May 26, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ECHS 1520 - The Exceptional Child

Credit Hours: 3.00

Prerequisites: ENGL 1180 or ENGL 1210; ECHS 1150  and ECHS 1200  all with grade C or better

This course is designed to help the early childhood educator understand the difference between typical and exceptional development of young children including identification of developmental delays; sensory impairment; physical, learning and behavioral disabilities; and chronic health problems. Methods for planning how environments, curriculum and materials can be adapted to accommodate special needs are identified. Strategies for working with families and collaborating with support services are included. Federal and state legislation, including the state administrated special education code, are studied.

Billable Contact Hours: 3

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to describe the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other federal and state legislation and how they relate to children and their families.


  1. Define IDEA, PL 101-476.
  2. State other legislation related to early intervention.
  3. Describe IDEA and other legislation.
  4. Write a paper stating how IDEA and other legislation supports children and their families.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to compare typical and exceptional development of young children (typical, atypical, developmentally delayed, at-risk and gifted).


  1. Describe characteristics of typically developing children.
  2. State conditions that would cause a child to be developing atypically.
  3. Describe the characteristics of and causes of disabilities and how the development of a child with the disability differs from the development of a typically developing child.
  4. Write a paper describing the causes and classification of a disability and how the development a child with this particular disability differs from the development of a typically developing child.


Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to describe developmental delays; sensory impairments; physical, learning, and behavioral disabilities; and chronic health problems and plan how environments, curriculum, and materials can be adapted to accommodate children’s individualized needs and to develop strategies to facilitate growth of physical, social, language, cognitive, and self-help skills.


  1. Define and describe developmental delays; giftedness; sensory impairments; physical, behavioral, and learning disabilities; and chronic health problems.
  2. Identify health problems that accompany a particular disability that must be addressed in the classroom.
  3. Describe how environments and materials can be modified to accommodate disabilities and learning styles.
  4. Write plans for adaptive environments and materials for a particular disability or learning style.
  5. Describe effective guidance techniques used for typically developing children.
  6. Discuss how guidance techniques can be modified to meet the needs of children with various disabilities and learning styles.
  7. Consider a particular disability or learning style, and plan intervention strategies to facilitate growth in social, language, cognitive and self-help skills.
  8. Create an activity for children using pictures as a visual support.
  9. Describe the purpose of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)/Individualized Education Program (IEP).


Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to list strategies for collaboration with families.


  1. Describe the benefits of respectful, reciprocal relationships with families.
  2. Define family-centered practices and family capacity-building practices.
  3. State the importance of professional practices (such as confidentiality and cultural responsiveness) in collaborating with families.
  4. Identify a variety of methods of communicating with families.
  5. Create a home/school communication form.


Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to collaborate and develop partnerships with outside agencies, including early intervention specialists, to provide support services for children and families.


  1. List support services available for children, families, and those who work with children with disabilities.
  2. Describe what services these agencies have to offer the child and their family.
  3. Create a plan for working with specialists and agencies to implement techniques identified to help a child achieve outcomes and goals.


  • Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
  • Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
  • Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
  • Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
  • Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.
CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES

Week Topic

  1. Early Intervention and Public Policy and Implementing Inclusive Early Childhood Programs
  2. Inclusive Programs for Children
  3. Typical and Exceptional Development
  4. Developmental Disabilities: Causes and Classification
  5. Sensory Impairments: Hearing and Vision and Physical Disabilities and Health Problems
  6. Learning and Behavior Disorders
  7. Partnerships with Families
  8. Assessment and the IFSP/IEAP
  9. Characteristics of Effective Teachers in Inclusive programs
  10. The Developmental-Behavior Approach
  11. Arranging the Learning Environment and Facilitating Self-care, Adaptive, and Independence Skills
  12. Facilitating Social Development, Speech, Language, and Communication Skills
  13. Facilitating Pre academic and Cognitive Learning
  14. Managing Challenging Behavior
  15. Planning Transitions to Support Inclusion

Primary Faculty
Boni, Lisa
Secondary Faculty

Associate Dean
Primeau, Paula
Mirijanian, Narine

Primary Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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