Special Education 536

EDSP 536: Teaching Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities

Prerequisites: EDSP 360 or EDSP 651 or permission of the instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

Addresses methods for providing developmentally and exceptionality appropriate instructional programming for young children with special needs in all areas of development.  Includes development of individualized education programs and individualized family service plans. 


Detailed Description of Content of Course

EDSP 536 is a required course in the Master of Science Degree in Special Education Early Childhood Special Education option. Students learn to design interventions for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities.  This includes promoting children’s learning, participation, and membership in natural environments; individualizing and adapting practices; development of individualized education programs (IEPs) and individualized family service plans (IFSPs); and the use of systematic naturalistic teaching strategies. In addition the course addresses: 

·  Goals of Early Intervention

·  Naturalistic Methodology including activity-based instruction,  resource-based approaches, and others

·  Instructional Implications of Exceptionalities including: developmental delay, cognitive disabilities, gifted/talented, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, sensory integration dysfunction, behavior disorders, blindness and vision impairment, deaf or hard of hearing, communication disorders, and diversity of culture and language   

·  Development of IEPs and IFSPs             

·  Designing Instructional Environments: assistive technology, physical space, materials, learning centers, scheduling, role of adults, and large group, small group and individual opportunities

·  Systematic Strategies

·  Data-based Decision-Making

Graduate students enrolled in EDSP 536 concurrently with EDSP 436 will document completion of additional readings and complete an action research assignment project applying course material to their current ECSE position.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies will include: lecture, demonstration, discussion, audiovisual and web-based technologies, formal and informal writing, case studies, cooperative learning groups, observations and field studies, guest speakers, and student presentations.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in the class address NCATE Standards 1c: Professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills for teacher candidates and 1g: Professional dispositions for all candidates. 

Objectives below also include the following standards:           

· Council for Exceptional Children (CEC/DEC) Common Core Standards in Standard # 3: Individual Learning Differences (CC/EC 3); Standard #4: Instructional Strategies (CC/EC 4); Standard #5: Learning Environments and Social Interactions  (CC/EC 5); Standard #7: Instructional Planning (CC/EC 7); Standard # 8: Assessment(CC/EC 8); Standard #9: Professional and Ethical Practice (CC/EC 9); Standard 10: Collaboration (CC/EC 10)

·  Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure standards 

Special Education: Early Childhood (birth through age 5): Competency 4: Instructional programs in early intervention

·  Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure standards

 Professional Studies requirements Competency 2: Curriculum and instructional procedures 

Upon successful completion of EDSP 536, students will . . . 

(Italics codes: CEC/EC = Council for Exceptional Children/Early Childhood; VDOE SE-ECSE = Virginia Department of Education ECSE competencies; VDOE Pro = Virginia Department of Education Professional Studies competencies) 

1. Students will describe the goals of early intervention, the role of families in intervention, and legal requirements for IEP’s and IFSP’s according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (CEC/EC CC1K7, EC1K3)

2. Students will compare and contrast, using current research, prominent EC, EI and ECSE curriculum models commonly used in the profession, and describe how the model(s) can be adapted for children with developmental disabilities.  (CEC/EC EC7S2; VDOE SE-ECSE 4c)

3. Students will use a variety of explicit instructional strategies including environmental assessment, discrepancy analysis, task analysis, antecedent prompts, instructional strategies, response prompts, and error correction, while affirming and respecting family, cultural, and linguistic diversity.


4. Students will demonstrate knowledge of exceptionalities and implications for learning and instruction, and select and adapt instructional objectives, strategies, and materials, using technology where applicable, according to the needs of individual children and according to developmentally appropriate guidelines for children birth to age five. (CEC/EC CC3K1, CC4S3, CC7K4, CC7S9, EC7S2; VDOE SE-ECSE 4b; VDOE Pro 2)

5. Students will construct intervention plans that include innovative and research-based intervention strategies and input from families and multiple disciplines, with specific activities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities, and identify strategies for embedding IEP and IFSP objectives into daily activities and data collection. (CEC/EC CC7S2, EC7S2, EC7S3, EC8S3, EC10S3; VDOE SE-ECSE 4a & b)

6. Students will design and modify learning environments to meet the needs of individual children, using technology where applicable, and to promote student independence, self-regulation, and developmental progress. (CEC/EC CC5S9, EC5S3, EC5S5; VDOE SE-ECSE 4c)

7. Students will design data collection strategies in order to evaluate instruction and monitor progress of children with exceptional learning needs. (CEC/EC CC8S8, EC8S1; VDOE SE-ECSE 4c)

8. Students will design and implement an integrated instructional plan linking a prepared environment, content, accommodations/modifications, IEP objectives, embedded learning opportunities, explicit instruction, and data-based decision making. (CEC/EC CC7S6, CC7S7, CC8S8, CC7S11, EC7S4, EC8S; VDOE SE-ECSE 4 b & c)

9. Students will generalize course content via the analysis and evaluation of curricula and intervention used in their work settings. (CEC/EC CC9S9, CC9S11, EC9S7; VDOE SE-ECSE 4a & b)

10. Read and critically apply research and recommended practices to services for young children with disabilities and their families. (CEC/EC CC9S10, EC9S7)

11. Demonstrate sensitivity to the primary culture and individual differences of children, families, and professionals during all contacts. (CEC/EC CC9S6; VDOE Pro 2)

12. Use verbal, nonverbal, and written language effectively. (CEC/EC CC9S8)

13. Demonstrate ethical professional behaviors in interactions in class and with children and families, and professionals within the community. (CEC/EC CC9S1)


Assessment Measures

·  Class participation in discussion and small group activities

·  Analysis and development of one collaborative IEP and IFSP

·  Application assignments and written drafts related to data collection and analysis, and instructional programming in preparation for Action Research Assignment (see Key NCATE Performance Assessment below)

·  Key NCATE Performance Assessment: “Research-Based Intervention for a Child with Disabilities: Action Research Assignment”


Other Course Information

This course is included in the Virginia Consortium for Early Childhood Special Education funded by the Virginia Department of Education and is offered in cooperation with the Radford University’s consortium partner, Lynchburg College. It can also be offered concurrently with EDSP 436.


Review and Approval

11/2003        New Course            Jaye Harvey

4/29/09        Revised                  Kathryn Hoover