At a Glance

About the Author

About the Author

Alexis Clark, MA, MS 

is a freelance editor for Understood and an adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School.

ADHD:

Short for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. A condition characterized by symptoms that include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. But not all of these need to be present for a child to be diagnosed with ADHD.

dyscalculia:

A specific learning disability in math. Kids with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding number-related concepts or using symbols or functions needed for success in mathematics.

accommodations:

A tool or procedure that provides equal access to instruction and assessment for students with disabilities.

IEP:

Short for Individualized Education Program. A plan that details the support and services (such as speech therapy or multisensory reading instruction) a school will provide to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability who qualifies for special education.

504 plan:

A plan that lists the accommodations a school will provide, such as audiobooks, note-taking aids or extended time to complete tests, so that a student with a disability has equal access to the general education curriculum.

special education:

Specially designed instruction, provided at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. It can include specialized activities in gym, music and arts education and specialized instruction in the classroom, home or other settings.