About the Author

About the Author

Amanda Morin 

worked as a classroom teacher and as an early intervention specialist for 10 years. She is the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education. Two of her children have learning differences.

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. Often referred to as ESL.

curriculum-based measurement:

Tools for measuring student competency and progress in the basic skill areas of reading fluency, spelling, mathematics and written language. Often referred to as CBM.

universal screening:

A step taken by school personnel early in the school year to determine which students are at risk of not meeting grade-level standards.

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.

assistive technology:

Any device or software that makes it easier to complete everyday tasks. For example, an app that lets you dictate a message into your phone instead of having to type the words can be considered assistive technology.


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.

progress monitoring:

A scientifically based practice used to assess students’ academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or with an entire class.


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