Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sollicitudin, tellus vitae condimentum egestas, libero dolor auctor tellus, eu consectetur neque.

Press enter to begin your search
Some Of Our Profession's

Frequently Used Terms

For parents of children with autism, these terms will help to guide you through diagnosis and intervention.

ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis


Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied behavior analysis is the process of systematically applying solutions based upon the principles of learning to improve socially significant behavior and to demonstrate that the implemented solutions are responsible for the improvement in behavior.  Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by a rewarding consequence the behavior is likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of applied behavior analysis has developed many interventions for increasing socially-acceptable behavior and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning the skills necessary to be meaningfully included with their families and the broader community.

• Citation – Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., & Heward, W. L. (2007) Applied behavior analysis, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s social communication and interaction. Individuals with ASD also have restricted and repetitive behavior, interests, and activities. These characteristics fall across a “spectrum” ranging from mild to severe. While one person may have symptoms that impair his or her ability to perform daily activities, another may have only mildly noticeable differences and have few, if any, functional impairments.

CST - Child Study Team


Child Study Team

Child Study Team (CST) is a multidisciplinary group of professionals typically employed by the Board of Education to provide parents and teachers with a variety of learning related services. These services include consultative, evaluative and prescriptive services for students who are experiencing academic difficulties. A typical CST consists of a psychologist, a learning disabilities consultant, social worker and oftentimes, a speech/language therapist alongside the student’s parents. Ideally, they will meet before any special education testing is conducted and will continue to meet periodically if the student requires special services.

Early Intervention


A process of assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age 6, to facilitate normal cognitive and emotional development and to prevent developmental disability or delay.

The New Jersey Early Intervention System (NJEIS), under the Division of Family Health Services, implements New Jersey’s statewide system of services for infants and toddlers, birth to age three, with developmental delays or disabilities, and their families. The Department of Health is appointed by the Governor as the state lead agency for the Early Intervention System.

FAPE - Free Appropriate Education


Free Appropriate Education

A provision of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) ensuring that students with disabilities receive necessary education and services without cost to the child or family.

IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Name given in 1990 to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) and used for all reauthorizations of the law that guarantees students with disabilities the right to a free appropriate education in the least restrictive environment.

IEP - Individualized Education Plan


Individualized Education Plan

After your child is determined to be eligible for special education and related services, a meeting will be held to develop your child’s IEP.  The IEP is a written plan that describes in detail your child’s special education program.  The IEP should describe how your child currently performs and your child’s specific instructional needs.  The IEP must include detailed and measurable annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks..

IEP TEAM - Individualized Education Plan


IEP Team

The IEP team consists of the parents, a special education teacher who is knowledgeable about the student’s educational performance, and at least one child study team member (typically the case manager).

Intervention and Referral Systems

District boards of education’s coordinated system in each school building for the planning and delivery of intervention and referral services that are designed to assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties and to assist staff who have difficulties in addressing students’ learning, behavior or health needs.

As the parent of a child who has or may have a disability, you have the right to participate in meetings regarding:

Identification (decision to evaluate)

Evaluation (nature and scope of assessment procedures)

Classification (determination of whether your child is eligible for special education and related services)

-Development and review of your child’s individualized education program (IEP)

-Educational placement of your child; and

Reevaluation of your child

MCHAT-R - Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers - Revised


Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised

A scientifically validated tool for screening children between 16 and 30 months of age that assesses risk for autism spectrum disorder.

PRISE - Parental Rights in Special Education


Parental Rights in Special Education

You and representatives of your school district are team members who are responsible for developing an appropriate educational program for your child. This document will describe the state and federal laws affecting the provision of special education to help you understand your rights in the special education process. With this knowledge, you will be prepared to take an active role in your child’s education. For the full document, go to: https://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/form/prise/prise.pdf

  • Citation – Parental Rights in Special Education. (2012, September 1). Retrieved September 29, 2015.


A system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific. See: https://www.autismnj.org/understanding_autism/treatment

Receive exciting news and the latest updates regarding our research, school expansions, and more!
Scroll through and fill out the form below to help kids in need!