SPED Acronyms Every Parent Should Know

I might be a little biased, but I absolutely love what the term “special education” encompasses. I love what I do, I love the children I am blessed to learn from, and I love the relationships I get to form with my peers and the families I work with.

But there is one thing I, as a special education teacher, have a love-hate relationship with.


Now, a good side to these said acronyms is that I can literally spit out 26 letters of the alphabet big abbreviated words in less than 1 minute and it actually mean something, all thanks to FAPE, IEP, ARD, IEE, RR, RS, OT, ASD, ODD, FBA, BIP, PT, APE, VI, AT, AAC, and LRE.

But what in the world did I just say? I could easily just have spit out three cuss words in twelve languages and you might not even know it.

The only thing the IEP team wants is what is best for the child, and if we aren’t speaking the same language, it’s only hurting the child. No one wants that. Which is why it is so important that parents and teachers are on the same page when it comes to important acronyms when it comes to all things special education.

There may honestly be some acronyms that you will never hear or use (and you’re probably okay with that)… but there are quite a few that every parent should know.

Here is a basic list of acronyms that I have curated and think all parents should know, or at least be aware of.


{ Download Special Ed Acronym List Here. }

You may also want to download the free Special Education Acronyms Brochure from our sister site, The Intentional IEP. See it below, and download the free acronym brochure for special educators here.

*Please note that certain acronyms do vary state-to-state and district-to-district.




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