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Exceptional Children
Dr. Huxtable-Jester PSY 3342.021
Office: GR 4.522 Tue & Thu 10-11:50am
Office hours: M 5-6pm, TR 3-4pm GR 4.428
Phone: 972-883-6434

I. Course description
Join me in an exploration of the characteristics of exceptional children and their education,
including children with disabilities (learning, emotional/behavioral, communication and physical),
as well as those who are gifted. We will examine the causes and assessment of exceptionality,
along with educational and social policy considerations. This course assumes an introductory
background in child development (call number 11467).

II. Texts & materials

1. Heward, W.L. (2003). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education, 7th ed.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
2. The textbook's companion website might be helpful, available at
3. You must use the APA style guide at
4. Pick up 4 Exam System II #229630 answer sheets for exams, available free at the off-
campus bookstore. You MUST bring an answer sheet (and your #2 pencils, of course) to
each scheduled exam.
5. Additional chapters and journal articles may be assigned to complement, elaborate on, or
contradict the text. More details about this will be discussed in class.
6. You should have internet access, including your UTD e-mail account. Feel free to get in
touch with me via email any time. Important: Please put EXCHN in the subject line of
your message, or I will not realize it is from you, and probably will not read it. I want to get
to know you, so please also sign your messages with your first and last name. University
regulations restrict me from revealing your personal information via email. I will not be
able to send your grades to you—you will receive your exam and assignment grades in
class on designated days. If you need to see me privately, please come to my office.
7. You deserve your very own stapler. Please buy yourself a stapler so that you can staple all
papers that you give me.

III. Course requirements

A. Readings and class participation
1. To get the most benefit from your time in this class, it is important for you to keep up
with the readings as indicated in the course calendar. You will find classes to be
much more interesting and involving if you come prepared to discuss each day's topic.
2. Class attendance and participation are an important indication of your commitment
and professionalism, and are critical to your success in this course. Classes will
consist of lectures and discussions, and frequently will cover content not found in the
texts. Attendance (or the lack of it) will be seriously considered when assessing final
grades. Participation includes asking and responding to questions and contributing to
class discussions, and also is considered in the grading.
PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 2

3. Please come to class on time and stay for the duration of the class session. You
should be seated and ready to begin on time. Coming in late or leaving early is
disruptive and distracting. Repeated absences and/or disruptions will result in a
significant reduction of your final course grade.
4. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to acquire missed lecture notes, assignments,
handouts, and announcements from a classmate . You are responsible for all
information given in class. This includes any changes to the syllabus, content and
format of quizzes, and details given regarding assignments.

B. Exams
1. Four non-cumulative exams focusing on the assigned readings and lecture material
will be given to assess your mastery of the material in each section of the course.
Exam format will be multiple -choice and short answer. Exams are constructed by the
professor and will be based on materials from the readings, lectures, class discussions,
videos, etc.
2. You must be present for exams . Make-up exams will be given only if: (a) you
were seriously ill and have documentation from a physician, or (b) you were detained
the day and time of the exam, or (c) you made arrangements prior to the exam to
attend an urgent family affair (e.g., funeral). In any of these cases, you must notify
me in advance of the scheduled time of the exam (call and leave a voice-mail
message if you can do nothing else). Otherwise, you will receive an F. It is your
responsibility to make sure that an exam is made up within one week of the
scheduled time. Beware, make-up exams are designed to be more difficult to
compensate for having more study time.
3. Exams will be returned during class time once only. Students who miss class on the
day exams are returned must make arrangements with me to receive their grades at
my office. Privacy regulations prohibit me from emailing your grades to you!
4. See me early if you need help preparing for an exam. It is helpful (but not required)
to study first, and then come with a list of specific questions or areas of concern.
Also, if you feel that you worked hard studying for an exam, but received a much
lower grade that you anticipated, come see me so that we can determine where your
study strategies went wrong. Coming to ask me what you can do to improve your
grade makes sense if you come early in the semester, but is pointless if you come late
in the semester—at that point there is nothing you can do.
5. Preparing for an exam is an important part of the le arning process—it takes weeks of
preparation, not days or hours. Learning and understanding the material are the best
preparation for the exams. Keeping up with the readings pays off. Remember, this is
an intensive summer session course—plan to spend at least 12 hours per week
outside of class on reading and writing assignments for this course.

C. Term Paper—Review of critical issues and relevant research

1. You will prepare a critical review of the research literature in an area of interest to
you. I can he lp you find topics corresponding to material discussed in class, or you
may look through your texts or in professional publications for ideas. Additional
details will be discussed in class. All topics must be approved by the third week of
class. Your first step will be to select the child population that interests you (e.g.,
children with vision loss, children with emotional or behavioral disorders), then
determine which issues are most relevant to consider for that population.
2. The references page and citation format for this term paper will follow the format
approved by the American Psychological Association as described in the APA
Publication Manual.
PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 3

3. The quality of your writing DOES COUNT. Please use correct grammar and
punctuation, and a clear, coherent writing style. More details about grading criteria
will be discussed in class.
4. In order to make sure you are getting all of the help that I can give you on your paper
as early in the semester as possible, you will need to get started and allow me to give
you feedback very soon. To do this, you will clarify your topic and start gathering
resources right away. You will submit a Paper Proposal & References page . Use this
opportunity to let me know exactly what topic you have selected for your paper, and
what you would like to do with it. Use PsycInfo or EBSCO to prepare a proposed
reference list. Do not use internet sources (i.e., websites). This will be discussed
further in class.
5. Prepare a 4- to 6-page paper (typewritten, double -spaced) with an attached reference
list of 4-8 references (at least 4 of these must be journal articles). This is a major
class project; we will spend class time clarifying specifications of the paper and
preliminary assignments. ALWAYS KEEP A SAFE COPY OF ALL

NOTE: This is not an end-of-term paper, but rather a semester-long project. We will
communicate about your progress just about every week. You cannot hand in a paper unless you
have previously handed in an appropriate proposal and references list.

D. Additional notes:
1. Policy on ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Students who violate University rules on
scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of
failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty
harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on
scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. Written policies may be found on the
UTD website under “Student Life.”
2. All assignments must be handed in by class time on the day they are due (actually,
you will notice in the course calendar that you have a window of opportunity to
submit your assignments. Please remember, though, that the window will close.
The paper proposal/outline will not be accepted after June 14, 2005. The term
paper will not be accepted after July 7, 2005. Late assignments will not be
3. In addition to submitting a hard copy of each written assignment in class, you will
submit your paper proposal/outline and your term paper online at
Details about how to set up your account will be discussed in class.
4. University rules stipulate that a grade of "Incomplete" may be given only under
extreme circumstances outside of the student's control, and only after at least 70% of
the course work has already been completed. All requests for an incomplete grade
must have written approval from the College Master before I will consider them.
5. If you find that for ANY REASON you are unable to attend three or more classes, you
should withdraw from the course.
6. Absolutely no individualized extra credit will be available. Students concerned about
their grades are encouraged to contact me as soon as possible.
7. I am always available to answer questions about grades and assignments. Please come
to see me early to clear up points of confusion rather than waiting, which may simply
add to your frustration and decrease your learning efficiency.
PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 4

IV. Grading. The basis for assigning grades in this course will be as follows:
Points % of final grade
Exams (4 @ 50 pts each) 200 75%
Paper proposal/outline 20 10%
Term paper 40 15%
TOTAL 260 100%

Attendance and participation adjustment

Attendance records will be kept. When the time comes to assign final grades, I will review your
record of attendance and adjust your score a step higher for excellent attendance and participation,
or lower for poor attendance and lack of preparation. If you find that for ANY REASON you are
unable to attend three or more classes, you should drop or withdraw from the course.

Assignment of letter grades is as follows:

Points earned Percent Letter grade
241-260 93-100% A
233-240 90-92% A-
228-232 88-89% B+
215-227 83-87% B
207-214 80-82% B-
202-206 78-79% C+
189-201 73-77% C
181-188 70-72% C-
176-180 68-69% D+
168-175 65-67% D
0-167 0-64% F

VI. Office hours

Please feel free to stop by, email, or call any time. I always return your messages, so if you don’t
hear back from me within a reasonable amount of time (24 hours), you should assume that I did
not get the message and try contacting me again (IMPORTANT: put ExChn in the subject line of
your e-mail messages). Please feel free to get in touch with me any time you have a question or
concern about anything relating to assignments, exams, or anything else you can think of.
Although I can send documents to you, it is not possible for me to receive files as
attachments via e-mail. You are welcome to e-mail me any time, but please do not send
assignments via e-mail, even in the body of the e-mail message. I am happy to look over a typed
hard copy of any writing assignment on which you would like some extra help, but please
remember that to have time for everyone (and to get it back to you in time to rewrite it a few
more times) I need to receive your draft at least 3 class days or 10 calendar days before it is due
(no emailed submissions, please). Also, I can help you more if you bring me your best effort, not
a first (or even second) draft!

You can record your grades here:

Exam 1 _____/50
Exam 2 _____/50
Exam 3 _____/50
Exam 4 _____/50
Evaluative Summary _____/20
Journal entries _____/40
TOTAL _____/260
PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 5

PSY 3342.021 • Exceptional Children • SUMMER 2005

MAY 17 MAY 19
Course overview Ch 1: Defining special education
Understanding exceptional children

MAY 24 MAY 26
Ch 2: Planning and providing specia l education Ch 3: Cultural diversity among exceptional children

EXAM 1 (chs 1-3) Ch 4: Parents and families
11:20-11:50 Review exam Be sure to have set up your
account by today.
PAPER PROPOSAL/OUTLINE DUE Ch 6: Mental retardation
Ch 5: Early childhood intervention

WWW.TURNITIN.COM—PAPER 11:20-11:50 Review exam
Ch 7: Learning disabilities

Ch 8: Emotional and behavioral disorders Ch 13: Autism and severe disabilities

Ch 14: Gifted and talented students TERM PAPER DUE
Current topics continued

EXAM 3 (Chs 8, 13, 14) LAST CHANCE FOR
11:20-11:50 Review exam WWW.TURNITIN.COM—TERM PAPER DUE
Ch 9: Communication disorders

Ch 10: Hearing loss Ch 11: Vision loss

Ch 12: Physical disabilities, health impairments, and EXAM 4 (Chs 9-12)
traumatic brain injury 11:20-11:50 Review exam

Course grades will be ready Aug 3

PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 6

How to complete the PAPER PROPOSAL/OUTLINE

The purpose of this assignment is to help you to get started on your term paper early in the semester and
to help me to guide you in writing it. PLEASE NOTE: ALL ASSIGNMENTS, INCLUDING YOUR

To help me help you, your proposal should include these elements:

1. Working title —give an overall preview of the topic you selected. The title should describe your
Bad title: Inclusion
Good title: The impact of inclusion practices on friendship formation between typically
developing children and children with Down’s syndrome.

2. Objective and outline—explain very clearly and simply where you are heading and why you
decided to go in that direction. What is the purpose of your paper? What are the main ideas you
want to argue by presenting research evidence that supports them? For example, you might want
to argue that violence on television causes children to behave more aggressively. What research
can you find that gives evidence that this is so? The Review of Article Form that appears on page
8 may help you to organize your thoughts. More details about this will be discussed in class.

3. Preliminary List of References—using APA style , list every source you have found so far. You
might not use all of them, and you might find more, but let me know what you have to work with.
I might be able to suggest sources that will help your paper, or steer you away from inappropriate

The following rubric is a useful guideline for your writing assignments:

Thesis Handling the question Evidence Meaning & analysis Errors of fact or
Clear and concise, Nuanced and complete Fulsome and relevant at Insightful and Free of errors;
Grade A well developed all points creative gracefully written
Grade B Clear and Understands the terms Clearly organized; fully Good logical flow, No major errors of
complete and significance of the supported thesis persuasive fact; clearly written
Grade C Comprehensible Superficial understanding Weak evidence for a Weak logical flow No major blunders,
of the question part of thesis or interpretation comprehensible
Grade D Non-existent or Lacks basic understanding Lacks evidence for Shallow or illogical Blunders or
or F incomprehensible of the question major parts of the thesis incoherence
PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 7

How to complete the TERM PAPER

These reminders are intended to help you in the preparation and organization of your research paper.
Again, remember that I am trying to help you to get started on your term paper early in the semester and
to help you help me to guide you in writing it. PLEASE NOTE: ALL ASSIGNMENTS,

You should complete a typed, 4- to 6-page research paper. This will include a title, introduction,
literature review, application/discussion section (as appropriate), summary/conclusion, recommendations
(as appropriate), and a list of references (4-8, at least 4 of which will be journal articles). You should not
need to use subheadings (e.g., “Introduction,” “Literature Review,” “Summary”) in this paper.

BE SURE TO CITE YOUR SOURCES throughout your paper. Always paraphrase and never use
quotations—be sure to indicate where you are getting your information. Use APA style for your citations
and for your references page.

The title should describe the particular area covered by the paper. A good title will summarize the main
idea of the paper. It should be fully explanatory when standing alone. Your title page will include the
title of your paper, your name, course name, my name, semester and year.

The introduction should present the main topic of the paper, a clarification of the topic and why it is

The literature review should include a more detailed description of the topic area and an organized
presentation of the pertinent psychological issues. This section will describe what research has been done
in this area (i.e., what do we know about this issue?)

The application/discussion section allows you to evaluate and interpret the implications of the findings
you presented in the previous section. You may wish to qualify or criticize the results of the research
studies and draw inferences from their findings. This section could include a review of current
treatments (if applicable) and a discussion of how the information that you presented on the topic can
benefit professionals in the appropriate field (e.g., health care, education, psychology, human services,
counseling, etc.).

The summary/conclusion should clarify the major points covered in the paper, and conclusions based
upon the research presented. Depending on the way in which you organize your paper, you may wish to
use this section to answer the question of why this issue is important for professionals in your field. It
often works well to put your summary and/or conclusions before your recommendations because you can
present it as "this is what we know so far, so where should we go from here?" (but don't use those exact

Recommendations should be a thoughtful consideration of the future direction of research on the topic.
Possible recommendations should be listed with appropriate justifications for each. What don't we know
about this area? What has been neglected in previous research?

All references should be typed on a separate page at the end of the outline, according to the APA style
format. You must have a reference for every source you cite, and your reference list should include only
those articles that you cite. Be sure to use recent articles—those published since 1988. Use of any
articles older than that should be done for purposes of historical comparison only.
PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 8


TOPIC: _____________________________________________________________________________

AUTHOR(S): ________________________________________________________________________

YEAR: ________ VOLUME: _______ ISSUE: _______ PAGES: __________________

ARTICLE TITLE: ____________________________________________________________________


JOURNAL TITLE: ___________________________________________________________________

ARTICLE TYPE: ____________________________________________________________________

PROBLEM: _________________________________________________________________________



HOW INVESTIGATED: _______________________________________________________________



RESULTS: __________________________________________________________________________



INTERPRETATION: _________________________________________________________________



CRITICISM: ________________________________________________________________________



DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH: _______________________________________________


PSY 3342 • Exceptional Children • Summer 2005 9

Please tell me about yourself. Tear off this sheet and return it to me at the end of class today.

Name: ____________________________________________________________________________

Phone number where I may reach you, if necessary: _________________________________________

Email address: ______________________________________________________________________

Academic major/minor: _______________________________________________________________

How long have you been at UTD? _______________________ When will you graduate? ___________

What psychology courses have you taken?

What education courses have you taken?

Relevant work experience:

Future job expectations:

Anything else about you that is relevant to this course:

Personal expectations for this course:

Course content that appears of greatest interest and value to you:

Course content that appears of least interest and value to you:

Tell me something interesting about yourself, to help me to get to know you: