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Stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A student with ADHD has difficulty paying attention and focusing in class. Instead of focusing they can be very disruptive and be unable to stay seated OR they can loose focus and look as if they are day dreaming. If your student has ADHD then their IEP will list their eligibility as OHI or Other Health Impairment. It is also possible that your child has a 504 Plan.


Often referred to as EBD. This designation is the umbrella term for all disabilities that cause behaviors that are inappropriate for their age. These behaviors can be expressed internally, externally, or both. The behaviors have to be shown over a long period of time and be severe enough that it keeps the student from being able to fully participate in school.


Also known as AUT. Autism is a complex diagnosis. However there are three things that help create an definition for Autism.

 Difficulty communicating – either difficulty being understood or understanding others.

 Difficulty with relationships – Forming and maintaining relationships with peers and adults.

Perseverative behavior – a compulsive behavior that they repeat over and over. It could be either a movement they repeat over and over or a topic of interests they can’t let go.

If a student has these three characteristics they may or may not have autism. However, in order  to have Autism a student has to have all three of these characteristics.


Intellectual disability, ID, use to be called mental retardation. A student with an intellectual disability display a significantly lower level of general intellectual ability than their peers. The cause or particular characteristic of the intellectual disability are varied. Student with intellectual disabilities may be on an alternative curriculum track.


Also known as SLD or LD. A term for when there is a gap between what a student can do, their potential, and the results that parents, teachers, and counselors see din the classroom or on tests. This gap can be present in reading, writing, or math. It can be caused by deficits in a range of processing areas including visual, auditory, and memory.

Learning Tools 
Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers instruction as well as assessment on a range of topics from basic numeracy and literacy to Psychics and Astronomy. The program delivers content in an easy to understand and interactive manner and assess in a more engaging way. Great for remedial learning as well as advanced students. Log-in required

Teachers Pay Teachers

This website has well made resources for free and for pay. The resources were created by teachers for teachers but are accessible to everyone. Requires a login.


This website has extensive information about what an IEP is, how it runs, and what to do if you have a problem. The only thing I would add to their list of things to do when an IEP goes wrong is to call an attorney. The website has a lot of resources about special education. It also give a you a list of agencys and people to contact if you would like more information (#16 Information Resources)

Parental Right's Summary

This page is from the California Department of Education which can supply you with information specific to California as well as general special education information. This page goes over the basic rights promised to a parent of a special education student and a short explanation of what that means. There is also contact information at the bottom if you would like further information.

Wright's Law

The place where special education lawyers and professionals go to research special education law. The website is dense and some of the language is technical but if you have a question about special education law the answer will likely be on the site.


COPAA stands for the The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, and is an independent nonprofit organization. They consist of attorneys, advocates, parents and other professionals in the field. COPAA works to protect the rights and secure education for students with disabilities.

Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)

The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is a tribunal that oversees administrative disputes. Created in 1945 by the California Legislature, the OAH supplies independent Administrative Law Judges to proceed over hearings for state and local government agencies.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks provides advocacy and support for people across the spectrum throughout their entire lives. Their goal is to raise understanding and acceptance of people with autism, while also advancing research into the cause and provide better interventions.

Special Needs Network 

Special Needs Network is a non-profit organization, which weeks to address the needs of underserved families raising a child with special needs. They seek to raise the public awareness of developmental disabilities, and influence public policies concerning special needs children. They serve as a connection between under-served communities and disability organizations and governmental institutions.


The largest pro bono law firm in the country. They work with other major law firms to change people’s futures. They have a staff of 71 attorneys and 50 support staff, along with 5,000 volunteer lawyers, law students to assist over 30,000 children, youth, families, and community organizations.


Disability Rights California (DRC) is a nonprofit agency, and the largest disability rights group in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people were helped with their litigation, policy work, trainings, and informational publication.


The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces various civil rights laws, conscience and religious freedom laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPAA), and various other federal regulations. Some of the ways they assist the community is by teaching health and social service workers about civil rights laws, educating the community about their rights, and investigating and taking action to resolve complaints of violations of civil rights.


The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) is the largest county-operated mental health department, running programs at more than 85 locations, and providing services at around 300 sites such as schools, courts, and various organizations. They provide a variety of services, and on average serve more than 250,000 residents of Los Angeles County every year.

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