Nope, it's not just you, and they keep coming the further you get! Don't panic though, get yourself a drink & find a cozy spot to perch.
I'm going to take you through a break-down list of Acronyms and their meanings, so that you can see how it may pertain to you and your situation. Don't get overwhelmed, we've all had to study these. Trust me, you'll be able to fire these out like you would a drink order if they served beer at Magic Kingdom.... in no time!
1) ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) The application of discipline regarding the principles of learning and motivation from behavior analysis. Addressing specific behaviors and comprehensive challenges to those diagnosed with autism.
2) APS (Approved Private School) State approved special education schools designed specifically for children with disabilities.
3) BSC (Behavioral Specialist Consultant) A clinician who works closely with your child's treatment team to monitor and assess currant behaviors, and design personalized procedures and plans to decrease inappropriate or dangerous behaviors.
4) DD (Developmental Delay) Being behind other children of the same age in achieving social, self-help, thinking, physical or speech/language skills.
5) DT (Developmental Therapist) A specialist who works directly with parents and their developmentally delayed child/children. Incorporating activities designed to enhance cognitive, adaptive, social/emotional, motor and communication skills. Prepares Evaluation Reports, and documentation required for Early Intervention, IEPs, and IFSPs.
6) EI (Early Intervention) A program of education and stimulation for eligible children from birth to the age of Preschool beginners.
7) ER (Evaluation Report) A report that documents the strengths and needs of a child and their family. It's used to determine eligibility, the need for supports and make recommendations that can assist the child to develop, learn, and grow.
8) FM (Fine Motor Skills) Skills using small muscles like those in the hands and arms for activities such as drawing or writing.
9) GM (Gross Motor Skills) Skills using large muscles that affect balance and movement such as walking, jumping, and crawling.
10) IEP (Individualized Education Plan) Plans that identify the services and support needed so that family members and early education programs are actively engaged in promoting the child's learning and and development.
11) IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) A plan for special services for young children from birth to three years who have developmental delays.
12) LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) An environment where children with disabilities can be educated and learn in a classroom.
13) OT (Occupational Therapist/Therapy) A form of therapy for children with physical or mental disabilities that encourages rehabilitation through activities required and performed in daily life. Such as eating, dressing, writing, play and problem solving.
14) PT (Physical Therapist/Therapy) A form of therapy designated to strengthen muscles used for motor skills, coordination, and over-all physical development and socially-physical engagement skills, from sitting, standing and walking, to social play at recess and team sports.
15) SC (Service Coordinator) A person who specializes in assisting families through the navigation of disability services. Also helps identify and achieve personal goals of the family and individual with disabilities, by creating a service plan.
16) ST/SLP (Speech Therapy/Speech and Language Pathologist) A form of therapy specifically designed to help your child overcome common speech difficulties such as: limited speech, poor vocabulary, expressing basic wants/needs, conversational skills/cues, reading comprehension, and feeding/swallowing problems.
17) TSS (Therapeutic Staff Support) A service of workers that take the role of a one-to-one mentoring approach for children and young adults whose disabilities interfere with emotional, behavioral and social control and coping abilities.
I hope that this list will give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to paperwork, service meetings, or when you're seeking-out services in general. Keep in mind this is a short list of the most commonly used acronyms and may slightly differ in other states or countries. No matter what, it's important to remember you are not alone. There is help out there, you need only to seek it out. Special needs parents are all in this together, and that is why I'm here, and why I do what I do. We all need to help and support each other. We're all going through it, just at different stages.