2e (Twice Exceptional)
Term that refers to those who have a specific learning disability and also have gifted capabilities. Children in these groups are often mis-diagnosed or under-diagnosed because the student is able to use giftedness to effectively mask a disability, or the disability interferes with the child’s ability to show full potential.
A parent-teacher-school approved plan that provides for special accommodations for students who have special needs but do not qualify for special services
Ability to draw inferences from objects, images, space or numbers; Alternate name: Non-Verbal Reasoning, Visual Reasoning, Abstract Math Reasoning
Learned knowledge such as how to write an essay, key dates in history, and algebra.
Allowances given to children with a learning difference or other identified needs on standardized tests or for in-classroom learning. Accommodations may include extra time on tests, sitting in the front of the classroom, etc. Accommodations are formalized in a student’s IEP or 504 Plan.
Adjusting to new circumstances based on feedback.
ADD or attention deficit disorder is a subtype of ADHD characterized by predominantly inattentive behavior. Children with ADD have difficulty with attention but do not demonstrate significant impulsivity or hyperactivity.
A medical condition generally characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The acronym stands for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and presents in three distinct types: hyperactive and impulsive, predominantly inattentive (sometimes referred to as ADD), and combined hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive. ADHD is not considered a learning disability. However, ADHD can cause a learning situation which will qualify a student for an IEP or 504 Plan.
A hormone that is released in the body of a person who is feeling a strong emotion (such as excitement, fear, or anger), causing the heart to beat faster and giving the person more energy.
Prolonged feelings of worry or uneasiness
Aphasia is a learning disability characterized by a limited ability to use or comprehend words. Those with mild aphasia might have difficulty remembering the names of objects or people while severe forms can impair ability to speak.
Until recently Asperger’s syndrome was a diagnosis distinct from Autism Spectrum Disorder, but that is no longer the case. Previously, this diagnosis was used to describe those individuals with less severe symptoms of Autisim Spectrum Disorder and fine language and cognitive skills. Like others with Autism Spectrum Disorder, these individuals may have problems with social and communication skills, have trouble making eye contact, and may engage in repetitive behaviors.
Ability to initiate and maintain focus for learning, work and behavior control
Ability to listen for and differentiate among sounds in language, and more specifically, phonemes, the smallest unit of sound. Students who struggle with auditory discrimination often have difficulty with listening comprehension in school. Alternate names: Auditory Attention, Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Briefly recording and retaining new auditory information; Alternate names: Short-term Memory
Ability to listen and effectively understand information heard; Alternate names: Processing Speed, Auditory Discrimination, Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory Short-term Memory
Briefly recording and retaining new auditory information. Students who struggle with auditory memory might have difficulty remembering what a teacher said which can impact their ability to follow directions or remember what they heard for later application. Alternate names: Short-term Memory
Autism Spectrum Disorder
An umbrella diagnosis for a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that were previously recognized as distinct sub-types, including autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (“PDD”), and Asperger’s syndrome. This disorder shares a core of symptoms related to social and communication skills and flexible behavior. However the level of disability and the combination of particular symptoms vary greatly from child to child.
The ability to know and recall information without computing or deliberating. Automaticity is usually the result of repetition and practice.
An instructional model in which students learn through a combination of online or digital media and traditional face-to-face classroom methods. The digital component often includes learning that can be individualized to suit each student’s pace and level. (Alternative names: hybrid learning, mixed-mode courses)
A relatively new technique that claims to use online games to enhance cognitive skills in all populations including aging adults and children. Brain training services are primarily available online, but center-based brain training programs are available. To read the research on the efficacy of brain training, click here
One’s ability to think, comprised of a complex interaction of mental processes or skills. The major domains of cognition are executive functions speed, memory, and complex reasoning. Mindprint evaluates students’ skills in all of these domains.
The amount of information that needs to absorbed and understood to complete a task. Individuals can handle different levels of cognitive load depending on their existing knowledge, inherent cognitive capacities, and age. Learning is most effective and efficient when cognitive load is minimized.
Cognitive (Mental) Flexibility
Flexibility in learning; adept at developing strategies; ability to switch between rule sets; Alternate names: Flexible Thinking, Cognitive Shift
The mental processes that combine to develop the overall basis for learning. Mindprint evaluates cognitive skills.
Working with others to share ideas or make something.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
A set of national academic standards adopted by most states to aid in the consistency of curricula across the country. As of 2014, there was considerable debate as to which states were adopting the Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”), which standardized tests would be used to measure students’ performance, and when the test results would have a direct impact on schools, teachers, and students.
Learning in which a student uses stronger cognitive skills to support any relative cognitive weaknesses so they can still master an academic skill. Compensation is can be a very effective strategy when weaknesses are known. However, students might compensate for weaker skills without adults’ knowledge which can result in delayed identification of cognitive weaknesses.
The ability to analyze information and solve complicated problems. It is one of the major domains of learning that includes abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning and spatial perception.
These tests adjust their level of difficulty throughout the test based on the test takers responses. If a student gives a wrong answer, the next question is an easier question. If the student answers correctly, the next question is more challenging. For students, computer-adaptive testing typically offers a shorter testing session with a smaller number of questions, since only those questions considered appropriate for the student are offered. The Mindprint Assessment has elements of a computer-adaptive test.
The process of looking at a printed word and being able to say it correctly. Decoding is dependent on phonemic awareness and is essential to reading fluency. Students must be able to decode with ease so their mind’s energy can be freed to focus on comprehension.
Children are expected to reach certain physical or cognitive achievements, such as taking a first step or speaking in full sentences, by a certain chronological age. Delays in reaching early milestones can be correlated with delays in the development of future motor, cognitive (thinking) and language skills. Recognizing delays early and providing appropriate interventions can have a significant positive impact.
The process of individualizing teaching content, process, products or learning environment to suit student differences in learning strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and/or interest.
A chemical in the brain that is released by positive emotions. Among other things, it strengthens synapses which is significant in neuroplasticity
A math disability that can manifest in different forms and generally affects the ability to effectively and efficiently perform numerical calculations. Typically dyscalculia co-exists with visual-spatial difficulties or language difficulties.
A learning disability that affects the ability to write words and thoughts. It can manifest early with poor handwriting and spelling. Because effective writing is important to reading, not addressing dysgraphia can lead to weaker reading comprehension and expressive writing.
A specific learning disability in reading typically characterized by difficulties in accurately decoding letters and words, spelling and reading fluency.
A learning disability characterized by difficulties with muscle control affecting planning and coordination of motor tasks. Students with dyspraxia often have difficulties with fine motor coordination and visual motor speed.
The learning strategy of relating or associating new information to a known piece of knowledge so it is more easily understood and more likely to be retained in long-term memory
Ability to respond to feelings in an age appropriate way; Alternate name: Self-monitoring, Inhibition
The implicit cognitive process of interpreting, classifying and storing information into long-term memory
The delayed recall of words or images tied to experiences. The Mindprint assessment includes various tests of episodic memory.
A term that describes the generally inter-dependent cognitive skills that allow for daily functioning and interaction both academically and socially. These skills typically include attention, working memory, planning, flexible thinking, and inhibition. Mindprint assesses students for attention, working memory and flexible thinking.
Communicating and producing ideas orally; Alternate name: Speaking
Communicating and producing ideas orally; Alternate name: Speaking
Fine Motor Coordination or Graphomotor Function
Having the manual dexterity and muscle control needed for proper writing or drawing
Fine Motor Skills
Having the manual dexterity and muscle control needed for proper writing or drawing; Alternate name: Graphomotor Skills
Flexibility in learning; adept at developing strategies; ability to switch between rule sets; Alternate names: Mental Flexibility, Cognitive Shift, Cognitive Flexibility, Abstraction
Ability to read or produce an answer to a problem quickly, accurately, automatically, and expressively
Ability to process and follow instructions of increasing complexity
Learning through physical or digital games. Typically includes rewards and motivators not found in traditional classroom-based learning. Game-based learning is sometimes referred to as gamification.
Factual knowledge; Alternate names: General Fund of Knowledge, Crystallized Knowledge
A classification used to describe high achievement capability in one or more areas of cognitive development when compared to same age peers. The term is often used to describe children who qualify for services that may not be provided by a school’s general education program. Formal definitions of giftedness vary by state and even by school district. Some school districts use a cognitive ability test along with classroom observation and work samples to determine eligibility for gifted programs while other schools may rely solely on a cognitive ability test.
Having the manual dexterity and muscle control needed for proper writing
Popularized by Professor Angela Duckworth, a term for resilience and perseverance
Gross Motor Coordination
Ability to use large muscle groups effectively for movement, balance, throwing, etc.
Belief that capabilities can be developed through effort and an ongoing willingness to try new strategies, take feedback and adapt. The opposite of growth mindset is fixed mindset, or the belief that capabilities are pre-determined and will not change with effort.
Habits of Mind
Habits of mind refer to one’s disposition or how one approaches tasks. It encompasses terms including resilience, mindset and grit.
A characteristic of ADHD where a child has difficulty with self-monitoring and self-control of emotions and reactions. Examples include a child who blurts or shouts out answers, interrupts others, struggles with taking turns and could have outbursts.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
A parent-teacher-school approved plan that details the accommodations and special services for a child with a disability
Ability to stop impulses or behavior upon demand. Students with attention weaknesses often struggle with inhibition as well. Alternate Name: Impulsivity
Ability to begin new tasks independently and/or continue pursuing tasks without supervision; Alternate name: Decision-making
Initiation, Organization & Following Directions
Ability to plan and implement a sequence of steps. Ability to manage materials, time, and problem solving. Alternate names: Planning, Time Management
Behavior that is driven by internal rewards, such as feeling of fulfillment, pleasure, interest. In contrast, extrinsic motivation is driven by material rewards such as money, grades or other incentives.
Sometimes used interchangeably with the term Learning Disability, though a student must have the label Learning Disability to qualify for school accommodations. Some parents, teachers and students prefer the term Learning Difference because they believe it more positively conveys the child’s ability to succeed.
A condition that affects the way a person acquires, processes, stores, and responds to information that is different from most peers. Students with a diagnosed learning disability are usually eligible for an IEP or 504 Plan to support their learning needs in school.
A research-based approach to improve study habits or cognitive behavior. Mindprint recommends specific learning strategies based on strengths or needs in cognitive skills.
Ability to process and grasp the meaning of full sentences that use complex grammar and syntax
A broad term encompassing the learning, storage, and retrieval of information. Memory can be further categorized by time (quantitative, short-term, and long-term) and type (quantitative, verbal, and visual). A strength or need in one type of memory does not necessarily correlate with a strength or need in another type.
The knowledge and capacity to understand one’s own thinking. It includes an awareness of learning processes and strategies used, which requires an understanding of individual strengths and needs.
A general term that applies to any process to support memorization. It most often is discussed in terms of using acronyms such as ROYGBIV to recall the colors of the rainbow, but it can also include other memorization techniques such as rhyming, using visual imagery, repetition and elaboration
This term has a specific meaning in the context of an IEP or 504 Plan. Modifications are adjustments to expectations when a student is not expected to complete the same amount of work or attain the standard goals. For example, a modification could be that the student only needs to read the text but does not need to answer the review questions. In contrast, an accommodation would be that the student must answer the review questions but might be given an extra day or two to complete the assignment.
A cognitive skill or domain where extra support may be necessary to help a child succeed. Mindprint prefers to use the term Need over Weakness since it connotes the ability to change given what we now know about neuroplasticity
Another name for brain cells. The typical brain has over 10 billion neurons.
The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Research of neuroplasticity demonstrates that cognitive abilities can and do change over time depending on environmental exposures.
A branch of science specifically devoted to how the brain develops and acquires new information.
Describes a standardized test that compares and ranks test takers in relation to one another across a broad population. Norm-referenced tests analyze performance compared to a hypothetical average student, which is determined by comparing scores against the performance results of a statistically selected group of test takers, typically of the same age or grade level, who have already taken the exam. Test developers use a variety of statistical methods to interpret scores and determine relative performance levels. Norm-referenced scores are generally reported as a percentage or percentile ranking. For example, a student who scores in the eightieth percentile performed as well or better than eighty percent of other test takers of the same age, and twenty percent of students performed better. The SAT, ACT and school achievement tests such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Terra Nova are among the most commonly known normed tests. Cognitive ability tests including the Wechsler, Woodcock-Johnson, Stanford-Binet, Otis-Lenon and CogAT are norm-referenced. The Mindprint Assessment is a norm-referenced test.
Ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts.
Ability to perform math calculations in the four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Numerical Calculations, Fluency & Automaticity
Ability to perform math calculations in the four basic operations with speed and accuracy. Numerical fluency and automaticity are essential building block for more complex math problem solving.
Numerical Calculations & Fluency
Ability to perform math calculations in the four basic operations with speed and accuracy
Ability to perform math calculations in the four basic operations with speed and accuracy
Ability to plan and implement a sequence of steps. Ability to manage materials, time, and problem solving. Alternate names: Following Directions, Initiation, Planning, Time Management
Approach parents can use to help students with homework or other academic, cognitive or social-emotional tasks with which the student might need extra support.
An educational approach that involves customizing instruction to each learner’s individual strengths, needs and interests.
Smallest unit of sound in a language. A learner’s understanding of phonemes is critical to reading development.
Ability to hear, identify and manipulate sounds in words
Speed of scanning and understanding information; Alternate names: Information Processing, Visual Tracking, Visual Scanning
A subset of gifted students who perform at the highest intellectual level, typically 5+ standard deviations from the mean on cognitive ability tests.
An instructional approach in which students learn through active investigation of real world experiences and activities. Can be structured for individual or group-based learning and often involves delivery of a final product or project rather than the assignment culminating in an assessment.
An overall evaluation of the psychological and mental processes that affect learn. A psycho-educational assessment is usually comprised of standardized cognitive assessments, educational assessments, and objective behavioral and personality assessments. This information is typically used to diagnosed specific learning disabilities as well as ADHD.
Quantitative Working Memory
Ability to mentally juggle numerical information while using it during multi-step tasks. Even with the option to use a calculator, students depend on quantitative working memory for multi-step math problems. Alternate name: Working Memory
Awareness of the sound and structure of words; Alternate names: Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words
Reading Basics: Phonemic Awareness & Sight Words
Awareness of the sound and structure of words
The ability to read multiple lines of text and understand the general meaning
Ability to read quickly, accurately, automatically, and expressively
Therapy or interventions to help students with learning differences or weaker cognitive skills.
The ability to recover quickly from difficulties or setbacks
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Term that describes a mutli-tier system in public schools for early identification and support of struggling students before a student falls behind classmates and needs a 504 Plan or IEP.
The willingness to take on challenges despite uncertainty of the result or reward
Ability to recognize and self-assess one’s own feelings, thought processes and behaviors. Good self-awareness is increasingly being shown in the research as important life skill for long-term success.
Ability to regulate one’s own behaviors and feelings. This term is often used to describe management of impulsive behavior.
Measuring, considering and adjusting one’s own behavior, thoughts and feelings in relation to expected age appropriate norms.
Being introspective and willing to learn more about oneself in order to improve.
Ability to respond to feelings in an age appropriate way; Alternate name: Emotional Control, Self-monitoring, Inhibition
Knowledge of the grammatical rules and patterns of words and morphemes used to form correct phrases and sentences; Alternate name: Grammar
Sensory processing describes the difficulty some children have with their senses feeling overly sensitive or less sensitive to their environment. Although sensory processing is not a learning disability and does not receive an official medical diagnosis, children with sensory processing issues can receive supports and coping strategies to help them adapt more comfortably to their environment. They are typically treated by an occupational therapist.
Words that are most frequently used in texts. A student should learn to recognize these words by sight rather than sounding them out which can improve overall reading fluency. Alternate names: High Frequency Words, Dolch Words
Knowing what to talk about, when, with whom, and for how long and being able to work and play with others in a cooperative manner; Alternate name: Social Cognition
Knowing what to talk about, when, with whom, and for how long and being able to work and play with others in a cooperative manner
Social-emotional evaluations may be administered in conjunction with, or independently of, a psycho-educational assessment. This type of evaluation provides insight into a child’s state of emotional well-being, self-perception, and perceptions of the surrounding world. It could reveal anxiety, depression or other insight into the child’s psychological state of mind. Anxiety and depression can affect a child’s cognitive performance. The first skills that tend to be affected are the executive functions of attention and working memory.
Skills that explain how you feel and interact with others. Like cognitive skills, these skills develop and mature throughout childhood.
A learning technique that incorporates leaving time between repeated review and/or study of previously learned material.
Processing and production of material that is visual or exists in a spatial array such as maps, graphs, or symbols; Alternate name: Spatial Relations, Visual-Spatial Perception
One of the four major domains of cognition. It includes visual motor speed and processing speed.
Ability to form words from letters according to accepted usage
Used to describe dyslexia that has not yet been identified, typically in children in middle or high school, often because the child has effectively masked the dyslexia by compensating with other, stronger skills. Students with stealth dyslexia might still have strong performance in reading comprehension and vocabulary which contributes to the lack of identification.
Popular acronym used to describe a broad range of education skills encompassing science, technology, engineering and math. Recent iterations of the acronym have added the “A” for arts education. Many schools and after school programs are promoting a STEM curriculum along with 21st century skills to prepare students for college and careers.
Supplemental learning includes any formal or informal teaching a child receives outside of school. Supplemental learning can include tutoring, at-home workbooks, educational apps and websites, classes, or visits to museums. Most parents provide supplemental learning to their children, at least informally, on a regular basis.
The connection between neurons. The number and strength of synapses determines the depth of understanding and likelihood of remembering.
A research-backed instructional approach that teachers can use with students to cultivate strengths and support areas of need.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
“A set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone–not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.” (quoted from the CAST website. CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that developed the guidelines and works to have them implemented nationally and internationally). Mindprint uses a UDL-aligned set of guidelines to evaluate all of the products in its Toolbox.
Verbal Detail Analysis
Ability to attend to details of a language-based task appropriately so as not to make mistakes
Storing and then recalling verbal information at a later time; Alternate name: Episodic Memory
Ability to recognize and execute the sequential steps to produce written work
Ability to draw inferences from limited information and develop an understanding of an idea by considering its components or connections to other ideas
Visual Detail Analysis
Ability to attend to the details of visual tasks
Ability to filter out unnecessary visual information and attend to the important or identified content; Alternate Name: Visual Detail Analysis, Selective Attention
Visual Discrimination-Selective Attention
Ability to filter out unnecessary visual information and attend to the important or identified content; Alternate Name: Visual Detail Analysis
Recording and retaining contextualized or abstract visual information; Alternate name: Episodic Memory, Short-term Memory
Visual Motor Speed
The ability to efficiently integrate visual and motor skills to complete a task
Visual Short-term Memory
Recording and retaining contextualized or abstract visual information; Alternate name: Short-term Memory
Expressive word knowledge; Alternate name: Semantic Knowledge
Clinicians typically use the term to describe an area where a student’s skills are relatively under-performing compared to the child’s other cognitive skills or in the lowest bracket relative to same-aged peers.
A body of research that shows the importance of understanding all facets of a student’s skills, social, emotional and cognitive, to enable him or her to learn effectively.
Ability to mentally juggle information while using it during multi-step tasks
Zone of Proximal Development
The difference between what a learner knows or can do without help and what the learner can do with help or support. Many educators believe students should be given activities within the zone of proximal development to be appropriately challenged but not frustrated.