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Commonly Used Terms

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AAIDD — American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities was formerly the AAMR (American Association on Mental Retardation). This is a national professional organization of people in the field of intellectual disability/mental retardation.

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.

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 developmental disability.

ARC — The Arc was formerly known as the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC). This is a national organization for parents of children with intellectual disabilities.The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.  The Arc-California, the state organization, has many local chapters, such as the Arc of Los Angeles & Orange County, and the 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.

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). The Los Angeles

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 characterized, by withdrawal, inadequate social relationships, exceptional object relationships, language disturbances, and monotonously repetitive motor behavior.

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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.

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CARF — Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. A national organization that reviews workshops and other programs. Certifies that programs meet acceptable st andards.

CCS — California Children’s Services. Provides specialized medical and rehabilitation services for children with physical disabilities 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 h ands, rinsing them, wiping them on a towel, and turning off the faucet are a series of simple behaviors that make up h and-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.

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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 st andards for service. The department also operates state developmental centers.

DHS — The Department of Health Services. Responsible for Medi-Cal administration and licensing of healthcare facilities.

DRC — Formerly called 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.

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.

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Easterseals – A national organization that provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. Easterseals has a regional branch in Southern California.

ECF — The Exceptional Children’s Foundation. This private, nonprofit parent organization sponsors various infant and adult programs in the Los Angeles area.

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.

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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. Los Angeles has a regional branch of the Family Resource Center Network.

FDLRC — Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, serving people with developmental disabilities in downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

FSH/FDC — Fairview State Hospital. Now called Fairview Developmental Center.

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Gastrostomy — A surgical procedure that inserts a tube into the stomach for feeding.

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 suspected.

Genetic Defect — Abnormalities in the genes that cause intellectual disabilities.

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 individuals.

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HRC — Harbor Regional Center. Serves people with developmental disabilities in the South Bay and Beach cities.

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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.

ID (Intellectual Disability) — Now referred to as Intellectual Disability. This is 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 behavior.

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 for completion.

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.

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Lanterman Act — The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, legislation that m andated 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 Center.

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Medi-Cal — California’s version of the federal Medicaid Program that pays medical expenses for public assistance recipients and other low-income persons.

Mental Retardation (MR) — This term is no longer used and is now referred to as Intellectual Disability. This is 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 behavior.

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.

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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 Fern ando 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.

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OMH — Other Multi-H andicapped. An educational classification for children with two or more unrelated h andicapping 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.

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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 h andicapped. An education classification for children with physical h andicaps. Previously referred to as orthopedically h andicapped.

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 and preferences.

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 h ands, the instructor puts his or her h ands over the person’s h ands and completes the behavior.

Positive Reinforcement — Anything a person likes that is given after a behavior to increase that behavior.

Protection and Advocacy, Inc. — Now called Disability Rights of California. 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 h andicapped children have the right to a free and appropriate public education.

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Reinforcement — Procedures that make the desired behaviors more likely to occur, e.g., praise.

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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 allegations of abuse and neglect, and provide resources and supports.

SCDD — The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is established by state and federal law as an independent state agency to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families receive the services and supports they need. Formerly known as Area Boards, WRC worked closely with Area Board 10 which was one of 13 agencies in the state that oversaw plans for people with developmental disabilities. Duties include advocacy and monitoring of programs.

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.

Service Provider — Any community agency or professional that provides services purchased by the regional center for its clients. Also known as a Vendor.

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.

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TANF— Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) formerly known as AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). This is an income maintenance program also known as CALworks in California.

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.

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Vendor — Any community agency or professional that provides services purchased by the regional center for its clients. Also known as a Service Provider.

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WRC — Westside Regional Center. Westside serves almost 8,000 people with developmental disabilities living in West Los Angeles communities as far south as Gardena and as far north as Malibu and Calabasas.

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