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Special Education 677

EDSP 677: Medical Aspects of Teaching Young Children with Disabilities

Prerequisites: EDSP 651 or permission of the instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

Examines the educational, physical, medical and health care needs of infants, toddlers, and young children with cognitive, physical, or sensory disabilities. Includes intervention, medical aspects, and management of neurodevelopmental and motor disabilities.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

EDSP 677 is a required course in the Master of Science Degree in Special Education Early Childhood Special Education option. Students gain knowledge and skills to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and young children with medical needs, or cognitive and sensory/motor disabilities. The course will include atypical motor development, physical management and handling procedures, assistive technology, and special health care procedures. Developmentally-appropriate practice, culturally-competent family-centered service delivery, collaboration, and the use of technology will be integrated throughout the course. In addition the following topics are addressed:

  • Etiologies, prevalence and life span perspectives of medical and neurodevelopmental disabling and at-risk conditions of infants, toddlers, and young children
  • Characteristics of infants, toddlers, and young children with medical and neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Eligibility categories and service delivery options under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Instructional Planning and Implementation for infants, toddlers, and young children with medical and neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Management of neurodevelopmental and motor disabilities: atypical motor development, sensory integration dysfunction, positioning and handling, feeding, toileting, and dressing
  • Use of Assistive Technology (legal aspects, types, etc.) with infants, toddlers, and young children with medical and neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Health care procedures for infants, toddlers, and young children with medical and neurodevelopmental conditions including first aid, emergency care, infection control, seizure care, administration of medications, common health care procedures and the role of health care professionals.
  • Low-incidence health care procedures including: non-oral feeding procedures, atypical elimination procedures (ostomy, clean intermittent catheterization), respiratory management (tracheotomy care, suctioning, oxygen, ventilation), developing special health care plans, role of school and early intervention professionals, and ethical and policy issues.
  • Current certification in infant/child first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies will include: lecture, demonstration, discussion, audiovisual and web-based technologies, formal and informal writing, case studies, guest speakers, and student presentations.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in the class address NCATE Standards 1b: Pedagogical content knowledge and skills for teacher candidates and 1g: Professional dispositions for all candidates. 

Objectives below also include the following standards:           

  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC/DEC) Common Core Standards in Standard # 1: Foundations (CC/EC 1); Standard # 2:  Characteristics of Learners (CC/EC 2); Standard # 3: Individual Learning Differences (CC/EC 3); Standard #5: Learning Environments and Social Interactions  (CC/EC 5); Standard #7: Instructional Planning (CC/EC 7); Standard #9: Professional and Ethical Practice (CC/EC 9); Standard 10: Collaboration (CC/EC 10)
  •  Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure standards 
  • Special Education: Early Childhood (birth through age 5): Competency 7: Medical Aspects
  • Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure standards
  • Professional Studies requirements Competency 1: Human Growth and Development  

Upon successful completion of EDSP 677, students will . . . 

(Italics codes: CEC/EC = Council for Exceptional Children/Early Childhood; VDOE SE-ECSE = Virginia Department of Education ECSE competencies; VDOE Pro = Virginia Department of Education Professional Studies competencies) 

  1. Identify legal, ethical, educational, and family issues that often are associated with young children with medical and health conditions (CEC/EC CC1K7, EC1K3; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  2. Describe factors that contribute to atypical development of young children with health and medically related conditions (CEC/EC CC2K1, EC2K1, EC2K2; VDOE SE-ECSE 7; VDOE Pro 1)
  3. Demonstrate skill in emergency care including possession of current certification in infant/child first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CEC/EC CC9S4; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  4. Demonstrate understanding of basic terminology used by therapeutic and medical professionals in education/intervention settings (CEC/EC CC9S10; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  5. Identify common roles and responsibilities of therapeutic and health care professionals in the lives of children and their families, and strategies for collaboration and referral (CEC/EC CC10S3, EC5S2, EC10S3; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  6. Identify the impact of medical conditions on families’ concerns, priorities, and weaknesses (CEC/EC EC2K5; VDOE SE-ECSE 7) 
  7. Demonstrate basic knowledge of common childhood illnesses and communicable diseases (CEC/EC CC5S16, EC2K6; VDOE SE-ECSE 7) 
  8. Describe basic techniques for safe administration of medication and the common effects of medications on children (CEC/EC CC2K7; VDOE SE-ECSE 7) 
  9. Describe common neurodevelopmental, motor, and special health care conditions; their prevalence, etiology, IDEA classifications, and implications for development, learning, and family life across the lifespan (CEC/EC EC5K1; VDOE SE-ECSE 7; VDOE Pro 1)
  10. Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of neurodevelopmental and motor disorders on movement and posture (CEC/EC CC9S10; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  11. Demonstrate basic appropriate techniques for positioning, lifting/transferring, carrying, feeding, and dressing children with physical disabilities (CEC/EC EC5S1; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  12. Demonstrate appropriate use of technology suitable for young children including incorporating adaptive and assistive technology in instruction (CEC/EC CC7K4, CC7S9; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  13. Possess awareness of low incidence health care procedures, the role of educators with regard to performing these procedures within one’s skill level, and strategies for obtaining child-specific training (CEC/EC EC5K1; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  14. Demonstrate knowledge about sensory impairments (including visual, hearing, sensory integration) and these conditions affect independence and instruction (CEC/EC CC9S10; VDOE SE-ECSE 7)
  15. Read and critically apply research and recommended practices to services for young children wit
  16. Demonstrate sensitivity to the primary culture and individual differences of children, families, and professionals during all contacts (CEC/EC EC3S1) 


Assessment Measures

  • 3-4 Exams
  • Case study: screening of a child for motor and sensory impairment: written report
  • 4-5 mini case studies in class or out of class assignments
  • Web-based application assignments: search and evaluate online resources
  • Individual presentations of projects and assignments on medical conditions of young children


Other Course Information

This course is included in the Virginia Consortium for Early Childhood Special Education funded by the Virginia Department of Education and is offered in cooperation with the Radford University’s consortium partner, Lynchburg College.


Review and Approval

Spring 2008            New Course                    Kathryn Hoover

4/24/09                 Revised                          Kathryn Hoover