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SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES
SEMESTER: SUMMER 2018
COURSE: PSYCHOLOGY OF SPECIAL NEEDS ( PSY 3141)
LECTURER : MARGARET NJOROGE PhD
CONTACTS: EMAIL: [email protected] ; TEL 0730116533
CONTACT HOURS: TUESDAY 10.00 – 12 .00 PM
CLASS TIME: MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY (9.00 – 10.45 AM)
VENUE: LT 7
1. COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course will focus on increasing the student’s understanding of the psychology of the exceptionality.
The course will provide an overview of the range of exceptional characteristics that exist and the effect of
exceptionality on the individual and the family. Topics will indicate physical, mental, emotional,
behavioral, and social traits of children and adolescents with special needs, parenting a child with special
needs and the role of teachers. Other topics include ethical and legal issues as well as counseling.
2. LINK TO UNIVERSITY MISSION OUTCOMES ; TO PROGRAM LEARNING
OUTCOMES
2.1 THE MISSION

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Promote the discovery and application of knowledge, the acquisition of skills and the development of
intellect and character in a manner which prepares students to contribute effectively and ethically as
citizens of a changing and increasingly technological world.
The mission is achieved through selected high quality undergraduate and graduate academic programs
which result in the following outcomes:

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2.2 THE MISSON OUTCOMES
1. High order thinking.
2. Literacy
3. Global understanding and multicultural perspective
4. Preparedness for career
5. Leadership and ethics
6. Community service and development
3. PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (LPO’S)
1. Articulate the major concepts, theories, empirical findings, ethical standards and historical trends
in psychology.
2. Conduct research in a variety of settings
3. Demonstrate creative and critical thinking approach to psychological issues in diverse settings
4. Communicate in multicultural settings
5. Use psychological knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to aid in interventions
4. COURSE OUTCOMES
At the conclusion of this course the students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate familiarity with the wide range of exceptionalities .
2. Analyze current research in the field of exceptional child psychology as it relates to real -world
applications.
3. Explain the effect of exceptionality on the children’s self -esteem, educational performance, and
social interactions
4. Describe methods of early identification, diagnosis and ass essment of children with special needs
5. Develop fundamental counseling and consultation skills to work collaboratively with exceptional
children and their families .
6. Develop an understanding of strategies to address social and emotional issues of exceptional
children and their families

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5. COURSE TEXT
Kirk, Gallagher, and Anastasiow. 2015. Educating Exceptional Children. 14 th Ed. Houghton Mifflin.
ISBN -13: 978 -0-547 -12413 -1
Further Reading
1. Smith, D. D., ; Tyler, N. C. (2010). Introduction to special education: Making a difference (7 th
Ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.
2. Gargiulo, R. M. (2012). Special education in contemporary society (4th ed). Washington: Sage.
3. Hallahan, D., Kauffman, J., ; Pullen, P. (2008). Exceptional learners: An introduction to special
education (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Allyn ; Bacon.
6. CONTENT ; CLASS SCHEDULE
Week Topics Readings Assignments
1 ? Course
Overview/terminologies
? Introduction to
Exceptionality
Kirk et al. part 1

2 ? Overview of disabilities
? Early identification
? Family Systems and
exceptionality

Kirk et al. part 1
3 Group presentations ? Gp1 – UN Guidelines on
Special Needs
? Gp2 – UNICEF Guidelines
4 Group presentations ? Gp3 – Africa situation on
special needs
? Gp4 – E. Africa situation
? Gp5 – KISE
5

? Intellectual Disability
? Autism
? (Kirk et al. part 4)
? (Kirk et al. part 5)

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7. TEACHING MODALITIES

a) Lectures, video clips to illustrate brain activity and pathways, use of APA style of writing, written
exams.
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? Learning Disabilities
– Reading Disabilities
– Dyslexia
– Dyscalculia
– Dysorthographia

Kirk et al. part 6

7 Mid semester Exam
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? ADHD
? Emotional and Behavioral
? Kirk et al. part 7
? (Kirk et al. part 8

9 ? Communication, Language
and Speech Disorders
? Special gifts and talents

? Kirk et al. part 9
? Kirk et al. part 10

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? Hearing Impairment
? Visual Impairment
? Low Vision
? Blindness

Kirk et al. part 11
Kirk et al. part 12

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? Physical Disability
? Multiple Disability
Kirk et al. part 13

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? Working with families with a
child with special needs
? Stressors in the family

Hallahan, et al Chapter
4

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? Counseling with Special
needs
? Ethical and legal issue in
special needs

Hallahan, et al Chapter
4

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Final exam

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b) The class will go for an educational trip to Kenya Institute of Special Education on 26 th
October 2018
8. COURSE EVALUATION
Several methods of assessment will be used to evaluate learning. All assignments should be handed in at
the stipulated time. Any questions regarding assignments to be forwarded to instructor on time. Please note
that there are NO MAKE -UP exams as per the u niversity policy.
Students’ performance will be assessed as follows:
Class attendance – (5%)
Group Assignment 1 – (10 %)
Assignment 2 – (15%)
Term Paper – (20%)
Mid -Semester Exam (20%)
Final Exam (30%)
a) Assign ment 1 – Group presentations
Group 1: Presenting UN based disability policies
Group 2: Kenyan situation on disability ( KISE)
Group 3: UNICEF
Group 3: East African situation on disability
Group 5: Regional other than East Africa

Organization of the presentation and team work 2 marks
Content of the materials 4 marks
References 2 marks
Presentation methodology 2 marks
Total 10 marks

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b) Assignment 2 – (TO BE HANDED IN WEEK 10 )

Write an essay on “Importance of early assessment in exceptionality.” (The assignment should be
done in an academic manner with in text citations well indicated and references. It should be not less
than 2000 words in total . NB: Plagiarism is a major academic crime and is discouraged. )

Presentation of the term paper 2 marks
Organization of the term paper 2 marks
Content and originality of material 8 marks
References: – Five books 1 mark
Three journals 1 mark
Internet 1 mark
Total 15 marks

c) Term Paper (TO BE HANDED IN WEEK 11)
Write a term paper on ” Culture has played a significant role on stigma and discrimination of people with
exceptionality.” Discuss this statement citing the research that has been done on the same.
Presentation of the term p aper 2 marks
Organization of the term paper 2 marks
Content and originality of material 8 marks
References: – Five books 1 mark
Three journals 1 mark
Internet 1 mark
Total 15 marks
Please Note: Plagiarism will not be tolerated in ANY form. Any assignment that is plagiarized will receive
an automatic failing grade. You must put all writing int o your OWN words, this is extremely important.
Any time you summarize another person’s research/writing, you must paraphrase it and provide, an
appropriate citation (according to APA format). Any direct quotes from another person’s work must be
designated with quotation marks (according to APA format), however, direct quotations should be minimal,
meaning that the majority of your writing is in your words. Direct quotes should never comprise more than
5% of your essay or written work. If you need to review the APA format for these types of citations, there
are several copies available in university library.

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e) Examinations
There will be two examinations, one mid -term and the other at the end of the semester.
9. USIU GRADING SYSTEM
Grade Marks range (%)
A 90 -100
A- 87 -89
B+ 84 -86
B 80 -83
B- 77 -79
C+ 74 -76
C 70 -73
C- 67 -69
D+ 64 -66
D 62 -63
D- 60 – 61
F 0-59

10. KEY INSTITUTIONAL ACADEMIC POLICIES
Professionalism
It is assumed that a psychology student’s behaviour in class is generally an indicator of his or her future
behaviour as a practitioner. Thus, students are appraised based on professionalism displayed during class.
Psychology students displayed professionalism, and build competence by arriving on time for class, by
engaging fully in class le ctures and activities, and by demonstrating professional attitudes, and professional
character. These factors are evaluated based on one’s ability to convey warmth, genuineness, respect, and
empathy in interactions with classmates and the instructor. Stude nts are expected to be able to demonstrate
the ability to accept and integrate feedback, be aware of their impact on others, accept personal
responsibility, and be able to express feelings appropriately. Side private conversations, cell -phone use, and
arri ving late for class are not acceptable professional behaviours. As a step toward creating healthy
boundaries in your life and to demonstrate respect for others, please make sure that all cellular phones are
turned off or placed on silent for the duration o f the class.

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Academic integrity
Students are expected to follow standards of academic behaviour as described in USIU guidelines. In
addition, graduate students are expected to abide by professional ethical standards. Violations of any
academic dishonesty (e.g. Any of academic dishonesty, presenting previously submitted work, and
plagiarism) will be subject to consequences that may include, but are not limited to grade reduction or
course failure.
Absence policy
Students are expected to attend all classes. As per university policy, missing more than three classes
would mean that you get an” F” grade for this class. Students are responsible for making up any work
missed due to any class absence.

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