Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ECE 234
Course Title:
Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Education
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers early intervention and early childhood special education including disability characteristics, environmental and curricular adaptation, instructional strategies, and legislative mandates. Explores inclusion of children with diverse and special needs in early care and education settings, including the role of families in early intervention services. Recommended: HEC 226 Child Development. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Course is a required class for the AAS in Early Education and Family Studies.  Students must achieve a C or better in the class to apply it to the degree requirements.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  1. Recognize the foundations and current issues and implementations of early intervention and early childhood special education.
  2. Compare options for early identification, screening and assessment of children for disabilities and special needs.
  3. Investigate best practices for children with various identified disabilities and special needs including family involvement, IEP/IFSP use, inclusion strategies, classroom and curriculum modifications, and universal design.

Course Activities and Design

 The course format includes lecture-discussion, films, resource speakers, and experiential
  activities.  Case studies provide opportunities to explore early intervention and early childhood special education issues in early care and education settings.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Student grades will be based on performance on:
  1. Written examinations covering the theoretical and applied
       information from lecture discussions, required reading,
       textbooks, audio-visual and classroom demonstrations, and classroom observations of programs serving children with disabilities and special needs.
  2. Completion of projects
  3. Classroom attendance and participation

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Historical foundations of early childhood special education.
  • Terms, language, and legislative issues used in the field of special education.
  • Key characteristics from a range of conditions and disorders associated with children with disabilities and special needs.
  • Use of screening and assessment in identification of children with disabilities and special needs.
  •  IEP/IFSP as a classroom tool and as a way of assessing and supporting children's growth.
  • Characteristics and effective interventions for specific disabilities and special needs.
  • Resources including professional agencies, laws, etc. that the student can use in the workplace as well as other pertinent coursework.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of inclusion as defined by the families of those working with the children who have special needs.
  • Perspectives on ability.
  • How attitudes about disabilities are reflected in the larger society.