Advocating with Grace


I figured it might be useful to provide a glossary of sorts for the TLAs and FLAs we use on a regular basis in the autism world as well as some of the people and places whose names have been redacted for privacy purposes.

ABA:  Applied Behavior Analysis – is the application of the principles of learning and motivation to encourage positive social behavior.  In the Autism world, this is basically a type of therapy that is usually conducted one-on-one that is designed to help a child with social and behavioral difficulties learn to self-correct and improve their behavior and social skills.

ARD: Assessment, Review, and Dismissal – this committee determines a student’s need for special education services in a public school district.  They agree on and put in place an IEP and BIP.  The ARD committee is made up of diagnostic personnel, campus administrators, the student’s primary teacher as well as other teachers with regular contact, any personnel providing specialized services, the student’s parents, and in some cases any outside therapist or advocate that the parent deems necessary.

ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder – A huge variety of symptoms fall under this umbrella term.  Aspergers is on the far “high functioning” side, while classic autism is on the other end with about a gazillion levels in between.

BIP: Behavioral Intervention Plan – A plan agreed to and put in place by the ARD committee to outline specific steps that must be taken to help prevent and diminish unwanted behavioral outbursts by the student.  A common starting place in Storm’s BIP is redirection to a less frustrating activity.

ESNT: Easter Seals North Texas – A wonderful organization that provides Autism services in North Texas.

FLA: Four Letter Acronym

IEP: Individualized Education Plan – A plan agreed to and implemented by the ARD committee that outlines any accommodations that are made for the student.  A teacher is prohibited from making individual accomodations (this could be perceived as unfair by other students/parents/etc) without an IEP in place.  An example from Storm’s IEP is the option for him to receive repeated instructions in different variations until he understands what is required of him.

ISD: Independent School District – The Great State of Texas has independent school districts.  While the general education requirements are set forth by the state, each district has mostly autonomous control over how the curriculum is taught.  Districts are not controlled by any municipality, but rather a school board.  The classification of independent also has significance regarding tax purposes, but for the needs of this blog that is not terribly important. ISDs are generally referred to with the city initial to denote which one, such as Dallas ISD is “DISD”, Fort Worth is “FWISD” and so on.  I am not comfortable naming our ISD in such a manner as doing so will be easily recognizable and I’m trying to keep my kids’ personal lives as private as possible while trying to help other parents.

Mr. P: This is the vice-principal at WFAA.  He’s been an amazing support for Storm.

Mrs. S: This is the principal at WFAA.

Mrs. T: This is Storm’s kindergarten teacher.  She is an amazing woman with years of experience.  She has really helped Storm to blossom.

Mrs. W: This is Storm’s Pre-K teacher.

PPCD: Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities

SPED: Special Education

St. V’s: The private Episcopal school Storm attended for 1.5 years.

TLA: Three Letter Acronym

WFAA: This is Storm’s current school.  Basically, a public elementary school with more of an emphasis on the fine arts than a traditional elementary.


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