Special Education 663

EDSP 663: Characteristics of Students with Severe Disabilities

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

Provides knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and needs of individuals with severe disabilities. Serves as the foundations course for the licensure program in severe disabilities. Course format is a combination of distance-learning and web-based learning modules and interactive sessions.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will focus on the characteristics of children and youth with severe/profound mental retardation. Coverage will also include other handicapping conditions which are considered to be severe/profound in nature and may be included in the same classroom. Selected strategies and techniques for instruction and training will be discussed.

  • Defining mental retardation.
  • Mental retardation as a symptom within another syndrome.
  • Medical etiology of syndromes which can include mental retardation.
  • Multiple handicaps.
  • Instruction of children and youth with severe/profound disability.
  • Goal setting.
  • Use of technology in the classroom.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Lecture - field trips


Goals and Objectives of the Course

  • To develop students' abilities to recognize the medical model of mental retardation.
  • To develop students' skills in identifying characteristics which interfere with learning.
  • To develop students' abilities to recognize behaviors which are not adaptive or are maladaptive and understand the difference.
  • To develop students' skills in using adaptive techniques in the instruction of children and youth with severe/profound disabilities.


Assessment Measures

Two exams, each counting 50% of the final grade.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

4/14/94            Modified      John E. Sycamore

4/01/98            Reviewed/recommended for revision Rachel Janney

8/7/01              Course number changed

3/16/05             Course title changed.