This online course will explore the history of special education and inclusion, the pros and cons of including students with special needs in the classroom, what role the general education teacher has, and strategies to help special education students be successful in the classroom. It is assumed that students taking this course have access to at least one special education student with an active IEP in which to make observations and applications from the course material.

This course provides students with an overview of the most common disabilities found in private and public schools: learning disabilities, other health impairments – AD/HD, asthma, diabetes, and Tourette’s syndrome – along with autism and speech and language disorders.  The course will also provide insights to executive functioning and the impact on social skill development.  Practical and applicable strategies and interventions for the classroom are presented.

This course provides insight as special education law and its impact on private and parochial schools from grades pre-school through 12th.  Students will research their individual states and create materials that they can use to request an educational assessment from the public schools.  Students will learn about the funding allocations allotted to private schools in their state.  Students will learn what an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting is and what their role is in the process.

Candidates will demonstrate in-depth understanding of students’ and parents’ legal rights and responsibilities regarding special education. Federal laws regarding special education and state laws specific to each student will be discussed. The Council for Exceptional Children’s Code of Ethics will be examined and discussed.

Students will learn about building family-professional relationships. Students will discover how special education is a culture in and of itself while understanding how special education law is in cultural conflict with specific minority groups, e.g. Asian, Hispanic, Native American. Students will engage with minority groups within their communities to understand conflicts that resonate with them and how to effectively develop community in meeting the needs of children with disabilities. The Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) Ethical Standards will be embedded throughout the course material.