Glossary Terms: S

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School District
The term “school district” and “school” are used to refer to the entity that has legal authority, control and responsibility for public education in a city, county, town (or combination of these) or other subdivision of a state.

Scientific, Research-Based Instruction
Curriculum and educational interventions that are research-based and have been proven to be effective for most students.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
A federal law that requires a school district to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to each child with a disability in the district’s jurisdiction.

Signed Exact English; signs are given in English word order, grammar, and syntax.

The use in language of meaningful referents, in both word and sentence structures.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Hearing loss caused by damage to the sensory cells and/or nerve fibers of the inner ear.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
A complex brain disorder that causes a child to misinterpret everyday sensory information like movement, sound and touch. Children with SPD may seek out intense sensory experiences or feel overwhelmed with information.

Sign Language
Method of communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing in which hand movements, gestures, and facial expressions convey grammatical structure and meaning.

Signal to Noise Ratio
The difference in the intensities of the speech signal (such as a teacher's voice) and the ambient (background) noise.

Signed English Systems
Sign systems developed for educational purposes, which use manual signs in English word order; sometimes with added affixes which are not present in American Sign Language. Signing Exact English and Seeing Essential English are two examples.

Simultaneous Communication
SC refers to the simultaneous use of ASL/SEE and spoken language to communicate.

To perceive odor or scent through stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves.

Smell Disorder
Inability to perceive odors. It may be temporary, caused by a head cold or swelling or blockage of the nasal passages. It can be permanent when any part of the olfactory region is damaged by factors such as brain injury, tumor, disease, or chronic rhinitis.

Sound Vocalization
Ability to produce voice.

Spasmodic Dysphonia
Momentary disruption of voice caused by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx or voice box.

Special Education
Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.

Specially Designed Instruction
Ways that special education professionals adapt the content, methodology (approaches to teaching certain grade-level content), or the delivery of instruction to address the unique needs that result from the child’s disability. Specially designed instruction should also ensure that the eligible child has access to the general curriculum so that he or she can meet the educational standards of the school district that apply to all children.

Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Difficulty with language or the organized-symbol system used for communication in the absence of problems such as mental retardation, hearing loss, or emotional disorders.

Specific Learning Disability
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language (spoken or written) which may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.

Spoken communication.

The interpretation of lip and mouth movements, facial expressions, gestures, elements of sound, structural characteristics of language, and topical and contextual clues. Sometimes referred to as as lipreading.

Speech Disorder
Any defect or abnormality that prevents an individual from communicating by means of spoken words. Speech disorders may develop from nerve injury to the brain, muscular paralysis, structural defects, hysteria, or mental retardation.

Speech Intelligibility
The ability to be understood when using speech.

Speech and Language Impairment
One or more of the following communication impairments which adversely affects educational performance:
- An inability to articulate words correctly, including omissions, substitutions, or distortions of sound, beyond the age when they might normally be expected;
- Voice impairment, including abnormal rate of speaking, speech interruptions, and repetition of sounds, words, phrases, or sentences, which interferes with effective communication;
- One or more other language impairments, as determined both by informal use of language and by at least two standardized tests or subtests which indicate inappropriate language functioning for the child's age.

Speech and Language Pathologist or Specialist
Assesses students for possible delayed speech and language skills and provides direct services in the area of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Speech Perception
The ability to recognize speech stimuli presented at suprathreshold levels (levels loud enough to be heard).

Speech Processor
Part of a cochlear implant that converts speech sounds into electrical impulses to stimulate the auditory nerve, allowing an individual to understand sound and speech.

Spoken Language Approaches
These include the Auditory-Verbal, auditory/oral, and Cued Speech options.

A person or group of people who have a vested interest in the success of a project and the environment in which it operates, such as the general field of deafness and/or the specific project of developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

State Complaint
A written complaint that can be filed by any organization or individual claiming that a school district within the state has either violated a requirement of Part B of IDEA (the part that contains all requirements regarding the delivery of special education services), or the state’s special education law or regulations. State complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged violation.

Also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA); caused by a lack of blood to the brain, resulting in the sudden loss of speech, language, or the ability to move a body part, and, if severe enough, death.

Frequent repetition of words or parts of words that disrupts the smooth flow of speech.

Sudden Deafness
Loss of hearing that occurs quickly due to such causes as explosion, a viral infection, or the use of some drugs.

Summary of Performance
A summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance that includes recommendations to assist the student in meeting his or her postsecondary goals.

Supplemental Aids and Services
Aids, services and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate. Examples of supplemental aids and services might be assistive technologies such as a computer or adapted physical education.

Swallowing Disorders
Any of a group of problems that interferes with the transfer of food from the mouth to the stomach.

Syndromic Hearing Impairment
Hearing loss or deafness that, along with other characteristics, is inherited or passed down through generations of a family.

Defines the word classes of language (nouns, verbs, etc.) and the rules for their combination (which words can be combined, and in what order to convey meaning).