Educational Psychology: What do we mean by the term “Exceptional Children”



11 a i). Define the term “Exceptional Children”


I find it extremely difficult to give this lesson justice in the limited time and space I have. This is due to the fact that exceptionality deserves a whole book or whole books. It is a discipline of study in its own right with many areas of specialization and focus. As such, no single lesson can attempt to do it any justice without looking like sheer mockery. This notwithstanding, no course in educational psychology will be complete without the mention of the exceptional learner even if it is in a passing sentence.

In this lesson, I have introduced you to the exceptional learner with the hope that the aroused interest will eventually sensitize you to seek to know more about it by enrolling in special education programs available or our university.

Definition of the term exceptional children

Henry (1950), defines exceptional children as those who deviate from what is supposed to be average in physical, mental, emotional or social characteristics to such an extent that they require special education services in order to develop to their maximum capacity. Exceptional children are those who deviate intellectually so markedly from what is considered to be normal growth and development that they cannot receive maximum benefit from regular school programs and require special classes or supplementally instructional services.

Admittedly it is difficult to define exceptionality but as the foregoing definitions go it is important to note that exceptional children are those who will require specialized skills and services.

Some of them cannot adjust to the school program without radical modifications of the curriculum, special methods of instructions, special equipment or even adjusted school schedule. Some exceptional children may require to be put in a special class or special schools while others may need individualized attention in regular classrooms.



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