Intro to Special Education

Course Description

An introduction to special education with an overview of suggestions to assist beginning early education teachers prepare to recognize and handle special needs of children and their families.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify developmental sequences for observing and formulating individualized program plans.
  • Identify interim actions and program suggestions on how to work effectively with special needs children in an early education setting
  • Demonstrate the development of an individual action plan
  • Identify children whose physical, social, emotional, speech and language, overall communication skills, and/or cognitive development are different from that of other children of their age.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of diverse families with special education children.
  • Explain importance of developing effective communication strategies for involving families in understanding and supporting individual action plans.
  • Identify professional and ethical standards of practice for early education teachers.
  • Create a portfolio of evidence demonstrating the use of appropriate instructional techniques.


Specific Course Requirements: Review three (3) recent articles on a topic related to current ethical issues relevant to special education. The article should have been published within the last two years. Describe the major points in the article and your response. Be prepared to share in small groups. Interview with two (2) preschool teachers who have a child with special needs in their classroom on what successful collaborative strategies they use in dealing with families. Write a summary of the interview Be prepared to share in small groups. Write a paper describing child abuse/neglect reporting process include signs of physical/behavioral characteristics indicative of such abuse/neglect and steps you would take to handle the situation. Create three (3) individual action plans based on the physical and behavioral characteristics and recommendations of culture on social adaptive behaviors and learning disabilities as described in the Paasche, Gorrill and Strom textbook. Answer selected focus questions at the end of each assigned chapter in the deBettencourt and Howard textbook. Be prepared to discuss in small groups Final examination. Field Teaching Experience. Candidates must complete a minimum of five (5) hours of field experience at a designated preschool community site as part of this course. All field experiences must be documented within the context of course work assignments and assessments. Candidates must make, with instructor approval, their own arrangements for this experience. Specific Field Teaching Assignment: Observe the different strategies the teacher uses in classroom management. Write a summary of your observations. Be prepared to share with small group.

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