34 CFR 303.000(x): This is a reference to a section of the federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), that applies to Early On. “34 CFR” refers to the law itself, “303” means the section that applies to Early On(i.e. Part C of the law), and the remaining numbers and letters help you find specific sections of the law.

Adjusted Age: Term also referred to as corrected or gestational age. The age of the child would be if the pregnancy had actually gone to term.

Activities: The things a family does day-to-day or programs where children can play and learn with others.

Advocacy Organizations: Groups that can help families understand their rights. They can also speak or act on their behalf.

Advocate: A person who speaks or acts on behalf of an issue or person.

Age-Based Norms: Developed for the purpose of comparing a child's score with the scores obtained by other children at the same age on the same assessment.

Age Equivalent: The chronological age in a defined population for which a given score is the median (middle) score.

Appeal: A request to have a situation or decision investigated at a higher level. A final decision is then made at that higher level.

Assistive Technology: Equipment or devices that help your child. They help your child increase, maintain or improve what they can do.

Assessment: Any systematic method of obtaining information from evaluation instruments and other sources, used to draw inferences about characteristics of child. Assessment aids educational decision-making by securing valid and reliable information from multiple sources of evidence and integrating this information for a specific purpose.

Audiology Services: Services and ideas for a family so they can support their child’s hearing.

Authorization to Share Confidential Information: A form that says Early On can gather and share information about a family or child. The form must tell who can share what and with whom. Information cannot be gathered or shared until the form is signed by a parent.

Basal: The point on test, associated with a given level of functioning or skill, for which an examiner is confident, that all items prior to that item would be completed or passed correctly. The items below this point, although not administered to the child, are afforded full credit. Basal and ceiling rules act to enhance the efficiency of the test administration process by administrating only the range of items required to obtain an accurate estimate of the individual's ability.

Ceiling: The upper limit of ability that a test can effectively measure or for which reliable discriminations can be made. A child scoring at or near the highest possible score are said to have "reached the ceiling" of the test (i.e., a ceiling effect), and should, if possible, be administered the next higher level of the test in order to obtain a more accurate estimate of their ability. For individually administered tests, the ceiling refers to the point during administration, after which, all other items will no longer be answered correctly (considered too difficult), and results in the examiner stopping the administration of the test.

Chronological age: Term used to indicate the age from the actual day the child was born.

Civil Action: A lawsuit filed in state or federal court.

Complaint: A claim that a law or a set of regulations has been violated. The claim would be about how Early On has failed to comply with the state and/or federal regulations that guide Early On.

Concerns: What a family worries about with their child’s growth and learning. It is what they would like Early On to work on to help their child and family.

Consent: Obtaining a parent’s permission in writing (i.e. signature) before Early On starts or stops any activity that affects a child and family, or before Early On shares information about a family or child.

Consent to Evaluate: A form that gives permission to Early On to evaluate a child. The form must tell what an evaluation is, how it will happen and why. The evaluation cannot happen until the parent signs this form.

Correlation: The degree of relationship between two sets of scores, based on the same set of individuals. The relationship can be positively correlated e.g., children scoring high on one test also tend to score high on the other), negatively correlated (e.g., children scoring low on one test tend to score high on the other). Correlation simply refers to the strength of the relationship existing between two sets of values and does not necessarily imply that one influenced the other or caused the other to happen.

Criterion: A standard, guideline, or rule by which a judgment or decision may be based. For example, an outlined objective by which a student's response or performance is judged.

Cut off Score: A specified point on a score scale such that scores at or above that point are interpreted or acted upon differently from scores below that point. For example, a score designated as the minimum level of performance needed to pass a competency test. One or more cut scores can be set for a test which results in dividing the score range into various proficiency level ranges.

Destroyed: Permanent removal of all personally identifiable information from paperwork or files.

Development: The process of growing and learning.

Developmental Delay: When a child’s rate of growth and learning is different from that of most children the same age.

Developmental Evaluation: A way to learn about a child’s growth and learning. It measures the areas of thinking, talking, hearing, seeing, moving, taking care of basic needs, and responding to others. Disabilities: Conditions that affect how children grow and learn.

Developmental Scores: A type of score that is used to show a child's position along a developmental continuum. Developmental Scores allow comparisons to be made to a series of reference groups that differ systematically.

Diagnostic Medical Services: Support and information given by a licensed physician. It helps decide if a child needs early intervention services.

Due Process Hearing: A formal process used to try to resolve disagreements. The hearing is conducted with a neutral person, the Hearing Officer, who listens to the evidence and arguments of the parents and the agencies and decides who is right and who must do what.

Early Intervention System: Includes any activities, supports, and services a baby or toddler may need to help with his or her growing and learning.

Early On: Michigan’s system of early intervention. It is not one single “program.” It’s a collection of activities, supports, services, and resources provided by many programs.

Early On Coordinator: A person in charge of Early On in a local county or counties.

Early On Family Rights Brochure: A document for families that explains their rights while working with Early On.

Early On Record: All the papers and plans from your time in Early On. It is also all the information you gave and that was gathered from others.

Early On Team: A team that includes the parents and the service coordinator. It also includes people who provide services. Everyone will work together to support the growth and learning of a child.

Eligible: When a child qualifies to receive supports and services from Early On. To be eligible for Early On, your child must have a developmental delay. Your child may also be eligible if he or she has a health issue that is likely to lead to a developmental delay.

Evaluation: A process to learn about a child’s growth and development. Also used to find out if a child is eligible for Early On.

Family: A group of people close to you and your child. It could include parents, husband or wife, grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, brothers or sisters, legal guardians, or friends.

Family Assessment: A process to let the family discuss their concerns, resources, and priorities to help them be better able to help the child grow and learn. It is up to the family to decide whether a family assessment is done.

Family Counseling: Emotional support to a family to help them understand the special needs of their child. Usually provided by a social worker or psychologist.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): A federal law protecting personally identifiable information that is held in a child’s education record.

Family Training: Helps a family learn new ways to help their child develop.

Fully Informed: Having all of the information so that potential benefits, responsibilities, and consequences can be considered before making a decision.

Health Issue: A medical issue or condition found by a doctor or nurse that is likely to lead to a developmental delay.

Health Services: Services that are medically necessary to help a child participate in Early On.

Hearing Officer: A trained, impartial person who helps resolve disagreements.

Individualized: It is about you and your child’s own life and needs. Every child and family is different.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP): A written plan that guides everything a child and family will do while involved with Early On. It lists what activities, supports and services are needed by the child and family.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—Part C (IDEA): The federal law that guides the education of children with disabilities. Part C of the IDEA law tells how each state needs to plan and provide their early intervention system. It also explains the rights families have.

Interim Individualized Family Service Plan (Interim IFSP): A temporary plan that is made when a child has immediate needs that need to be supported.

Item: A general term referring to a single statement, question, exercise, problem, or task on an evaluative instrument for which the test taker is to select or construct a response, or to perform a task.

Intermediate School District (ISD): An education agency that helps oversee Early On and special education in local areas. ISDs are sometimes called RESDs or RESAs.

Local Interagency Coordinating Councils (LICC): A group of professionals and parents from an area. They suggest how Early On should be run. An LICC can be found in each county or counties.

Mastery Level: The cut score for a criterion-referenced or mastery test. Children who score lower than the cut score, or "below the mastery level" are considered not to have mastered the test material, while those scoring at or above the cut score, or "above the mastery level", are considered to have demonstrated mastery of the test material. The method of setting the score designated as representing "mastery" can vary, and is often subjectively determined.

Mediation: An informal process with a neutral person, the mediator, who meets with the parents and the agencies to see if they can come to an agreement about resolving their dispute.

Mediator: A trained, impartial person who facilitates problem-solving.

Michigan Department of Education: The agency that oversees Early On in all intermediate and local school districts around Michigan . Early On funding comes through the Michigan Department of Education.

Native Language: The language or mode of communication typically used by a family.

Natural Environments: Places a child can grow and learn with other children his or her age who do not have disabilities. The activities, supports, or services are in typical places that a family would normally do things and spend time. The activities are with the family, people from their community, and other children.

Norm-Referenced Test: Any standardized test or evaluative instrument for which the resulting scores are interpreted or acquire additional meaning in terms of comparisons made to a specified group (i.e., reference group) for which the individual or group belongs (e.g., age). Tests can be considered both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced. It depends only on the use and interpretation of the scores.

Nutrition Services: Supports to help a family with their child’s feeding skills and eating habits. It helps a family learn what is good for their child to eat and helps find ways to solve feeding problems.

Occupational Therapy: Support for a child’s small muscle development (fine motor movement). Small muscles include the muscles that control the mouth, hands and eyes. This therapy also helps children process input through their five senses. An Occupational Therapist will help the family understand and work with their child.

Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services: A division in the Michigan Department of Education. It specifically oversees special education and Early On around Michigan .

Outcomes: The changes and results that a family wants for their child and family.

Parent: Any person responsible for the care and well-being of a child. It could include birth parents, adoptive parents, single parents, guardians, grandparents, foster parents.

Percentile: The score or point in a score distribution at or below which a given percentage of scores fall.

Personally Identifiable Information: Information that includes, but is not limited to: the child’s name, name of the child’s parent or other family member, the address of the child or the child’s family, a personal identifier such as the parent or child’s social security number, a list of personal characteristics, or other information that would make the identity of the child or family reasonably certain.

Physical Therapy: Support for your child’s large muscle development (gross motor movement). This development includes how your child rolls, crawls, stands, walks, runs, climbs stairs, throws balls, etc. A Physical Therapist will help the family understand and work with their child.

Priorities: The concerns a family wants to focus on first.

Procedural Safeguards: Actions or guidelines that are in place to guard your rights.

Profile: A graphic presentation of the scores for an individual or group, representing the results of several tests (or subtests) that have been expressed in comparable terms (standard scores, percentile ranks, etc.). This type of display is useful for easily identifying relative strengths and weaknesses. Profiles can help providers adapt instruction, learning materials, and the pace of instruction to the individual needs of the child.

PSS 340.0000(x): This is a reference to another document, the Early On Procedural Safeguard Standards. The Procedural Safeguard Standards contain the legal language about a family’s rights when they are involved with Early On. “PSS” means the document itself, “340” means that this is about Early On rights, and the remaining numbers and letters help you find specific sections of the standards.

Psychological Services: Support to help a family understand their child’s development. It could include testing, assessment, counseling or education. It is meant to support the emotional well-being of a child and family.

Psychometric: Pertaining to the quantitative measurement of psychological or mental characteristics such as abilities, aptitudes, knowledge, skills, and traits.

Public Agency Provider: A public agency that provides Early On services.

Record: See Early On Record.

Referral: A recommendation to have a child evaluated for Early On. The referral starts the Early On process. It occurs because of a concern about a child’s development or health issue.

Reliability: The degree to which test scores for a group of examinees are consistent over repeated administrations of the same test, and therefore considered dependable and repeatable for an individual examinee. A test that produces highly consistent, stable results (i.e., relative free from random error) is said to be highly reliable.

Resources: The people, places, relationships, supports, and services a family already has that could help their child.

Review: A meeting held at least every 6 months. The team looks at whether changes need to be made on the IFSP.

Rights: Checks and balances that are built into the Early On system to assure that the Early On process happens as it is supposed to for children and families. Rights are the legal safeguards that a family is entitled to.

Service Coordinator: The family’s main contact in Early On. This person supports and assists the family the entire time they are in Early On. He or she knows about and has worked with children with developmental delays.

Services: When a trained professional works directly with a child or helps a family learn how to support their child.

Sliding Fee Scale: The family pays for a part of the service. The amount will be based on their income. The lower their income, the less they pay. The higher their income, the more they pay.

Social Work Services: Support such as home visits, counseling, and information about resources in a family’s community.

Specialized Instruction: Help from a teacher to promote a child’s learning and development. Includes special planning and activities. Helps to work toward IFSP outcomes.

Speech and Language Services: Support to help a child learn to communicate. This includes how a child coos, babbles, says words, puts together words and sentences, and listens to and does what is said. Also includes how a child breathes, swallows, and moves his or her tongue. This can affect how he or she makes sounds and eats. A Speech Therapist will help the family understand and work with their child.

Standard Age Scores: Normalized standard scores, having a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16, provided for each battery and composite on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). These scores are developed for the purpose of comparing the rate and level of cognitive development of an individual to other students in the same age group.

Standard Deviation: A statistic that measures the degree of spread or dispersion of a set of scores. The value of this statistic is always greater than or equal to zero. If all of the scores in a distribution are identical, the standard deviation is equal to zero. The further the scores are away from each other in value, the greater the standard deviation. This statistic is calculated from using the information about the deviations (distances) between each score and the distribution's mean. It is equivalent to the square root of the variance statistic. The standard deviation is often the preferred method of examining a distribution's variability since the standard deviation is expressed in the same units as the data.

Standardization or Standardized Test: 1.) In test administration, maintaining a constant testing environment and conducting the test according to detailed rules and specifications, so that testing conditions are the same for all test takers (e.g., testing materials, directions for administration, time limits, etc.).
2.) In test development, establishing scoring norms based on the test performance of a nationally representative sample of individuals (i.e., standardization sample) for which the test is intended for future use. These individuals are administered the test using the same set of instructions, testing materials, time limits, etc. as is intended for the operational use of the test.

Standard Score: A type of derived score, which is a transformation of the raw score, and whose score distribution in a specified population has convenient, known values for the mean and standard deviation. Often this term is used to specifically denote z-scores (mean =0.0 and standard deviation =1.0), and any linear transformation of z-scores.

Strategies: Ways for working on outcomes. Strategies may be: an activity being done with a child; training for a parent to help them learn how to help their child; or a service provided directly to a child by a person trained in a certain area.

Support Groups: Groups who meet to support each other.

Supports: Help, resources, or information.

Surrogate Parent: A surrogate parent is a person who is appointed to represent the rights of a child eligible for Early On when the child’s natural parents cannot be found or when the natural parents have had their rights terminated.

Transition: When a child and family leaves Early On to go to a new program, activity, or area.

Transition Conference: A meeting to plan your child’s transition.

Transition Plan: The plan lists the next steps. It also includes how the next steps will happen. If your child is leaving Early On at age three, this plan must be made at least 90 days before your child’s third birthday.

Transportation: The way a family travels to get to activities or services on the IFSP. If this is a need found in their evaluation, it will be listed on the IFSP.

Validity: Commonly defined, the extent to which the test measures what it is intended to measure
(i.e., accuracy of the test). There are various ways of assessing validity, depending on the type of test and its intended use.
Content Validity - extent to which a test represents a balanced and adequate sampling of the content domain in terms of the knowledge, skills, objectives, etc.
Criterion-Related Validity - extent to which a test is a measure of a particular criterion measure, either the accuracy of the test to predict performance on some future criterion measure (predictive validity) or is in agreement with some current criterion measure.
Construct-Related Validity - extent to which a test measures the theoretical construct or trait that it is intended to measure (e.g., abstract psychological trait).

Vision and Mobility Services: Support to help a child with seeing and moving. Also support for him or her to be able to do things. This includes special activities or equipment. Vision and Mobility Specialists will help the family understand and work with their child.

Written Prior Notice: Written information given to the parents to inform them ahead of time about a proposed action or change.

Z-score: A type of standard score such that the distribution of the scores for a specified population have a mean of 0.0 and a standard deviation of 1.0. The z-score indicates the amount a student's score (X) deviates from the mean (X) in relation to the standard deviation (SD) of the group.