A Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms
C D E F
G H I J K L
M N O P
Q R S T U V
W X Y Z
AAMR American Association on Mental Retardation. National professional
organization of people in the field of mental retardation. Publishes several
AB Assembly Bill of the California Legislature. Bills are numbered
for identification, e.g., AB3804.
Adaptive Behavior Adjustments an individual has made to function
independently at home and in the community. The objective often is to
conform to norms of personal behavior.
Advocate A person who supports and represents the rights and interests
of another individual in order to ensure the individual's full legal rights
and access to services. The advocate can be a friend, a relative, a Counselor,
or any other interested person.
AFDC Aid to Families with Dependent Children. An income maintenance
program of the Department of Social Services.
Amniocentesis A medical procedure that tests fluid from the amniotic
sac to determine if a fetus has any genetic defects. Westside may purchase
this procedure for pregnant women at risk of parenting a child with a
ARC Association for Retarded Citizens. The national organization
for parents of children with mental retardation. ARC-California, the state
organization, has many local chapters, such as ARC-South Bay.
ARCA Association of Regional Center Agencies. State association
for the 21 regional centers. ARCA represents regional centers on statewide
policy and contractual and fiscal issues. ARCA also provides a forum for
information exchange and education among the centers.
Area Board One of 13 agencies in the state that oversees plans
for people with developmental disabilities. Duties include advocacy and
monitoring of programs. Westside clients can get help from Area Board
ASA The Autism Society of America. Acts as a national advocacy
organization with local chapters in many communities. Formerly known as
NSAC (National Society for Children and Adults with Autism).
Assessment The process to determine whether, and to what degree,
an individual has developmental deficits. An assessment identifies the
individual's strengths, abilities, needs, and developmental level.
Autism A developmental disability starting in early childhood
withdrawal, inadequate social relationships, exceptional object relationships,
language disturbances, and monotonously repetitive motor behavior.
Baseline Data Information collected about a behavior (such as frequency
and severity) before the start of an intervention program. Data is used
to test the effectiveness of the intervention.
Behavior Anything a person does that can be observed and measured.
Behavior Management Techniques designed to influence existing
behavior in some predetermined manner. Usually involves replacing maladaptive
or problem behaviors with behaviors that are adaptive and appropriate.
CARF Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
A national organization that reviews workshops and other programs. Certifies
that programs meet acceptable standards.
CCS California Children's Services. Provides specialized medical
and rehabilitation services for physically disabled children with certain
conditions. The program is financed by federal, state, and county taxes,
and supplemented by family repayments when indicated.
CDER Client Development Evaluation Report. An assessment during
the intake process, and at progress reviews to determine developmental
and functional levels and progress.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) A developmental disability dating from birth
or early infancy, and characterized by disorder of movement and posture.
Chaining The process of combining simple behaviors to form a new
complex behavior. For example, turning on a faucet, putting soap on your
hands, rinsing them, wiping them on a towel, and turning off the faucet
are a series of simple behaviors that make up hand-washing.
CDDF Coastal Developmental Disabilities Foundation. Made up of
the Board of Directors of Westside Regional Center, this nonprofit organization
contracts with DDS to operate Westside.
DCFS The Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles
County, which administers all child welfare services.
DDS The Department of Developmental Services. This state agency
administers the contracts with each regional center and sets many of the
regulatory standards for service. The department also operates state developmental
DHS The Department of Health Services. Responsible for Medi-Cal
administration and licensing of healthcare facilities.
DMH The Department of Mental Health. Responsible for state and
local services to the mentally ill. Approves and funds community mental
health programs and administers Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk.
DOE The Department of Education of the State of California.
DPSS The Department of Public Social Services. In Los Angeles
County, DPSS administers public assistance programs and disability evaluations.
DR The Department of Rehabilitation. Responsible for vocational
training and job placement of disabled persons.
DSS The Department of Social Services. Responsible for overseeing
the distribution of many government services. License community care facilities.
ECF The Exceptional Children's Foundation. This private, nonprofit
parent organization sponsors various infant and adult programs in the Los
ELARC Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center.
Epilepsy A developmental disability involving single or recurring
loss of consciousness.
Extinction A behavior management principle. Involves withholding
reinforcement until a behavior is gradually weakened.
Fading An instructional strategy. Involves gradually eliminating
special assistance (such as physical assistance or modeling) until the
client is able to respond independently.
FRC Family Resource Center.
FDLRC Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, serving people with
developmental disabilities in downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding
FSH/FDC Fairview State Hospital. Now called Fairview Developmental
Gastrostomy A surgical procedure that inserts a tube into the stomach
Generic Services Services offered or available to the general
public, as distinguished from specialized services for specific groups
of people. For example, training provided by the Department of Rehabilitation
is a generic service available to any California resident in need of rehabilitation.
In the absence of a generic service, Westside may purchase that service
for its clients.
Genetic Counseling Consultation that focuses on the risk factors
involved in parenting a child with a developmental disability. Westside
offers this service to a family or individual when a genetic defect is
Genetic Defect Abnormalities in the genes that cause mental retardation.
Goal A general statement of purpose that defines the end result
of a program's impact on an individual.
GR General relief. A category of public assistance for poverty-level
HRC Harbor Regional Center. Serves people with developmental disabilities
in the South Bay and Beach cities.
ICF-DD Intermediate Care Facility. A residential program for
people with developmental disabilities who have medical conditions requiring
health professionals on staff at the home.
ICF-DD/H Intermediate Care Facility/Habilitative. Similar to an
ICF-DD, but with six or fewer beds, and with an emphasis on training residents
to live independently.
ICF-DD/N Intermediate Care Facility/Nursing. Similar to an ICF-DD/H,
but serving clients with greater needs for nursing and supervision.
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PL105-17).
IEP Individual Education Plan. A written statement of objectives
and plans to achieve those objectives required for every child in a special
education school program.
IFSP Individual Family Service Plan. A written statement completed
yearly which lists goals and specific objectives in areas important to
the consumer. Each objective contains a target date that the objective
is to be met and one or more plans designed to reach the objective.
IPP/ISP Individual Program Plan/Individual Support Plan. A written
statement of goals and specific objectives in areas important to the client.
Each objective contains one or more plans to achieve it and a target date
Informed Consent The voluntary acceptance of any procedure, program
or practice that is performed by another individual. This agreement requires
knowledge of possible outcomes, including adverse reactions and alternative
procedures to accomplish the same outcome.
Lanterman Act The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services
Act, legislation that mandated the right of people with developmental
disabilities to receive appropriate services.
LD Learning Disability.
Least Restrictive Alternative Refers to an intervention or environment,
usually a residential or day program setting, that provides care and training
with the least amount of intrusion and disruption to the client, as well
as the closest approximation of normal patterns of living. For example,
a client who has learned many self-help skills and behavior controls would
not require a setting or techniques that emphasized close supervision
by many staff members.
LPS Lanterman, Petris, Short Act. This act provides for the detention
of mentally disabled persons for evaluation and treatment, and the establishment
of a conservatorship for a mentally disordered person.
LSH/LDC Lanterman State Hospital. Now called Lanterman Developmental
Medi-Cal California's version of the federal Medicaid Program that
pays medical expenses for public assistance recipients and other low-income
Mental Retardation (MR) A developmental disability involving below-average
general intellectual functioning. Originates during the developmental
period (before the age of 18) and is associated with impairment in adaptive
Metro Metropolitan State Hospital. Hospital in Norwalk for people
with mental illnesses.
Modeling An instructional strategy. Teaches skills or behavior
through demonstrating the desired outcome.
MTU Medical Treatment Unit. Administers CCS services in school
settings for children with physical disabilities.
Multidisciplinary Team A group of persons who have individual
areas of professional expertise and/or know the client and his or her
skills and behavior. This group develops the IPP. Sometimes referred to
as the ID team.
NICU Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
NLACRC North Los Angeles County Regional Center. Serves people
with developmental disabilities in the northern Los Angeles County and
San Fernando Valley areas.
Nonverbal Communication Signals and messages from one person to
one or more other people through facial expressions, body movements, verbal
tone, or posture.
Normalization The use of culturally valued means to establish
and maintain personal behaviors, experiences, and characteristics that
are equally culturally normative or valued.
OMH Other Multi-Handicapped. An educational classification for
children with two or more unrelated handicapping conditions.
OT Occupational therapist or therapy
Objective A statement of an expected behavior that is related
to the achievement of a goal.
Observable One of the requirements in the definition of a behavior.
Refers to behaviors that can be seen or heard, rather than emotions or
feelings that are inferred to exist.
PDF Program Development Fund. Money from parental reimbursements
and some federal funding that is distributed via grants to start new programs
throughout the state.
PH Physically handicapped. An education classification for children
with physical handicaps. Previously referred to as orthopedically handicapped.
PL Public Law. PL105-17, for example, sets rules for special education.
POS Purchase of Service. Refers to client services that Westside
buys. When clients need services that are unavailable from generic resources,
Westside Counselors may negotiate service contracts with vendors.
PT Physical therapist or therapy.
Person-Centered Planning An approach to planning for the future
based on the client and family's wishes and on the client's abilities
Physical Assistance An instructional strategy whereby a person
is physically led through behavior by another person. For example, to
teach a person to wash his hands, the instructor puts his or her hands
over the person's hands and completes the behavior.
Positive Reinforcement Anything a person likes that is given after
a behavior to increase that behavior.
Protection and Advocacy, Inc. A federally funded agency that advocates
for both individuals and systems. Staffed primarily by attorneys and paralegal
staff, this agency represents clients who have been deprived of their
right to services.
Public Law 94-142 Federal legislation ensuring that all handicapped
children have the right to a free and appropriate public education.
Reinforcement Procedures that make the desired behaviors more likely
to occur, e.g., praise.
SB A Senate Bill of the California Legislature.
SCAN Team Suspected Consumer Abuse & Neglect team, a team
of Westside Regional Center staff established to review allegetions of
neglect, and provide resources and supports.
SCLARC South Central Los Angeles Regional Center. Serves people
with developmental disabilities in the center of Los Angeles.
SGPRC San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center. Serves people with developmental
disabilities in the east San Gabriel Valley.
SNF Skilled nursing facility. This residential facility aids individuals
with considerable medical needs.
SSA Social Security Administration. This Federal agency administers
benefits to retired or disabled workers and their surviving dependents.
SSI Supplemental Security Income. These government funds are available
to many people with a disability and limited financial resources.
State Council on Developmental Disabilities An agency established
by federal law and the Lanterman Act to plan and review activities from
a statewide perspective.
Suctioning A procedure that clears mucous to enable proper breathing
through a tracheotomy.
Task Analysis The process of breaking down the content of a complex
behavior into smaller and more basic components to facilitate learning.
Technology Dependent Term describing people with a chronic disability
who need a specific medical device for a life-sustaining body function
(such as breathing). These individuals, usually children, require daily,
ongoing monitoring by trained personnel.
Tracheotomy A surgical opening into the trachea of the neck for
a breathing tube.
Vendor Any community agency or professional that provides services
purchased by the regional center for its clients. Also known as a service
WRC Westside Regional Center. Westside serves almost 5,000 people
with developmental disabilities living in West Los Angeles communities
as far south as Gardena and as far north as Malibu and Calabasas.