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Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
Caring for Our People with Disabilities & Chronic Illness

"Making life better!"

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What are these people talking about?
Learning to speak "Disability Language"

A whole new language - do you know an IEP from an IFSP from FAPE ??

Acronyms - for some reason, people in the disability field feel as if they absolutely MUST use letters instead of plain English. If you have a person with a disability in your family, you will soon be hearing a lot of people using just the initials to refer to laws and programs that may affect your family member. We really, really, really encourage you to ask questions in any meeting with anyone when you are not sure of what they mean. We know that is not something a lot of people from our reservations are comfortable doing, but it is for your family, your child, your grandmother, your aunt or someone else important to you. To give you a hand, though, here are some acronyms we are sure you will hear and what they mean.

To give you a hand, though, here are some acronyms we are sure you will hear and what they mean.

FAS, FAE or FASD - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effect or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder are all different diagnoses for children who are impaired due to being exposed to alcohol in the womb. he Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a great source of information for anyone needing to know more about FA- anything.

FAPE - Free, appropriate public education. Your child has the RIGHT to a free, appropriate, public education. Remind the school of this if they tell you that they are not able to take your child due to his or her disability.

IDEA -- you will read or hear about this a lot. It is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is very important because it is a federal law that spells out some legal rights of persons with disabilities and their families.

IEP - Individualized Education Plan - a plan developed with parental consent that gives goals for a child

IFSP - Individual Family Service Plan - a plan for providing services to children birth to three years of age who have disabilities.

LEA - Local education agency - usually a school district.

VR - vocational rehabilitation. This web page gives you a whole list of acronyms related to vocational rehabilitation.

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Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
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