Educational Psychology (EDPY) 351

Introduction to Exceptional Children (Revision 5)

EDPY 351 Course website

Revision 5 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: Learners are expected to have completed junior-level psychology or social science courses.

Precluded Course: EDPY 351 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been granted in EDPY 251.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology Home Page

EDPY 351 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This is a three-credit, entry level course designed to give educators and other caregivers an overview of children with exceptionalities. The main emphasis of this course is to provide an introduction to the broad span of children with exceptionalities and to the field of special education, as it functions in Canada. The overview of this group of children and their special needs includes those children at risk, those with communication disorders, children with intellectual differences, children with the learning disabilities, those who are gifted, creative, and talented, children with sensory impairments, and children with behavioural problems. Additional areas discussed include children with special health needs, areas of low incidence disabilities, and interventions with infants, preschooler, adolescents and young adults.


Section 1: Foundations of Special Education

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Children Who Are Exceptional
  • Unit 2: Issues and Trends in Canadian Special Education
  • Unit 3: Risk Factors and Children at Risk

Section 2 : Children with Mild Differences in Behavior and Learning

  • Unit 4: Children with Speech and Language Differences
  • Unit 5: Children with Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 6: Children with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Unit 7: Children and Youth with Behavior Disorders
  • Unit 8: Children Who Are Gifted, Creative,and Talented

Section 3: Children with Sensory Impairments

  • Unit 9: Children and Youth with Hearing Impairments
  • Unit 10: Children with Visual Impairments

Section 4: Children with Low-Incidence Disabilities

  • Unit 11: Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • Unit 12: Children with Neurological Disabilities
  • Unit 13: Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Unit 14: Children with Severe and Multiple Disabilities

Section 5: Intervention with Infants, Preschoolers, and Young Adults

  • Unit 15: Young Children Who Are Exceptional and Their Families
  • Unit 16: Adolescents and Young Adults


Your final grade in EDPY 351 is based upon your performance on four telephone quizzes, the completion of the course project, and the final examination. To receive credit for EDPY 351, you must achieve a minimum mark of 50 percent on the final examination and a course composite grade of at least "D" (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Quizzes Research Paper Final Exam Total
35% 30% 35% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Winzer, M. (2008). Children With Exceptionalities in Canadian Classrooms. 8th ed. Toronto, ON: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Other Materials

All other materials will be accessed online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the EDPY 351 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least "D" (50 percent) or higher on both the research paper and the examination.

Research paper Exam Total
50% 50% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, February 15, 2011.

View previous syllabus