Helping Early Childhood Educators Support Students with Disabilities

The earliest years of life are full of rapid changes and transitions. Early childhood teachers are usually the first to notice when young children are not developing and learning as expected. Simple accommodations and modifications can benefit children with disabilities while others may need more specialized support from special education professionals.

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, these best practices for educators could lead to a successful year for students and teachers. First is try basic modifications like making board books available and adding jumbo paper clips to paper book pages making them easier for children to turn. See the child as a child first by getting to know he or she as a person and tap into the expertise of special education professionals. For other best practices and strategies, visit

We have developed a course category specifically for these educators with resources on identifying and teaching students with exceptionalities in early childhood.

Early Childhood: ASD Intervention Practices is designed to provide an overview of effective treatments for supporting the learning and development of children with ASD. For most children, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appears in early childhood and continues through adulthood. Topics covered include how ASD is diagnosed and identified; educational placements and least restrictive environments; early skills for children with ASD; effective instructional practices; and additional curricular considerations.

Early Childhood: Language Development and Literacy offers an overview to help educators better understand language development and literacy in early childhood. Language development and literacy are crucial, yet complex pieces of early childhood development. Language development shapes the way children communicate with others, while literacy aids in helping them understand the world around them.

Early Childhood: Partnering with Caregivers and Families is designed to give an overview of the importance of partnering with caregivers and families of young children with disabilities or delays to promote positive, long-term effects. Caregivers of children with disabilities or delays may need additional support to understand their child’s special needs. Topics covered include the importance of caregiver and family involvement, family-centered and family capacity-building practices, and recommended practices for partnering with caregivers and families.

Early Childhood: Social Communication is designed to familiarize school staff with social communication development in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The course explores early-learning differences between neuro-typical children and those with ASD as well as present evidence-based early-learning strategies that assist children with ASD and other communication disorders.

Early Childhood: Social Emotional Learning is designed to help teachers and others who work with young children understand the importance of social emotional learning and learn techniques they can use to help children achieve social emotional competence. Social emotional competence is associated with many factors related to leading a productive, fulfilling life. Helping young children through the process of social emotional learning and setting them on the path to social emotional competence is an important role of educators.

You can find these courses and more in our course library!

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