Children with Special Needs

Course Description

Exploration of variations in child development and identification of specific disabilities in young children. Inclusive early childhood programs, specific strategies for adaptation and accommodation of the core curriculum to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of children who are at-risk or have special needs are examined.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of characteristics of young children with developmental delays and disabilities and implications of cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Demonstrate understanding the current philosophy and educational trends in the inclusion of young children with special needs in classrooms and natural settings
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the legal rights of families and their children with special needs.
  • Demonstrate understanding and use of adaptation and modification of curriculum to effectively serve children with various disabilities in inclusive settings
  • Demonstrate knowledge and ability to integrate Individual Education Plans (IEP) goals into daily activities and routines.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the teacher’s role as a member of the educational team in an inclusive classroom.
  • Demonstrate undergraduate level application of analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional standards and ethics


Candidates must complete a minimum of five (5) hours of field experience at a designated community site as part of this course. All 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. Candidates will observe a young child with an identified disability (has IFSP or IEP) in an inclusive classroom for three or more hours, interview the classroom teacher and write six-page paper responding to specific criteria. Please see FIELD EXPERIENCE/OBSERVATION assignment for a detailed description of this activity. Specific Candidate Expectations: Candidates must participate and thoughtful respond to Discussion Boards topics. Candidates must complete an observation and teacher interview and write a six page paper to specific assignment criteria. Candidates must select and research one disability or condition and write paper to specific assignment criteria. Candidate must research the referral and identification process at their present employment. If not currently in a classroom, you will contact the Director of Special Education at your local school district and write paper to specific assignment criteria. Candidate must select or create a unit of study (4 separate lesson plans) of your choice for a Learning Center with 4 Student Learning Outcomes for the unit. Candidate must write a paper about their Learning Center unit of study describing developmentally appropriate practice, how children will participate, strategies used to guide the collaborative learning of a child with and a child without a disability, how unit will be evaluated with respect to the Course Learning Outcomes (1,2,4,5 ) and will include a bibliography. Candidates must use peer-reviewed articles for research regarding topics in developmental delays and disabilities in young children and inclusion in natural settings. Candidates must actively participate in course activities. Candidates must successfully complete assignments as per assignment description. Candidates must pass a final examination. Candidates must demonstrate mastery of standard written English. APA and Ed style and format must be followed.


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