SE 510 – Exceptional Children in the Schools

Special Education and Communication Disorders   
Bridgewater State College         Credits: 3

Dr. Lisa Battaglino            Phone: (508) 531-2739

Course Description:  An orientation to all aspects of education pertaining to special needs children.  Emphasis will be on educational characteristics of each area of exceptionality and the new role of special education in the schools.  Chapter 766 and P.L. 94-142 (as amended) will be included.

Text:  Including Students with Special Needs, by Marilyn Friend and William D. Bursuck

Teaching Methods Employed in the Course: Active participation for the class is the described method.  Students receive a list of “mini-projects” (see attached) that provide for active participation.  Small group discussions follow lecture and on video presentations.

Beliefs on Philosophy about Teaching: This course is a relevant introduction to the topics and issues involved in teaching children with special needs.  Surveying these topics and issues provides participants with the necessary concepts and considerations for further study and improved teaching.


Essential and important goals for this course are:

  1. Gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends). 

  2. Learning fundamental principles, generalizations, or theories.

  3. Learning how professionals in this field go about the process of gaining new knowledge.

  4. Developing a sense of personal responsibility (self-reliance, self-discipline).

  5. Discovering the implications of the course material for understanding oneself (interests, talents, values, etc.). 


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of special education services and individuals with special needs; 

  2. Identify the risk factors in the area of development;  

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the roles different individuals with the school system play in meeting the education of a child with special needs;

  4. Analyze ways in which various instructional resources can be used in an instructional program for students with special needs;

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the legal requirements underlying educational programs for children with special needs; 

  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the professional organizations concerned with special education;

  7. Demonstrate an understanding of strategies utilized for students with special needs in an inclusive setting. 


Assessment for this course is primarily based upon two examinations (midterm and final).  Students are expected to take examinations at scheduled times and permission to reschedule exams must be granted by the instructor. 

Other means of assessment are through the “mini-projects”.  Students are expected to complete 10 mini-projects (see attached). 

Tentative Course Content

Week #           Topic                                                                                Other

One               Foundations

Two               Procedures and Services

Three            Professional Partnerships 

Four              Classroom and Student Needs

Five               Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities

Six                 Students with High-Incidence Disabilities                    Midterm Exam

Seven           Other Students with Special Needs

Eight              Assessing Student Needs

Nine               Instructional Adaptations

Ten                Strategies for Independent Learning

Eleven           Evaluating Student Learning

Twelve           Responding to Student Behavior

Thirteen         Building Social Relationships                                         Final Exam

Bibliography of related materials

Ally, G., & Deshler, D. (1979). Teaching the learning disabled adolescent: Strategies and methods. Denver , CO : Love.

Allport, G. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Cambridge , MA : Addison-Wesley. 

Blatt, B. (1958). The physical, personality, and academic status of children who are mentally retarded attending special classes as compared with children who are mentally retarded attending regular class. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 62, 810-818. 
Bryan , T.H., & Bryan , J.H. (1986). Understanding learning disabilities (3rd ed.). Palo Alto , CA : Mayfield 
Carnine, D. W., Silbert, J., & Kameenui, E. (1997). Direct instruction reading (3rd ed.). Columbus , OH : Merrill. 
Cooper, H. (1989). Synthesis of research on homework. Educational Leadership, 47(3), 85-91. 
Deno, S.L. (1985). Curriculum-based measurement: The emerging alternative. Exceptional Children, 52, 219-232. 
Friend, M., & Cook, L. (1996).  Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals (2nd ed.). White Plains , NY : Longman. 
Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L.S. (1995). What’s “special” about special education? Phi Delta Kappan, 76, 522-530.  
Hobbs , N. (1975). The futures of children. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass. 
Larry P. v. Riles, 793 F. 2d 969 (9th Cir. 1984). 
LaVoie, R. (1991) How different can this be? Understanding learning disabilities. Portland , OR : Educational Productions 
Mass. Department of Education. Chapter 766 of the Acts of 1972 (as amended). Malden , MA 1994 
Salvia, J., & Ysseldyke, J. (1995) Assessment in special and remedial education (6th ed.). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. 
Schloss, P.J., & Smith, M. A. (1994) Applied behavior analysis in the classroom.   Boston : Allyn and Bacon 
Smith, C. R. (1994) Learning disabilities: The interaction of learner, task and setting. Boston : Allyn and Bacon 
Stainback, S., & Stainback, W. (1992). Schools as inclusive communities. In W. Stainback & S. Stainback (Eds.) Controversial issues confronting special education: Divergent perspectives (pp. 29-44). Boston : Allyn and Bacon. 
Terman , L. (1925). Genetic studies of genius (Vol. I): Mental and physical traits of 1000 gifted children. Stanford , CA : Stanford University Press. 
U.S. Department of Education. (1996) To assure the free appropriate public education of all children with disabilities: Eighteenth annual report to Congress on the implementation of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Washington , DC : Author.