Inclusion of Children with Special Needs

Course Number: ECE 234
Transcript Title: Inclusion of Child w/Spec Nds
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: April 5, 2021
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisite / Concurrent

RD 115WR 115 or equivalent placement test scores

Course Description

Examines history and laws related to special education in the United States. Covers disabilities and delays for children ages birth to eight, screening and assessment tools, the IFSP and IEP process, and advocating with families to access necessary special education services. Explores strategies for creating inclusive early learning environments. Prerequisite/concurrent: RD 115, WR 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically examine the history, laws, and philosophy of special education in the United States.
  2. Compare and contrast a variety of disabilities and delays including causes, incidence, and characteristics of exceptionalities.
  3. Use observation and assessment to identify and support children with differing abilities.
  4. Advocate, in collaboration with a child’s family, for necessary and appropriate early intervention and special education services.
  5. Create inclusive environments and learning experiences that are challenging and supportive for children with disabilities and/or developmental delays.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessments may include: interviews, written observations, journal reflections, self-assessment, professional plan, professional philosophy, group projects, and assignments.

Texts and Materials

Brillante, P. (2017). The Essentials: Supporting Young Children with Disabilities in the Classroom. NAEYC.

Peterson, G., & Elam, E. (2020). Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education. Zero Textbook Cost.

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Department Required Activities

This course should result in a minimum of one portfolio artifact for each of these NAEYC Standards:

  • #3 – Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment
  • #4 – Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices
  • #6 – Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Outcome #1: Critically examine the history, laws, and philosophy of special education in the United States.
  • Perception and treatment of children with disabilities
  • Terminology and language changes
    • Person-first and identity-first language
  • State and federal laws
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
      • Title II
    • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
      • Section 504
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
      • Disability categories
      • Part B
        • “Child Find”
      • Part C
  • Children’s and/or family’s legal right to services
  • Institutionalization, mainstreaming, and inclusion
  • Philosophy of inclusion
  • Benefits and barriers to inclusion
Outcome #2: Compare and contrast a variety of disabilities and delays including causes, incidence, and characteristics of exceptionalities.
  • Types of delays and disabilities
    • Speech and language impairments
    • Visual and hearing impairments
    • Physical disabilities
    • Intellectual disabilities
    • Learning disabilities
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Causes
    • Genetic
    • Environmental
  • High incidence
    • 80% of all students with disabilities
    • Examples: speech and language impairments, specific learning disabilities, etc.
  • Low incidence
    • 20% of all students with disabilities
    • Examples: blindness, deaf-blindess, deafness, etc.
  • Characteristics
Outcome #3: Use observation and assessment to identify and support children with differing abilities.
  • Observation methods
    • Running records
    • Frequency counts
    • Checklists
    • Anecdotal records
    • Work samples
    • Learning stories
  • Monitoring
    • Less formal
    • “Typical” development
    • “Red flag”
    • Milestones checklists
    • ABC – antecedent, behavior, consequence
  • Assessments
    • Screenings
      • Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ)
      • Developmental Indicators for Assessment of Learning (DIAL)
      • Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
      • Early Screening Inventory-Revised (ESI-R)
      • Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA)
    • Diagnostic assessments
    • Formative assessments
    • Summative assessments
    • Asset-based approaches to assessment
  • Analyzing data
  • Planning next steps and when to refer

Outcome #4: Advocate, in collaboration with a child’s family, for necessary and appropriate early intervention and special education services.

  • Building collaborative partnerships with child’s family
    • Professionalism
    • Humility, compassion, respect, and trust
    • Informal and formal communication
    • Family-friendly environments
  • Provide information:
    • Types and purposes of intervention and special education services
    • Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process
    • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process
    • Transition process
    • Rights and role of the family in developing and reviewing an IFSP and IEP
    • Jargon-free explanations of terminologies, processes and supports
  • Potential obstacles
    • School culture, low expectations, lack of or inaccurate information
  • Advocacy
    • Types
      • Lay advocates
      • Educational advocates
      • School personnel and child care providers
      • Parents
    • Functions
      • Supports, helps, assists, and aids
      • Speaks and pleads on behalf of others
      • Defends and argues for people or causes
    • Skills
      • Gathering information
      • Planning
      • Documenting
      • Engaging in dialogue
      • Identifying problems
      • Resolving conflicts
  • Build positive relationships with multi-disciplinary team members
Outcome #5: Create inclusive environments and learning experiences that are challenging and supportive for children with disabilities and/or developmental delays.
  • Developmentally appropriate practices
  • Culturally and linguistically responsive practices
  • Promoting belonging and compassion
  • Positive and supportive relationships
  • Cycle of intentional teaching
  • Family engagement
  • Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Universal Design (UD)
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    • Multiple means of engagement (the “why”)
    • Multiple means of representation (the “what”)
    • Multiple means of expression (the “how”)
  • Common modifications, adaptations, and supports
    • Environmental support
    • Materials adaptation
    • Activity simplification
    • Child preference
    • Special equipment – adaptive devices and assistive technology
    • Adult support
      • Continuum of supports
    • Peer support
    • Invisible support

Department Notes

NAEYC Standards:
  • #3 – Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment
  • #4 – Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices
  • #6 – Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator
Oregon Core Knowledge Category:
  • Special Needs (SN) - 30 hours