her son’s disability.
While I was hosting a mom’s support group we began by introducing ourselves and briefly explaining our children. Partway through her list I heard O.D.D. Glancing around the room I checked for how the others reacted. Was she throwing that in as a humorous comment, out of frustration for the morning, or a legitimate diagnosis??? No one batted an eye. Not understanding, I stopped her and asked if she could state the last two again. “P.D.D. and O.D.D.” she repeated. Evidently my surprise and confusion showed on my face (I have been told never to play poker) and she spelled it out for me. Oppositional Defiant Disorder…ODD.
You can find an alphabetized list of useful special education acronyms below.
I don’t think I could EVER remember them all. I do think I will print them out and add them to my binder for our IEP meeting…12 years after our first one. Maybe I will finally feel like I added a second language to my repertoire! You can find a link to print the PDF at the bottom.
Have I missed something? What would you add?