COURSE TITLE: Psychology of Exceptional Children and Adolescents
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 1 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides an overview of the major intellectual, academic, emotional, behavioural, sensory and physical exceptionalities that are encountered in clinical or school settings. Course participants are encouraged to become familiar with exceptional children and/or adolescents through credited volunteer activities. The seminar component of the course consists of applied statistics or movie and novel reviews.

Same as EDUC 341.

The goals of this course are to have you become knowledgeable and familiar with working, teaching, and living with exceptional children and adolescents.  Areas of exceptionality or special needs to be studied include many or all of the psychopathological disorders described in DSM – IV pg. 37-121 and our text. Some of these include but are not limited to learning disabilities, mental retardation, behavior disorders, feeding and eating, disorders, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, and giftedness. This information is presented and taught within the moral and ethical context consistent with the Mission of King’s University College.

Prerequisites: PSYC 250 or 251
REQUIRED TEXTS: Wicks Nelson, R. & Israel, A.C. (2009).  Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:  Pearson Education Inc
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: DSM IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association
Mid-term Exam 30%
Research Paper30%
Final Exam 30%
  • To become aware of the changing historical, cultural, social and psychological contexts in the understanding, attributions and treatments of exceptionalities or  “special needs” in children and adolescents.
  • To realize that what is defined as “normal” is not an unchanging construct but is interrelated with the concept of diversity, individuality, and uniqueness.
  • To become familiar with the different theories and conceptual models which contribute to our understanding of “normal” and “abnormal” behavior.
  • To be able to articulate and evaluate the ethical and pragmatic issues involved in the research, assessments, and diagnosis of exceptionalities, particularly as it is applied in the school and educational setting.
  • To better understand the education setting, expectations, and rights of students, parents, and school staff through some information about the Alberta School Act. 
  • To understand some of the rationale, structures and treatments from the DSM – IV descriptions of specific to the Canadian and general context.
  • To be able to better evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of descriptive labels for special needs students.
  • To be able to better analyze and evaluate the familial, communal, legal, political, and educational implications of promoting an inclusive society for all God’s children.
  • To understand what nature/nurture interactions may contribute to resilience or pathology in children.
  • To develop a profound respect for the complexities of human development and our multidimensional structure as God’s creatures.

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

The King's University College
Maintained By Glenn J Keeler, Registrar