Who is this degree for?

Child development professionals work with an increasingly diverse population of young children and families, including children with diverse learning abilities and special needs. This specialization is for students seeking expertise in working with young children with developmental delay/disabilities and their families in early educational, community, and home environments.

Specifically, students will gain knowledge and experience in the following:

  • Identifying possible developmental delays/disabilities
  • Planning and implementing appropriate instructional or intervention strategies
  • Working with other disability-related professionals (e.g., therapists, paraprofessionals, medical professionals, school personnel)

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Course Work

To earn children with special needs specialization, you complete the core child development curriculum as well as four additional courses. The specialization also includes an internship focusing on developing the practice and reflection skills necessary to work with children with special needs and their families.

You may also take an optional additional course in instructional methods in early childhood education during your internship year, although this is not a requirement for completing the specialization.

Sample course schedules

Core Courses:

Specialization Courses: