Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education / Edition 10

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Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education has always been known for its innovation, strong research base and accessibility. The tenth edition has all of those strengths, but has a greater focus on highly effective, research-based practices that are described in a very step-by-step, applied manner. Heward presents an informative and responsible introduction to the professional practices, trends, and research that define contemporary special education while also conveying the diversity and excitement of this changing field. The book is for those teachers who will be professionals in the area of special education or those who are working with students that have exceptionalities.

This leading text in the market comprehensively examines all aspects of disability. Using a categorical approach the authors provide students with a discussion of characteristics, etiology, and educational implications. Numerous boxes, profiling individuals with disabilities, emphasize the humanistic views of the authors and encourage students to view persons with disabilities in a positive way.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Strengths in all chapters include the focus questions, content, teaching and learning sections, and summary at the end of each chapter. The pre-service teachers in my class love the tips for beginning teachers.

Melissa McDonnell, University of Idaho

In an introductory text, it is difficult to include too many instructional strategies, but Heward has chosen some of the best and energizing strategies to stir the interest of novice special educators.

Lee Sherry, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Heward does an excellent job of explaining and walking the reader through the processes needed to provide services to a student with a disability.

Terri Collins, Clemson University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132626163
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 2/16/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 39,767
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William Lee Heward is Emeritus Professor of Education at The Ohio State University. He majored in psychology and sociology as an undergraduate at Western Michigan University, earned his doctorate in special education at the University of Massachusetts, and joined the special education faculty at Ohio State in 1975. Bill has served as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in Special Education in Portugal and Visiting Professor of Psychology at Keio University in Tokyo. Among the many honors he has received are Ohio State University’s highest recognition of teaching excellence, the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and the American Psychological Association’s Division 25 Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award for lifetime achievements in education.

Dr. Heward’s current research interests include “low-tech” methods for increasing the effectiveness of group instruction and adaptations of curriculum and instruction that promote the generalization and maintenance of newly learned knowledge and skills. Bill’s publications include seven other textbooks and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. His research has appeared in the field’s leading peer-reviewed journals, including Behavioral Disorders, Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, Exceptional Children, Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Teacher Education and Special Education, Teaching Exceptional Children, and The Journal of Special Education.

Bill has also written for the popular market. His book Some Are Called Clowns (Crowell, 1974) chronicled his five summers as a pitcher for the Indianapolis Clowns, the last of the barnstorming baseball teams.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Purpose and Promise of Special Education

Chapter 2: Planning and Providing Special Education Services

Chapter 3: Collaborating with Parents and Families in a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Society

Chapter 4: Intellectual Disabilities

Chapter 5: Learning Disabilities

Chapter 6: Emotional or Behavioral Disorders

Chapter 7: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Chapter 8: Communication Disorders

Chapter 9: Deafness and Hearing Loss

Chapter 10: Blindness and Low Vision

Chapter 11: Physical Disabilties, Health Impairments, and ADHD

Chapter 12: Low-Incidence Disabilities: Severe/Multiple Disabilities, Deaf-Blindness, and Traumatic Brain Injury

Chapter 13: Giftedness and Talent

Chapter 14: Early Childhood Special Education

Chapter 15: Transitioning to Adulthood

· Categorical chapters 4-13 roughly follow the same general format:

· Definition (and Classification)

· Identification and Assessment

· Characteristics

· Prevalence

· Causes

· Educational Approaches

· Educational Placement

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Special education is an ongoing story of people. It is the story of a preschool child with multiple disabilities who benefits from early intervention services. It is the story of a child with mental retardation whose parents and teachers work together to ensure she participates in classroom and extracurricular activities with her peers. It is the story of a middle school student with learning disabilities who helps his parents and teachers plan his instructional program that builds upon his strengths and addresses his weaknesses. It is the story of the gifted and talented child who brings new insights to old problems, the high school student with cerebral palsy who is learning English as his second language, and the young woman with visual impairments who has recently moved into her own apartment and rides a city bus to work. Special education is also the story of parents and families of exceptional children and of the teachers and other professionals who work with them.

I hope you will find the seventh edition of Exceptional Children an informative, accessible, and interesting introduction to the ongoing story of special education, a rapidly changing field that is still in its formative years. Whether you are an undergraduate enrolled in or thinking of applying to a preservice teacher training program or a general education teacher with years of experience, I encourage you to continue your study and involvement with children and adults with special needs. For you, too, can make a worthwhile contribution to the still unfinished story of special education.


My goals for this book are to present an informative,readable, and responsible introduction to the professional practices, trends, and research that define the field while at the same time conveying the diversity and excitement that characterize contemporary special education. To this end, the book begins with "A Personal View of Special Education"—eight perspectives on the purpose and responsibilities of special education—followed by fifteen chapters organized into two parts.

Part 1—Foundations for Understanding Special Education—includes four chapters. Chapter 1 presents an overview of terminology, laws, policies, and practices that are consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the exceptional child's right to receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Chapter 2 examines the referral, assessment, and placement of students in special education. Chapter 3 describes how to respect, appreciate, and respond appropriately to the cultural and linguistic differences that some children with special needs bring to the classroom. Chapter 4 discusses the important role parents and families play in the decision-making process for planning the individual education needs of their children and how special educators can form effective partnerships with parents.

Part 2—Educational Needs of Exceptional Students—is organized around nine categorical chapters within a developmental lifespan perspective. Chapter 5 opens Part 2 with a look at early childhood special education and the critical role early intervention plays in nurturing the development of young children with special needs and those who are at risk for acquiring disabilities. Chapter 15 closes Part 2 with a discussion of transition from secondary school and the responsibility educators and parents share in preparing students with exceptionalities for adulthood. Chapters 6 through 14, the chapters that fall between early intervention and transition, introduce you to the definitions, prevalence, causes, historical background, assessment techniques, instructional strategies, placement alternatives, and current issues and future trends for specific categories of exceptional educational needs, including children who are gifted and talented.



New to this edition, each chapter opens with a first-person essay by a special education teacher. For example, you will get to know Douglas Jackson of El Paso, Texas, a special educator with 17 years experience who uses puppet plays to teach students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Diane Ellis shares some of her multifaceted responsibilities as a special educator who selects and designs assistive technologies for students with autism and severe disabilities in Nebraska. Michelle Fundora San, just beginning her second year of teaching students with emotional and behavioral disorders at a middle school in Miami, describes her experience and perspectives as a newcomer to the profession. Jeanna Mora Dowse shares her experiences working as an itinerant teacher of Navajo children with visual impairments in Arizona. Drawn from urban, suburban, and rural school districts across the country, the 15 featured teachers share personal experiences and wisdom on topics such as "what I like best about being a special educator," "my biggest challenge," "my most significant accomplishment," and "suggestions for someone considering a career in special education." After reading each teacher's essay, you can learn more about his or her classroom and students by visiting the Teacher Feature module on the Companion Website.


Each chapter begins with five questions that provide a framework for studying the chapter and its implications. These Focus Questions serve as discussion starters for introducing, overviewing, concluding, or reviewing. Open-ended questions can be found on the Message Board on the Companion Website, which allows you to engage in interactive discussions with your classmates.


Although special education teacher certification and licensure requirements vary from state to state, all special educators are expected to demonstrate a common set of competencies. The Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) Performance-Based Standards for Beginning Special Education Teachers is a comprehensive set of knowledge and skill standards organized within 10 domain areas (e.g., Foundations, Individual Learning Differences, Instructional Strategies, Assessment). The CEC Standards were developed in collaboration with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) and serve as the basis for curriculum content of teacher preparation programs approved by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The PRAXIS II™ tests—the Subject Assessment/Specialty Area Tests of the PRAXIS Series of Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers™—assess students' knowledge of these content standards. Many states require a passing score on one or more PRAXIS II tests for licensure or certification as a special education teacher.

Through joint agreements with CEC and the Educational Testing Service, new margin notes link critical text content to specific knowledge and skill statements from CEC's Performance-Based Standards for Beginning Teachers and to material covered on PRAXIS II™ tests for special educators. Look for margin notes such as the one shown here with CEC and PRAXIS icons throughout the text.


Educating students with exceptional learning needs has always posed complex and difficult challenges. Yet more is expected of today's special education teachers than ever before. For example, today's special educator must ensure students' access to the general education curriculum while at the same time teach them functional skills needed for daily living and successful transition from school to life in the community and workplace. Today's special educator is expected to collaboratively plan and carry out inclusive practices with their general education colleagues while being responsive to the needs and wishes of families. Today's special educator must manage a mountain of paperwork and the challenge of preparing students for state proficiency tests from which students with disabilities have previously been exempted. The special educator must respond to all of these important and sometimes competing demands.

But what matters most in special education, the foundation without which everything would fall apart, is good instruction, day in and day out. And at the level where it matters most, special education is ultimately about the quality of instruction provided by teachers.

Reading a single textbook will not prepare you to be an effective teacher of exceptional children. Your introductory study of special education should, however, inform you about the critical elements of good instruction and provide numerous examples of their application. Each chapter includes one or more Teaching & Learning feature boxes that describe a wide range of effective teaching interventions—from classroom management and peer support strategies for inclusion to curriculum modifications and suggestions for effective error correction procedures. These boxes provide clear and practical guidelines for designing, implementing, and evaluating instruction of students with disabilities. All of the strategies described in the Teaching & Learning features are classroom-tested and supported by research documenting their effectiveness.


Each chapter contains one or more Profiles & Perspectives boxes that highlight the personal struggles, triumphs, and stories of persons with disabilities or share the views of parents, special educators, and other professionals about the achievements, challenges, and future directions of special education. For example, in Chapter 2, Michael Giangreco ("Moving Toward Inclusive Education") and Douglas and Lynn Fuchs ("Inclusion versus Full Inclusion") offer different perspectives on whether or not all students with disabilities should be educated in regular classrooms.

In essays in Chapters 9 and 12 ("My Communication System" and "I Was Thinking About Black Holes"), physicists Stephen Hawking contribute¿ his thoughts on living with a degenerative disease that causes him to continually adapt his lifestyle but does not affect his intellectual ability. In Chapter 13 ("The Autism Wars") Catherine Maurice, author of the powerful best-seller Let Me Hear Youn Voice, describes the enormous difficulties faced by parents of children with autism in choosing scientifically tested interventions from the many myths, fads, and miracle cures that surround autism.



The Student Study Guide provides you with a useful resource for learning about exceptional children, their families, and the field of special education. Chapter objectives, chapter overviews, chapter-at-a-glance tables, guided reviews, "What Do You Think?" activities covering current and controversial issues, and self-check quizzes allow you to review course content, apply new knowledge and skills, and prepare for tests and exams.


A user-friendly Companion Website, designed to complement) this text, is integrated into the textbook via margin notes. Identified by the Companion Website logo, these notes direct you to online materials that will assist in reviewing chapter content, doing research online, and accessing related materials and professional resources.

Each chapter of the Companion Website contains the following features that enable students to:

  • Study for TestsEssential Concepts, Chapters-at-a-Glance, Guided Reviews, Focus Questions, and interactive true-false and essay Chapter Quizzes help you gauge your understanding of chapter content.
  • Learn More about Teaching Exceptional Students—The Teacher Feature module provides real artifacts from inservice teachers who teach students with the disabilities covered in the text.
  • Learn More about Chapter TopicsWeb Links to sites covering pertinent areas of study help students access additional information on chapter topics. The Feature Boxes module allows students to view various resources that discuss and illustrate topics covered in the text as well.
  • Engage in Activities—The In-Class Activities module offers different types of activities for each chapter, including Group Activities and Response Card Activities.
  • Work on Specialized Assignments—The assignments module houses different types of assignments to help you through the topics studied in the text. These assignments include Position Papers, What Do You Think?, and Make It, Use It activities.
  • Communicate with Your Peers—You can collaborate and communicate with other students enrolled in classes like yours all across the country using the Message Board and Chat features.


This free CD-ROM packaged with every copy of the text walks you through the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and familiarizes you with criteria for assessing their quality. The CD-ROM provides two interactive tutorials, six case studies with related exercises, and a variety of additional resources, including web links, journal articles, assessment and annual review evaluation forms, checklists, and tips and guidelines for developing and evaluating IEPs. Margin notes in Chapter 2 direct you to relevant information and activities on the CD-ROM.



Course instructors receive a complimentary set of five compelling videos that can be used to supplement and extend information and issues introduced in the text. Two of the videos are new to this edition: Heather's Story chronicles the experiences of a fourth grade child with Down syndrome as she joins an inclusive classroom for the first time. Guidelines for Making Decisions About IEP Services, produced by the Vermont Department of Education, helps IEP team members, including families, make informed decisions about what special education and related services are necessary and appropriate for children with disabilities. The popular A New IDEA for Special Education highlights critical aspects of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Together We Can!, produced by the juniper Gardens Children's Project in Kansas City, describes a classwide peer tutoring program in which every student in a general education classroom participates as both tutor and tutee. LifeLink highlights a program that provides opportunities for secondary students with disabilities to learn independent living skills and prepare for life in the adult community.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    excellent seller!!! book was just as described, new with acccess code, received book 2 days after the order was placed, will use this seller again.

    this book was required for a college class, not really an easy read.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    Good text for introduction to special populations

    I have used the 8th and now the 9th edition of Heward's textbook in classes for alternative certification for public school teachers - both general and special education. The references to CEC are especially helpful for prospective new teachers to become familiar with national advocacy for students with disabilities and students in G&T programs. Highly recommended for history, pedagogy, exposition of personal experiences, real world professional situations, and teaching strategies. Includes interesting and provocative projects throughout. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2009

    Exceptional Children are fine

    We are using the text in our class and I find it very interesting and informative. The text is definitely college level reading but it isn't bad for a textbook. There are a lot of pictures and interesting bylines inserted and there is a glossary and index that are helpful. For someone who has begun working with exceptional children I have found it a good book to use a reference. The lab series included helps with has pre and post tests that help review the information. The homework section doesn't help me with reviewing what I have read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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