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ESE548 : The Class : Introduction to Exceptional Children

ESE548: Introduction to Exceptional Children

Welcome to our course offered online. As you enter this adventure, you will integrate information about what kind of learner you are, how to be a supportive teacher, and how to use the web as an effective learning tool.

This is a high-energy course; perhaps a little like walking into a candy store so much to wish for, so little time! We tie the course together with the notion of TV episodes the course content laid out in modules. You, the student, are the animated interactor shuffling through course work at your own speed. Each channel [module] will have it's own theme, its own commercials and opportunities to meet course objectives.

To get started, read the syllabus. Also, do the next three exercises to choose a learning style. You need a learning style to select a persona and the text choice is connected to the persona you choose.

So here goes

Are you linear? Do you just want a list of things to do in order? Hitting the Panic Button? STOP!

Try watching the lava lamp, trusting that you can do this and give things a chance to jell. There is a flow and you can find it. Yes, this class is a lot of work, and no, it is not like some of the other web classes.

Click on the lava lamp to get a step by step list for the first two weeks of class.

Exercise 1: Review the Syllabus

Exercise 2: Evaluate your Learning Style

Exercise 3: Choose Your Persona

FAQ's about this class -

Be sure and read FAQ's for pertinent clues to this adventure!


READINGS: Texts and Readings

  1. Sherlock Roams
  2. In Practice
  3. IEP She Wrote
  4. Commander Troy - Dog in Space
  5. Carrot Head - No Size Fits All
  6. Critic's Corner - Two Ears Up

The Big Picture

These are the six modules for the course. Need an overview? The first thing you do is to read ten chapters from the text. That is a lot of reading - but it is essential. Read for fun and read to understand children and the special needs they have. You do Sherlock Roams and Critic's Corner at the same time. When you have completed Sherlock Roams, you take your you will be nearly 1/2 way through the class. The rest of the modules are smaller and have fewer assignments. Want an assignment overview? Click here.


Module One Activity Objective

Scavenger hunt through pages to identify the child in each of the ten categories of special needs eligibility
   Learning Disabilities
   Attention Deficit Disorder
   Developmentally Delayed
   Emotional and Behavioral Disorder
   Orthopedic impairment
   Traumatic Brain Injury
   Health Problems
   Communication Disorders
   Visual Impairment
   Auditory Impairment

Secret files 1 This is information only. If you locate the file, don't try to buy a book or do the extra assignments, just jump up and down 'cause you get some inside clues and information.

Secret files 2

  1. Knowledge and understanding often categories
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of normal child development and the ed. implications
  3. Knowledge of physical, nutritional, cultural, and environmental factors in learning
Module Two Activity Objective

In Practice

Parents are considering a law suit at the local high school. Their son is being abused at the school and the teachers are not stopping it. Marlo and Jimmy, the paralegals overhear the parents and decide to work together and gather all the necessary legal and historical documentation to get their boss to take the case. They investigate:
   Law regarding school responsibility
   Law regarding the child's rights
   Legal precedents
   History of special needs


Secret Files 1

Secret Files 2

Secret Files 3

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of IDEA 1997, AZ Statutes and Section 504, Rehab. Act
  2. Analyze legal responsibilities of schools, parents, students.
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the roles of parents with children who have disabilities.
  1. Knowledge of current issues and trends in special education and consultation/ collaboration.
Module Three Activity Objective

IEP She Wrote

Secret Files 1

Secret Files 2

Secret files 3

A darling dowager and retired teacher, Julia, searches out all the pieces and meddles in the development of an IEP for a student.
Included in her diligent OCD work
   IEP Process
   Role of Parents
   Role of the student
   Role of sped and regular teacher
   Roles of other specialists
   Current issues and trends, including IDEA 97
   Role of Technology
   LRE and Inclusion
   Study team and pre-referral issues

  1. Knowledge of current issues and trends in special education and consultation/ collaboration.
  2. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity toward all individuals
  3. Awareness of the technology role, including Assistive technology, in the special education process.
Module Four Activity Objective

Rogue's Gallery stars a mighty space mutt, moving through the school universe, enlightening those who do not understand the power of teaming and collaborating. He has three tasks:

Support student development of a community resource list

Change the actions of rogues by coming up with suggestions for changing their minds or behavior as part of the IEP team

Scope out culturally sensitive issues

Each time he is successful, a game will come on that the student gets to play

Secret files

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of history and philosophy of educating youth with special needs, including cultural and ethnic issues related to special education.
  2. Knowledge of unique needs of culturally diverse, exceptional individuals & families.
  1. Knowledge of community and agency resources.
  1. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity toward all individuals
Module Five Activity Objective

Carrot Head - No Size Fits All

This is a red headed, clownish comedian, Parsnip, who bumbles around discovering services in the community. His heart is in the right place but he is constantly caught up in red tape, offending others and making social faux pas by saying the wrong thing, missing social cues, and being abrasive.

The students will be exposed to the importance of transition into the community, Assistive devices as student support, appropriate communication skills with others in the community and the importance of good life skills and social skills

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of career and vocational issues.
  2. Knowledge of community and agency resources.
  1. Awareness of technology role, including Assistive technology, in the special education process.
Module Six Activity Objective

Critic's Corner - Two Ears Up


A Roger Rabbit kind of character will hop through a series of movies and or books that describe the personal lives of great people or ordinary people who lived great lives. The main task will be to get through the material and report of the differences between the movie portrayal and the real lives of people who have the various disabilities.

  • Little Man Tate
  • My Left Foot
  • The Miracle Worker
  • Nell
  • A Patch of Blue
  • Good Will Hunting
Secret file
1. Discuss major social, cultural, economic issues in special ed.
4. Knowledge and understanding of ten categories
5. Demonstrate an understanding of normal child development and the ed. implications
12. Knowledge of history and philosophy of regular & special ed.
14. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity toward all individuals

In addition, as you begin the course, you will assume a persona* a personality that we hope matches your strengths and learning styles. Of course, you may choose to change that image at any time in the course. As you move through this most critical material, you will find ways to make the activities personally meaningful and rigorous.

Choosing to be an educator is an honor and a responsibility. The most loved and respected people through time have been teachers . . . and those who will mold the future, as they touch the lives of children - our teachers.

We begin!

This course will be time effective and pleasant if you honor certain things. Like the boy hero, Annican in the most recent Star Wars Episode, you can throw together some spare parts and hope the Pod Race will turn out in your favor. But why not set things up right from the start?

E-mail J'Anne Affeld at

Credits: This course is being brought to you by a host of creative people.

The course is created by J'Anne and Martha Affeld

It is organized by Maryanne Fazio Fox

Drew Ned and Tim Foster make it technically possible


Copyright © 1999 Northern Arizona University