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Exceptionalities of the Young Child




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University of Phoenix reserves the right to modify courses. While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.

Course level: Undergraduate

This course provides an overview of the exceptional young child in early childhood education who may require accommodations and adaptations. The course focuses on developmentally-effective methods and techniques used for the identification, assessment, and instruction of children with special needs from birth to age 8. Legal structures, public policy, and information related to current practices serving exceptional young children in early childhood are also examined. This course is not available for students residing Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming  and individuals who live outside the United States are not eligible to enroll in this course.



What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Examine terminology used for special populations in early childhood education.
  • Identify federal, state, and local legal structures governing programs for special populations that serve children from birth to preschool through third grade.
  • Examine the effect of public policies and laws on special populations in early childhood.
  • Compare and contrast personal and societal perceptions of special populations in early childhood educational programs.

Week 2

  • Analyze characteristics of the early childhood developmental milestones and learning styles within special populations.
  • Differentiate between the different categories of special populations and describe how the child’s education can be impacted.
  • Examine the implications of the classroom environment on the education of the early childhood special needs child.

Week 3

  • Examine characteristics of students with high incidence disabilities (Specific Learning Disabilities, Significant Developmental Delay, Mildly Impaired Intellectual Disability, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, and Other Health Impaired).
  • Identify the characteristics, prevalence, causes, and identification processes associated with special populations in early childhood education from birth to third grade.
  • Analyze the different forms of reinforcement procedures and how they may impact a young student.
  • Identify the learning obstacles that may be present in children with sensory loss.

Week 4

  • Identify strategies for adapting classroom management procedures to meet individual children’s needs.
  • Describe instructional strategies that may be used to adapt learning activities to meet individual children’s needs.
  • Construct ways to incorporate all of the areas of development into classroom routines.
  • Design classroom rituals that will help facilitate independence in all areas of development.

Week 5

  • Examine assessment practices and related issues in administering, scoring, and interpreting test results to determine abilities and functioning levels of children in early childhood settings.
  • Describe the pre-referral, referral, evaluation, and staffing processes for special populations in an early childhood setting.
  • Identify support services, personnel, community resources, and agencies available to provide additional resources for special populations in early childhood.
  • Identify collaborative practice with stakeholders for designing an effective IFSP/IEP plan inclusive of accommodations/modifications, goals, and objectives for the exceptional child.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts