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Introduction to Learners with Special Needs




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Please Note: Attendance and participation are mandatory in all University courses, and specific requirements may differ by course. If attendance requirements are not met, a student may be removed from the course. Please review the Course Attendance Policy in the Catalog for more information.

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: Continuing Teacher Education

This course is designed to provide an overview for working with exceptional learners, ages 3 years to 21 years. Participants explore methods to instruct and assess learners with special needs and create individualized education programs. Historical perspectives, special education law, and current policies and practices are examined. This course is not available for enrollment to residents of Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky.



What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Introduction to Special Education and Learners with Disabilities, Special Gifts, and Talents; Cultural Differences and Communication with Families

  • Justify the need for special education.
  • Differentiate the needs of exceptional learners and non-exceptional learners.
  • Identify common characteristics of learners with disabilities.
  • Identify common characteristics of learners with special gifts and talents.
  • Describe strategies for differentiating instruction for learners with disabilities and learners with special gifts and talents.
  • Identify cultural differences that affect learning.
  • Determine strategies for addressing cultural differences.
  • Determine strategies for communicating with families of special education students.

Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans

  • Create behavior intervention plans for learners with disabilities.
  • Compare individualized education programs and 504 plans.
  • Create individualized education programs for learners with disabilities.

Special Education Law and Low-Incidence Disabilities

  • Analyze recent litigation that involves special education.
  • Identify the characteristics of learners with low-incidence disabilities.

Response to Intervention, Communication Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Evaluate a response to intervention plan.
  • Describe common communication disorders.
  • Identify characteristics of autism spectrum disorders.


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