The Benefits Of Early Childhood Special Education

early childhood special education

After getting your bachelor’s degree in early childhood or education, you also have the opportunity to become certified in Early Childhood Special Education (E CE). If you are currently enrolled in a vocational/trade school that does not offer an early childhood education teacher certification program, another option is to become certified in both Early Childhood Special Education (E CE) and Early Childhood Development (ECD) simultaneously. Completing both programs will certify you for state certification in Early Childhood Special Education as well as for both disciplines simultaneously. The State Board of Education in your state may be a resource center for further information regarding requirements for these certifications.

What Is

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Special education is often associated with special training and teaching methods, programs, and classroom arrangements. Special education and care for development is intended to address the individual needs of children with disabilities that affect their ability to learn and grow; these children typically have different strengths and weaknesses. Special education and teaching techniques are tailored to meet the specific needs of these unique children. Special education and care for development include working with young children, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, adolescents, and adults with disabilities that interfere with academic, emotional, physical, social, and communication skills. An ECD professional has the knowledge, training, and expertise to work with children who may have special needs such as: autism, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome, brain injury, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, as well as vision and hearing disabilities, traumatic brain injury, growth disorders, and other learning disabilities.

To become a certified Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education Provider (SCE&G), you must first complete a two-year degree program in Special Education or a related field, pass a written oral examination, and complete a two-year field work placement in a facility that offers qualified teachers, facilities, or parents as part of the program. The Special Education curriculum includes both school operations and practices as well as student services. Students who successfully completed the two-year degree program are required to undergo a three-year field work placement in a facility that offers Early Childhood Special Education services.

The requirements to become a certified SCE&E include completion of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university that is associated with a Special Education Programs branch with a designation of either Special Education Specialist or Early Childhood Special Education Specialist. A professional bachelor’s degree is also necessary in order to become a teacher in any of the approved early childhood special education fields.

Special Education Provider

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In order to become a Special Education Provider, teachers must complete a one-year Registered School Teacher (RST) program. These programs are offered by most community colleges, vocational schools, and technical institutes. Some states require teachers to complete a one-year National Certification Board for Teachers (NCBT) or National Certification Council for Teachers (NCCT) certification. In states that do not require teacher certification, teachers can complete an equivalent one-year Special Education Technician (SEAT) course in order to become a Special Education Provider. Both of these certifications are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and may be used in combination to earn both state and federal teacher certification.

After certification, a professional provider will need to gain several years of experience in serving children with special needs. This experience can take many forms, but typically it involves one or more years of specialization within a field that addresses the specific needs of childhood special intervention patients. These professionals may then go on to train in other areas of special education. Many choose to teach in one or a few schools in their area, depending on their interests and the type of specialty they have chosen. Others choose to become a teacher trainer, which involves assisting new hires with the proper training for the job. Whatever the choice, being a professional in the special intervention field brings a variety of rewards.

Special education teachers help students with autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, blindness, deafness, developmental disorders, and physical and mental health. A great benefit of being a teacher is that there is always the opportunity to branch out. Some get into the teaching profession by helping children with academic and social skills. Others find themselves working in settings that focus on one therapy or group therapy. Still others enjoy being a part of larger research or teaching teams.

Types Of Early Childhood Special Education Certificates

There are two types of Early Childhood Special Education certificates: those awarded by schools and those acquired through professional education. Certified teachers must demonstrate a certain level of understanding and expertise in a particular area in order to qualify for a certificate. Those certified by the state generally demonstrate their knowledge of early childhood developmental level education through either a diploma from an accredited school or the equivalent program. Those certified through professional organizations have a higher level of educational accreditation and usually have specialized experiences and training that further enhance their credentials.

Final Thoughts

School districts also recognize the value of these professionals as they often provide support after the young children graduate from high school. Special education professionals are often able to bridge the gap between academic failure and success, helping the child to succeed academically and socially. The wide variety of career options available to these individuals make it very easy for them to advance their careers at many different locations. Other career related services can be found as well through the career services professional.

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