Asperger’s Syndrome*– a developmental disorder that affects a child’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Asperger’s syndrome typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics. (Mayo Clinic)

*The DSM-5 text states “ Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise (PDD-NOS) specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder”.( ©2016 Autism Speaks Inc.)


Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, ADD, ADHD– any of a range of behavioral disorders in children characterized by symptoms that include poor concentration, an inability to focus on tasks, difficulty in paying attention, and impulsivity. A person can be predominantly inattentive (often referred to as ADD), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive (ADHD), or a combination of these two. (LD Online)


Auditory Processing– a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. Humans hear when energy that we recognize as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)


Auditory Processing Disorder– an inability to accurately process and interpret sound information. Students with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words. (LD Online)


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)- People with ASD tend to have communication deficits, such as responding inappropriately in conversations, misreading nonverbal interactions, or having difficulty building friendships appropriate to their age. In addition, people with ASD may be overly dependent on routines, highly sensitive to changes in their environment, or intensely focused on inappropriate items. Again, the symptoms of people with ASD will fall on a continuum, with some individuals showing mild symptoms and others having much more severe symptoms. This spectrum will allow clinicians to account for the variations in symptoms and behaviors from person to person. (© 2013 American Psychiatric Association)


Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)– a disorder that occurs when the ear and the brain do not coordinate fully. A CAPD is a physical hearing impairment, but one which does not show up as a hearing loss on routine screenings or an audiogram. Instead, it affects the hearing system beyond the ear, whose job it is to separate a meaningful message from non-essential background sound and deliver that information with good clarity to the intellectual centers of the brain (the central nervous system). (LD Online)


Critical Thinking– the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.


Decode – the ability to translate a word from print to speech, usually by employing knowledge of sound-symbol correspondences. It is also the act of deciphering a new word by sounding it out.


Dyslexia– a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (International Dyslexia Association)


Dyslexia Treatment– there’s no known way to correct the underlying brain malfunction that causes dyslexia.  Dyslexia can be overcome with remedial education based in a multi-sensory format and must be in an intensive format to be effective.


Encode– the ability to translate a word from speech to print, usually by employing knowledge of sound-symbol correspondences. It is also the act of spelling words by sounding it out or recognizing letter patterns with visual memory skills.


ESL or English as a Second Language– an educational approach in which English language learners are instructed in the use of the English language. Their instruction is based on a special curriculum that typically involves little or no use of the native language, focuses on language (as opposed to content) and is usually taught during specific school periods. For the rest of the school day, students may be placed in mainstream classrooms, an immersion program, or a bilingual education program. Every bilingual education program has an ESL component (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1994). (LD Online)

Expressive Language– the aspect of spoken language that includes speaking and the aspect of written language that includes composing or writing. (LD Online)


IEP or Individualized Educational Plan– a plan outlining special education and related services specifically designed to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability. (LD Online)


Intensive Treatment
– reading treatment that is scientifically proven to work and is used five days a week for a minimum of one hour per day.

Language Learning Disability– a language learning disability is a disorder that may affect the comprehension and use of spoken or written language as well as nonverbal language, such as eye contact and tone of speech, in both adults and children. (LD Online)


Learning Difference– a learning difference interferes with a person’s ability to process information and creates a gap between intellectual capability and performance. (Haan Foundation)


Learning Disability (LD)– Any of various disabilities that interfere with an individual’s ability to learn resulting in impaired functioning in verbal language, reasoning, or academic skills (as reading, writing, and mathematics). Learning disabilities are not caused by low intelligence, emotional disturbance, or physical impairment (such as hearing). Dyslexia is a common learning disability. (


Multi-Sensory Reading Programs– an educational approach that uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile cues simultaneously to enhance memory and learning. Links are consistently made between the visual (what we see), auditory (what we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (what we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell. (LD Online)


Occupational Therapy (OT)– a rehabilitative service to people with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. Services can include helping a student with pencil grip, physical exercises that may be used to increase strength and dexterity, or exercises to improve hand-eye coordination.  (LD Online)


One-to-One Tutoring– instruction that is provided by one instructor to one student.  This format is superior to group instruction because the needs of the student are directly addressed in a safe and supportive environment.


Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD/PDD-NOS)– the diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before 3 years of age. Symptoms may include problems with using and understanding language; difficulty relating to people, objects, and events; unusual play with toys and other objects; difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings, and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns. Autism is the most characteristic and best studied PDD. Other types of PDD include Asperger’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified*. (Cleveland Clinic)

* The DSM-5 text states “ Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder”.( ©2016 Autism Speaks Inc.)


Phonemic Awareness– the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. An example of how beginning readers show us they have phonemic awareness is combining or blending the separate sounds of a word to say the word (/c/ /a/ /t/ – cat.) (LD Online)


Phonological Awareness– a range of understandings related to the sounds of words and word parts, including identifying and manipulating larger parts of spoken language such as words, syllables, and onset and rime. It also includes phonemic awareness as well as other aspects of spoken language such as rhyming and syllabication. (LD Online)


Phonological Processing– receiving, distinguishing, manipulating, & retaining the language sounds (phonemes) composing words. (All Kinds of Minds)


Reading Disability– another term for dyslexia, sometimes referred to as reading disorder or reading difference. (LD Online)


Reading Fluency– the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with proper expression and comprehension. Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding words, they can focus their attention on what the text means. (LD Online)


Receptive Language– the aspect of spoken language that includes listening and the aspect of written language that includes reading. (LD Online)


Remediation– the act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency.


Responding to the Response– after a student has answered a question the teacher first responds with identifying the correct or positive aspects of the answer before correcting any errors.  This method of instruction can be used to increase self esteem and confidence in a student.


Self-Monitoring– the ability to observe yourself and know when you are doing an activity act according to a standard. For example, self monitoring is recognizing if you do or do not understand what you are reading or whether your voice tone is appropriate for the circumstances such as too loud or too soft.  


Sight Words– words that a reader recognizes without having to sound them out. Some sight words are “irregular,” or have letter-sound relationships that are uncommon. Some examples of sight words are you, are, have and said. (LD Online)


Socratic Method of Questioning– named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates. This method of teaching uses inquiry in which the questioner explores the implications of others’ positions, to stimulate rational thinking and illuminate ideas. This dialectical method often involves an oppositional discussion in which the defense of one point of view is pitted against another; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, strengthening the inquirer’s own point.


Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)– an expert who can help children and adolescents who have language disorders to understand and give directions, ask and answer questions, convey ideas, and improve the language skills that lead to better academic performance. An SLP can also counsel individuals and families to understand and deal with speech and language disorders. (LD Online)


Word Attack– an aspect of reading instruction that includes intentional strategies for learning to decode, sight read, and recognize written words. (LD Online)

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