Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

The Exceptional Child: Inclusion in Early Childhood Education, 8th Edition

  • Eileen K. Allen
  • Glynnis Edwards Cowdery
  • ISBN-10: 1285432371
  • ISBN-13: 9781285432373
  • 624 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2009, 2005
  • COPYRIGHT: 2015 Published
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About the Product

THE EXCEPTIONAL CHILD: INCLUSION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, 8th Edition, is the most comprehensive and applied text available on early childhood special education. The text covers foundational issues facing teachers, parents, and paraprofessionals who work in inclusive early childhood settings. It begins with definitions and explanations of key topics such as inclusion, federal legislation related to young children with disabilities, and different kinds of disabilities that early childhood educators may encounter in their programs. Then, it covers various applied issues and strategies related to early childhood inclusion--such as how to teach effectively and how to manage problematic behaviors. The Developmental Behavioral approach and the importance of classroom arrangement are stressed throughout. Current research related to early childhood education and inclusion is also cited. The authors explain how to effectively work with a diverse group of children that may contain more than one child with significant challenges, and how to design optimal learning at the individual and group levels. In addition, the authors address how to give parents and caregivers a role in the special education process while encouraging children to gain independence and facilitating their self-care. Guidelines for working effectively with linguistically and culturally diverse children and families are woven throughout.


  • Material on current legislative activities on behalf of young children and their families includes an update on the reauthorization of IDEA and No Child Left Behind. Current coverage of Response to Intervention (RTI) is also included.

  • Each chapter contains a Case Study--a real life example related to the subject of the chapter--which provides students with a hands-on opportunity to read, reflect, and apply what they have learned.

  • Section Wrap Ups include Special Focus pieces--first person accounts written by parents and professionals that provide real life perspectives on inclusion. These Section Wrap Ups also contain application questions and information about accompanying TeachSource Video Cases (which can be viewed on the book's companion website, Early Childhood Education CourseMate).

  • A marginal glossary helps students master important terms and concepts.

  • The text serves as a comprehensive reference for students when they are working as teachers out in the field.


"This is an excellent text for teaching ECSE. It is up-to-date and student friendly."
— Elizabeth Elliott, Florida Gulf Coast University

About the Author

Eileen K. Allen

Eileen K. Allen, Professor Emerita, University of Kansas, spent 30 years as a professor of child development and early childhood education at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Throughout her career, Eileen was active in national and international organizations focused on the development of young children and their families, including NAEYC, the Commission on Early Childhood Teacher Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE).

Glynnis Edwards Cowdery

Glynnis Edwards Cowdery has more than 25 years of experience in the early childhood education field as a teacher, program director, and inclusion facilitator.

Table of Contents

1. An Inclusive Approach to Early Education.
2. Federal Legislation: Early Intervention and Prevention.
3. Inclusive Programs for Young Children.
Section 1 Wrap Up: Early Intervention & Public Policy.
4. Normal and Exceptional Development.
5. Developmental Disabilities: Causes and Classifications.
6. Sensory Impairments: Hearing and Vision.
7. Physical Disabilities and Health Problems.
8. Learning and Behavior Disorders.
Section 2 Wrap Up: Likenesses and Differences Among Children.
9. Partnership with Families.
10. Assessment and the IFSP/IEP Process.
11. Characteristics of Effective Teachers in Inclusive Programs.
Section 3 Wrap Up: Planning for Inclusion.
12. The Developmental-Behavioral Approach.
13. Arranging the Learning Environment.
14. Facilitating Self-Care, Adaptive, and Independence Skills.
15. Facilitating Social Development.
16. Facilitating Speech, Language, and Communication Skills.
17. Facilitating Pre-Academic and Cognitive Learning.
18. Managing Challenging Behaviors.
19. Planning Transitions to Support Inclusion.
Section 4 Wrap Up: Implementing Inclusive Early Childhood Programs.
Appendix A: Culminating Activities.
Appendix B: Skill Profile (0–72 Months).
Appendix C: Sources of Information, Support, and Training Material for Teachers and Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities.
Appendix D: Early Learning and Developmental Diversity.
Appendix E: Sample IFSP Form.

New to this edition

  • A new larger trim size features a beautiful full-color design with numerous photographs, making the material even more engaging and accessible.
  • Learning objectives, which are correlated to the main sections in each chapter, show students what they need to know to process and understand the information in the chapter. After completing the chapter, students should be able to demonstrate how they can use and apply their new knowledge and skills.
  • The text has been thoroughly revised to reflect current NAEYC standards--especially those related to inclusion, developmentally appropriate practice, and early childhood education. Every chapter begins with a list of the NAEYC standards to be addressed in the subsequent narrative, helping students make connections between what they learn in the textbook and the standards.
  • The text includes updated and expanded information on many topics, including Universal Learning Design, childhood obesity and school health guidelines, the appropriate use of technology in early childhood programs, quality indicators of an inclusive classroom, family center-practice, augmentative and alternative communication systems, and English Language Learners.
  • Every chapter contains a Connection box that highlights recent brain research or current research related to English Language Learners and diversity, as well as why this research is relevant to early childhood education practitioners.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

An online Instructor's Manual accompanies this book. It contains information to assist the instructor in designing the course, including sample syllabi, discussion questions, teaching and learning activities, field experiences, learning objectives, and additional online resources. For assessment support, the updated Test Bank includes true/false, multiple-choice, matching, short-answer, and essay questions for each chapter.

Online PowerPoint®  (ISBN-10: 1285736478 | ISBN-13: 9781285736471)

These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285979281 | ISBN-13: 9781285979281)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285770765 | ISBN-13: 9781285770765)

Cengage Learning's new Education CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website. Students can also access a new integrated eBook, Digital Downloads, TeachSource Video Cases and other videos, flashcards, and more. Also new is Engagement Tracker, a first-of-its-kind tool that allows you to monitor student engagement in the course. The accompanying instructor website, available through, offers access to password-protected resources such as PowerPoint® lecture slides and the online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank.

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Allen/Cowdery's The Exceptional Child: Inclusion in Early Childhood Education  (ISBN-10: 1305638379 | ISBN-13: 9781305638372)

MindTap Education for The Exceptional Child, 8th Edition is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap: Powered by You. MindTap’s customizable teaching and learning solution offers an integrated eportfolio. Students master concepts critical to becoming great teachers as they practice skills, create tools, and demonstrate competency. Students prepare artifacts for a portfolio and eventual state licensure for their teaching careers. They learn habits of reflective practitioners. A scaffolded learning experience moves students up Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. Help students assess the effectiveness of their teaching practices and adjust, as needed. A Student Progress App compares performance against education standards. MindTap even works with your existing Learning Management System.

Student Supplements

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285770765 | ISBN-13: 9781285770765)

Cengage Learning's new Education CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Access a new integrated eBook, flashcards, Digital Downloads, Web activities and exercises, Web links, TeachSource Video Cases and other videos, and more. Access Early Childhood Education CourseMate through

Blackboard MindLink for CourseMate Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285870190 | ISBN-13: 9781285870199)
MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Allen/Cowdery's The Exceptional Child: Inclusion in Early Childhood Education  (ISBN-10: 1305638379 | ISBN-13: 9781305638372)

MindTap Education for The Exceptional Child: Inclusion in Early Childhood Education, 8th Edition helps you learn on your terms. INSTANT ACCESS IN YOUR POCKET. MindTap Mobile App lets you learn on your terms. Read or listen to the book and study with flashcards and practice quizzes. MINDTAP HELPS YOU GEAR UP FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. Stay motivated toward goals. Master concepts critical for a great teacher with this personalized learning platform. Practice concepts, create tools, and demonstrate performance and competency. Prepare your portfolio, plan state licensure for a successful teaching career and develop habits of a reflective practitioner. MINDTAP HELPS YOU MAKE THE BOOK YOURS. No one knows what works for you better than you. Highlight key text, add notes, and create custom flashcards. When it’s time to study, you can gather everything you’ve flagged into a guide you can organize.