SPED 346
Introduction to Exceptional Children
Spring 2015
Web-based Sections 03W
Instructor: Dr. Ginny Currin
Home (817) 516-5515
Cell (817) 264-2994
Email: ginny. [email protected]
Office Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons between 4:00 PM and 7:00PM
I will visit with you most any time provided you have emailed and made an appointment for us to talk.
It is my desire that each of you profits from this course. Please contact me via e-mail or phone or
schedule to meet with me if you need any assistance. Appointments are NOT required, but are
appreciated, preferred, and given priority.
Course Description:
This course will provide a survey of populations with exceptionalities. Attention will be given to the
cause of these deviations and their effect upon the individual’s development. Professional roles of the
special education team members as well as the policies and regulations applicable to special education
programs in general will be covered.
Hallahan, D.P., Kauffman, J. M., & Pullen. P.C. (2015). Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to
Special Education (13th Ed.). Boston: Pearson. (ISBN # 13:978-0-13-357104-2 / 10:0-13-357104-1)
TExES Competencies Addressed:
The following are the standard course objectives: The student is expected to be able to
Understand and apply knowledge of the characteristics and needs of students with
Understand and apply knowledge of procedures for managing the teaching and learning
environment, including procedures related to the use of assistive technology
Understand the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of special education, and
Know how to communicate and collaborate effectively in a variety of professional settings.
Course Objectives: Course objectives for SPED 346 are included in Attachment # 1. Course
objectives are based on the descriptive statements of the knowledge and skills related to the above
competencies for Texas Special Educator Certification. As SPED 346 is an introduction to
exceptional children, it is not expected that students will be proficient in all objectives. It is expected,
however, that at the conclusion of this course, each student will be able to demonstrate a limited
understanding of each course objective.
Class Requirements/Assignments/Activities/Expectations and Grading:
Getting to Know You (or “All About Me”):
Students will provide a short autobiography so that
your classmates and I can get to know you. You can give information about your degree sought, experience,
ambitions for the future, etc. It would be helpful to provide a picture of yourself so others “get to know you”, if
possible. This assignment should be completed as part of a discussion thread for week one.
GRADING: maximum 10 points
Sample Quiz:
Week #1 contains a short, sample quiz over this syllabus. This is intended to give you an opportunity to
“practice” taking an on-line quiz. There are 15 questions on this quiz, worth one point each. READ THE
SYLLABUS before starting this quiz. Then, just “dive in”.
Grading: maximum 15 points
Sample Drop Box:
Week # 1 requires you to make an entry into the drop box. In order to complete this assignment, you are
required to watch several short video clips and react to them. The video clips will serve as an introduction to
special education for those unfamiliar with special education and will be a surprise to many who do have some
background in special ed. This series of videos will provide a basis for many of the topics that we will be
discussing during the remainder of the semester.
For this assignment you will be required to watch 9 parts of the video, Misunderstood Minds. This
series of videos introduces you to 5 “exceptional” children and their families. The various parts of this
video will help you begin to think about aspects not generally thought of with “exceptional” children.
Few people would ever think about special education when first introduced to Nathan VanHoy!
1. See more specifics about this assignment in “doc sharing”.
2. Access the videos at www.youtube.com. Search “Misunderstood Minds”
3. Watch Chapters 1 through Chapter 8.1. All are approximately 9 minutes with the exception of
8.1 which is 4:39 minutes.
Your Assignment: Write a ½ to 1 page reaction (maximum) on what you learned from watching
Misunderstood Minds. This is to be brief, but include enough detail to show me that you watched the
clips. MAXIMUM LENGTH = 1 PAGE! Post your paper to the M.Minds drop box in week #1.
GRADING: 25 points
Weekly Discussion Forum Participation: Students are expected to participate actively in discussions
on each assigned lesson (typically weekly). For each discussion, you are to contribute at least one
original thought by posting your reflection to a thought provoking question based on assigned readings
/ videos, etc. For some discussion forum, you will be required to respond to at least one posting of
one of your classmates (peer response).
• For this assignment, you will be assigned a group. Try to post with your group as possible.
• Due dates for each reflection and each peer response will be included in each assignment.
Typically, your reflection must be posted by midnight Sunday and your peer response must be
posted by midnight Wednesday. However, this may not hold true for every assignment – so
check the schedule and assignment carefully and frequently. Postings after the due date WILL
NOT be accepted!
GRADING: Maximum 25 points per discussion for 10 lessons = 250 total available points
If the discussion requires a peer response in addition to your personal reflection, the 25 points
will be divided with your reflection being worth 15 points and your peer response being worth 10
These assignments are to encourage thoughtful reflection and expression of your views. This is a college
class so postings called “drive by” postings (“that’s great”, “yea I agree”, “You go girl!”) are not welcome
and will NOT receive a high grade.
• There is no minimum length or required number of words. Conversely, I don’t encourage
really long answers – remember your peers have to read it and they are just as cramped for time
as you are. Generally, a few sentences or a short paragraph is sufficient.
• In responding to another person’s post, be considerate and respectful. You may not agree – and
do not have to. We all learn by being challenged to think deeper and consider more
alternatives. I encourage “talking” out new ideas and perspectives. BUT, if you disagree, you
are expected to express your disagreement in a respectful way.
• Typically, your grade will not be based on writing mechanics or correctness of grammar and
punctuation. Good writing mechanics shows a respect for your reader, however, and allows me
to score your response (and not your grammar). If your writing and grammar compromises my
reading and understanding, you will not receive a high score. On this note – I don’t speak
“text” very well, so don’t use text abbreviations and expect me to understand. Just, play it safe
and don’t use these abbreviations.
• At times, you will need to support your opinion with “facts”. For example, “I believe ___ as the
law says ___”. Facts must be correct for you to receive full credit for your post.
• Personal experience can be a great contributor to your response to the discussion question.
However, personal experience should only support your answer. I must be able to see from
your response that you have completed requirements of the assignment (read / watched). Your
neighbor, cousin, or previous Sunday School teaching experience can all contribute to our
understand. These experiences do not fully document that you read and thoughtfully processed
the assigned materials, however.
• You will be assigned a discussion group. It is sometimes difficult for me to find your post if
you do not post with your group. Therefore, try to post with your group, as possible.
• In summary, discussion forum posts WILL be graded on:
o Timeliness – late postings WILL NOT be graded and will receive a ZERO
o Thoughtfulness - I must be able to see your original thought process based on the
assignment, which can be supported by, but not solely based on, your personal
o Factual correctness – if you cite a “fact” it must be correct
o Collaborative spirit – you don’t have to agree with your peers, but you must phrase
your disagreement in a dignified, professional, and respectful tone
o Writing mechanics – remember, if I can’t understand your post, I can’t grade it.
Weekly Chapter Quizzes: For each lesson (approximately weekly), you will have a quiz that
will cover all information presented that week. These quizzes are intended to give you an idea of what
to expect on the examinations. Typically, the quizzes will be open for the entire week, and, generally,
will close on Sunday at 11:59 pm but you are responsible to verify the closing date / time of each quiz.
You will be allowed to take the quiz only one time unless otherwise noted. These quizzes are open
book, open notes, but closed to your peers (it must be your own work). The quizzes will be timed so
that you will need to have a good, general understanding of all the material in advance of taking the
quiz in order to complete it accurately and timely.
GRADING: Quizzes are worth 30 points each for 12 quizzes = 360 total available points
Disability in Society
These two assignments will allow students to analyze how society experiences “disability” as it is
portrayed in film and as perceived and experienced by families in day-to-day situations with a child
with a disability. Additional information on these two assignments will be posted in “doc sharing”.
See Analysis of Film and Analysis of Family Interview.
GRADING 50 points each for a total of 100 points
Due Dates: To be announced, typically around Week 8 and week 13
Assignments can be turned in before the due date
Assessments (Tests) (3 tests at 50 points each=150 points)
Three (3) tests (two during the semester and one final exam) will be scheduled during the semester to
measure your comprehension and ability to apply the course content. Assessments may consist of both
objective questions and/or short essay questions. All exams will be posted on-line to eCollege and
taken from your home or university computer lab. Specific time periods will be allocated for each
examination. Exams are closed book (no access to
notes/book) unless otherwise specified.
Point Distribution:
Tentative exam schedule: week 4 and week 10, final
exam week 16
Course Evaluation & Grading:
“Getting to Know You” Post
Sample Quiz
Misunderstood Minds Discussion
Discussion Forum 10 @ 25 points
Chapter Quizzes 12 @ 30 points
Disability in Society
- Analysis of Film
- Analysis of Family Interview
Examinations 2 @ 50
Total possible points without final
A = 90%
B = 80%
C = 70%
D = 60%
F = < 60%
910-820 Points
819-728 Points
727-637 Points
636-546 Points
545 Points and below
Final Exam
Total possible points WITH final
Communication & Support:
If you have a question that others in the class may also be having, please post those questions to my
Virtual Office in eCollege. Please consult Virtual Office to see if a question has already been
answered before sending me an e-mail. If you need to talk to me, email first and we will set up a time
to visit on the phone. I will not answer questions that can be found on you course schedule, syllabus or
is posted on the website. It is your responsibility to read all posted materials. If you have any
questions or need clarifications on any aspect of the course, you can post it in Virtual Office and one of
your class mates might be able to answer. I you need to talk to me, please email me first.
A Note About the Virtual Office: The Virtual Office is a public forum. Everyone else in the class
can read everything you write there. If you need to contact me about something of a personal nature,
e-mail me first, then we will talk.
As a student enrolled at Texas A&M University-Commerce, you have access to an email account via
MyLeo. ALL class emails from your instructor WILL GO TO YOUR MyLeo ACCOUNT. Please be
sure to check this email account frequently and regularly.
Technology Requirements:
This is a totally on-line course that will be conducted within eCollege (the class will NOT meet faceto-face). eCollege works best within a Microsoft Windows environment, and requires a high speed
internet connection (not dial-up). This means you should use a Windows operating system (XP or
newer) and a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (6.0, 7.0 or 8.0). The course will also work
with Macintosh OS X along with a recent version of Safari (2.0 or better). eCollege also supports the
Firefox/Mozilla (3.0 or better) on both Windows and Mac operating systems. It is strongly
recommended that you perform a “Browser Test” prior to the start of your course. To launch a
browser test, login to eCollege, click on the “myCourses” tab, and then select the “Browser Test” link
under Support Services. To get started with the course, go to:https://leo.tamucommerce.edu/login.aspx. You will need your CWID and password to login to the course. If you do
not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact Technology Services at 903-468-6000
or [email protected]
Contacting eCollege for Technical Support:
The following support options are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week
• Help: Click on the “help” button on the toolbar for information regarding working with
eCollege (i.e., “How do I submit to dropbox?”, “How do I post to discussion board?”, etc.
• Chat Support: Click on the “Live Support” on the toolbar within your course to chat with
an eCollege representative.
• Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (toll free) to speak with an eCollege Technical Support
• Email: [email protected] to initiate a support request with eCollege Technical
Support Representative
Other Important Notes:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that
provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other
things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning
environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a
disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:
Office of Student Disability Resources and Services
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Gee Library, Room 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835
Fax (903) 468-8148
[email protected]
All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and
acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment. (See Code of Student
Conduct from Student Guide Handbook)
o All students are expected to display professional behaviors (dispositions) expected of
educators and to demonstrate these behaviors in their interactions with K-12 students,
families, your colleagues, the professor, and communities at all times. These
professional behaviors consist of such behaviors as professional responsibility,
professional and personal integrity, collegiality, and commitment to learning. Failure to
display professional behaviors can result in counseling by the professor and result in
lowering of the course grade.
o Academic Dishonesty. To be successful in this class, you must invest time for study.
Honesty is expected. Academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, collusion) will NOT
be tolerated and will result in a grade of zero (0) for the assignment. A second
infraction will result in automatic failure of the class. Dishonesty is defined as (i) the
use of unauthorized materials, (ii) any communication with peers during quizzes, (iii)
representing another’s work as one’s own (i.e. plagiarism) or (iv) fabricating
information. The professor reserves the right to determine occurrences of cheating.
o Plagiarism occurs at any time that another’s ideas or words are used as your own
without attribution. Direct quotations must be cited and set off from other text by
quotation marks (“ ..”). Paraphrasing of another’s ideas must also be cited (although
this does not require quotation marks). Copying from other students and two or more
students who work together and turning in the exact same work (unless it’s an assigned
group project) also constitute plagiarism.
For many assignments, students are encouraged to work together. However, if
individual submission of the assignment is required, the final product must be
your own work.
All assignments must be turned in on the assigned due date. Unexcused assignments turned in
after the due date will be returned ungraded.
o Please note: Late postings to the discussion board will not be graded, regardless of the
circumstance. The purpose of discussion items is to stimulate thought and discussion,
which is compromised if postings are not timely.
o A note about timeliness: The timelines for this course are not negotiable. I realize that
on occasion “life happens” – children get sick, cars break down, and thunderstorms
occur. For these reasons and many more, it is highly advised that you DO NOT wait until
the deadline for turning in an assignment. If you wait until 11:00 pm to turn in an
assignment due at midnight and the electricity goes out, you have missed the deadline
and will NOT get credit for the assignment.
Ensure that the assignment guidelines presented in the syllabus and assignment handouts are
followed. It is important that all assignments are organized according to headings and
subheadings delineated in the assignment. Failure to do so will result in an ungraded
assignment or a lower evaluation.
Make/Up exam. Ther e will be NO make-up exams for this course unless a true emergency
exists. Students are expected to submit relevant documentation ( e.g. doctor’s note, funeral
notice, etc.) when requesting a make/up examination.
Written Assignments. Written assignments MUST be typed using double spaced lines, include
your name, and have page numbers. In addition, work submitted should reflect a professional
quality in terms of scope, depth, writing mechanics, and appearance that would be expected of
students at a prestigious university. Proofread all assignments as only materials with minimal
or no errors will receive high scores.
Person First Language: Our language is a reflection of our attitudes. Always refer to persons
with disabilities with respect. Degrading terminology will not be tolerated. In this class we
will strive to use “people first” language at all times. “People First” language always refers to
the person first and not as a label or a category. For example, refer to “a student with autism”
and not “an autistic” or “students with disabilities” and not “disabled students”. In addition,
avoid such stigmatizing terminology as “confined to a wheelchair” (say “uses a wheelchair”
If you have suggestions, comments, questions, or concerns about the class or the assignments,
please call or see the instructor. Please do not save your suggestions for the course evaluation
at the end of the term when it is too late to implement your suggestions.
Attachment # 1
Course Objectives
Course objectives are based on the descriptive statements of the knowledge and skills related to the
above competencies for Texas Special Educator Certification. As SPED 346 is an introduction to
exceptional children, it is not expected that students will be proficient in all objectives. It is expected,
however, that at the conclusion of this course, each student will be able to demonstrate a limited
understanding of the following objectives. Course objectives include, but are not limited to, the
Competency 001
1. Characteristics of individuals with different types of disabilities, including individuals with
different levels of severity and multiple disabilities across eligibility categories, and analyzes
the impact of various disabilities on learning and experiences.
2. How the developmental, academic, social, career and functional characteristics of individuals
with disabilities relate to levels of support needed and applies knowledge of human
development and disabilities to plan and implement appropriate curriculum
3. Theoretical explanations for behavioral disorders and analyzes the varied characteristics of
behavioral disorders and their effect on learning
4. The different ways that students with and without disabilities learn
5. Knowledge of human development and the effects of various types of disabilities on
developmental processes in order to identify the needs of individuals with and without
6. The effects of cultural and environmental influences (e.g., linguistic characteristics,
socioeconomic issues, abuse/neglect, substance abuse) on the child and family.
7. Normal, delayed and disordered communication patterns, including nonsymbolic
communication, and the impact of language development on the academic and social skills of
individuals with disabilities.
8. Aspects of medical conditions affecting individuals with disabilities, including the effects of
various medications on behavior and functioning and the implications of medical complications
for student support needs (e.g., seizure management, tube feeding, catheterization,
cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR]).
9. Ways in which physical disabilities and health impairments relate to development and
behavior, and knows the etiologies and effects of sensory disabilities and other conditions
affecting individuals with disabilities.
Competency 004
10. Procedures for ensuring a safe, positive and supportive learning environment in which
diversities are valued and how to address common environmental and personal barriers that
hinder accessibility for and acceptance of individuals with disabilities.
11. How to use instructional time efficiently and effectively for individuals with disabilities.
12. How to design, structure and manage daily routines, including transition time, for students in a
variety of educational settings and procedures for monitoring behavior changes across activities
and settings.
13. Knowledge of basic classroom management theories, methods, and techniques for individuals
with disabilities, research-based best practices for effective management of teaching and
learning and management procedures that are appropriate to individual needs.
14. Ways in which technology can assist in managing the teaching and learning environment to
meet the needs of individual students.
15. Various types of assistive technologies, devices, services and resources and their role in
facilitating student’s educational achievement, communication, positioning, mobility and active
participation in educational activities and routines.
16. How to make informed decisions about types and levels of assistive technologies, devices and
services for students with various needs, collect and analyze information about a student’s
environment and curriculum to identify and monitor assistive technology needs and support the
use of assistive technologies, devices and services.
17. Procedures for participating in the selection and implementation of assistive technologies,
devices and services for students with various needs.
18. Procedures for coordinating activities of related services personnel and directing the activities
of paraprofessionals, aids, volunteers and peer tutors.
19. Knowledge of appropriate body mechanics to ensure student and teacher safety in transfer,
lifting, positioning, and seating.
Competency 010
20. The historical foundations of special education, major contributors to the literature, major
legislation relevant to knowledge and practice in the education of individuals with disabilities
and current issues and trends in special education.
21. Knowledge of models, theories and philosophies that provide the basis for special education
22. Current educational terminology and definitions regarding individuals with disabilities,
including professionally accepted classification systems and current incidence and prevalence
23. Issues relating to definition and identification procedures for individuals with disabilities,
including individuals from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds.
24. Factors that influence the overrepresentation of culturally and/or linguistically diverse students
in programs for students with disabilities.
25. Various perspectives (e.g., medical, psychological, behavioral, educational) regarding
definitions and etiologies of disabilities.
26. Cultural variations in beliefs, traditions and values and their effects on the relationships among
child, family and school.
27. Knowledge of the continuum of placement and services for individuals with disabilities.
Competency 012
28. The collaborative roles of students, parents/guardians, teachers and other school and
community personnel in planning and implementing an individualized program and effective
strategies for working collaboratively in various contexts.
29. Knowledge of factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with students,
parents/guardians, teachers, paraprofessionals and other school and community personnel.
30. How to foster respectful and beneficial relationships between families and professionals in the
school and community.
31. Typical concerns of families of individuals with disabilities and appropriate strategies to
support families in dealing with these concerns.
32. Knowledge of strategies for encouraging and assisting parents / guardians in their role as active
participants in their children’s education and procedures for planning and conducting
collaborative conferences with parents / guardians.
33. Knowledge of effective communication in various professional contexts and ethical practices
for confidential communication regarding individuals with disabilities.
34. The types of information generally available from parents/guardians, school officials, the legal
system and community service agencies.
35. Knowledge of the collaborative and consultative roles of special education teachers,
paraprofessionals and other school personnel in integrating individuals into general education
36. How to collaborate with teachers in the general educational setting and other school and
community personnel to integrate individuals with disabilities into various learning
37. How to serve as a resource person for families, general education teachers, administrators and
other school personnel regarding the characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF