Special Education - all levels

1.0 Knowledge of Foundations of Special Education

1.1 Models, theories, philosophies, and regulatory history that form the basis for special education practice

1.2 Issues in definition and identification of individuals with disabilities, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

1.3 Issues, assurances, case law, and due process rights related to assessment, eligibility, and placement within a continuum of services

1.4 Rights, responsibilities, and advocacy related to individuals with disabilities and their families

1.5 The legal, judicial, and educational systems affecting individuals with disabilities

1.6 Factors that influence the over-representation and under representation of culturally/linguistically diverse students in programs for individuals with disabilities

1.7 Federal and state legislation that affect children, families, and programs for individuals with disabilities 

1.8 Roles of families, school and community personnel, and individuals with disabilities in identifying, assessing, and providing services to individuals with disabilities


2.0 Knowledge Characteristics Of Learners

2.1 Typical and atypical human growth and development

  • Similarities and differences of individuals with and without disabilities
  • Educational implications of the characteristics of various disabilities including social, emotional, academic, and behavioral implications
  • Effects a disability can have on an individual’s life as influenced by stress and trauma, protective factors and supportive relationships

2.2 Unique needs of children who are severely involved or very young such as positioning, handling, nutrition, feeding, and toileting

2.3 Etiologies and medical aspects of conditions affecting individuals with disabilities

2.4 Family/community/education programs that provide information and resources concerning individuals with disabilities

2.5 Impact of a disability on individuals, families, and society

2.6 Strategies for collaborating with families of and service providers to individuals who are chronically or terminally ill.


3.0 Knowledge of Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation

3.1 Basic terminology used in assessment of individuals with disabilities

3.2 Legal provisions and ethical principles regarding assessment of individuals

3.3 Evaluation related to child-find screening, pre-referral, response to intervention (RTI), referral, eligibility procedures, extended school year, and transition procedures

3.4 Appropriateness of various instruments and procedures for assessing individuals with disabilities including children who are culturally and linguistically diverse

3.5 Accommodations, modifications, technology, and alternatives and when to apply each in classroom, district, and state testing

3.6 Curriculum based assessment


4.0 Knowledge of Planning, Content and Practice

4.1 Individualized Education Plan components, development, implementation, and review process

4.2 Characteristics and demands of the continuum of service options

4.3 Accommodations, modifications, and alternatives and when to apply each in instruction

4.4 Researched-based methods for increasing positive impact on student learning in reading, mathematics, and writing

4.5 Research-based methods for increasing student learning in adaptive, social, emotional, behavioral, communication, and independent living skills

4.6 Research-based strategies for skill acquisition in academic content areas

4.7 Evidence that instructional methods and curricular materials are research-based

4.8 Prevention and intervention strategies across  the tiers of response to intervention (RTI)

4.9 Research-based best practices for structuring effective  teaching and learning in individual, small group, and large group settings

4.10 Roles and responsibilities of the special education teacher, paraeducator, and other team members

4.11 Strategies for appropriate program and instructional supervision and training including management of paraeducators, classroom volunteers, and peer tutors

4.12 Strategies for coordination of learning programs for general education and special education staff to meet students’ needs

4.13 Research-based career, vocational, and transition programs for individuals with disabilities

4.14 Universal precautions for health and safety


5.0 Knowledge of Managing Student Behavior and Social Interaction Skills

5.1 Laws, policies/regulations, and ethical principles regarding positive behavior management planning and implementation, discipline, and aversive therapy

5.2  Responsibilities regarding procedures for Functional Behavioral Assessment, manifestation determination, and behavior intervention planning

5.3 Strategies for increasing acceptance and inclusion of individuals with disabilities

5.4 Social skills needed for education, community living, and other environments

5.5 Strategies for crisis prevention and de-escalation of aggressive behavior


6.0 Skills and Instructional Methodology

6.1 Foundations of Special Education

6.1.1 Articulate personal philosophy of special education

6.1.2 Know, use and comply with the Washington Administrative Code in the design and implementation of special education and related services

6.1.3 Identify similarities and differences of major provisions of Part B and Part C of IDEA

6.1.4 Apply theory and knowledge of family dynamics, roles, and relationships in interactions with families and communities

6.1.5 Collaborate with local, community, state, and federal personnel to provide services to individuals with disabilities

6.2 Characteristics of Learners

6.2.1 Access information, support, and resources such as, health and safety, nutrition, behavior, and learning

6.2.2 Communicate with school personnel, families, and community members about the characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities

6.2.3 Observe and record the behaviors of individuals who are taking medications and share data/observations with family and other professionals when appropriate

6.2.4 Use current information from assessments and evaluations to inform instructional practice

6.2.5 Recognize characteristics common to disability categories as identified in WACs

6.2.6 Select, adapt, and use instructional strategies and materials according to characteristics of the learner including social, emotional, adaptive, cognitive, academic and behavioral

6.2.7 Develop and select learning experiences and strategies that affirm and respect, family, cultural, and societal diversity, including language differences

6.3 Assessment Diagnosis and Evaluation

6.3.1 Collaborate with families, related service personnel and others in assessment of individuals with disabilities

6.3.2 Maintain confidential communication and documentation about individuals with disabilities

6.3.3 Use comprehensive assessment procedures

  • Include families and service providers to gather relevant background information
  • Develop and administer objective informal assessments and observations
  • Administer appropriate formal assessments
  • Interpret information from formal and informal assessments including psychometric properties such as reliability and validity

6.3.4 Utilize ongoing evaluation/assessment data to determine the effectiveness of specially designed instruction and related services

6.3.5 Use performance data and information from all team members to inform and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in learning environments

6.3.6 Select, adapt and modify individualized assessment strategies including accommodations, technology, and alternative assessment

6.3.7 Use technology to implement progress monitoring and use of data to develop and modify instructional plans

6.3.8 Use assessment results to develop and monitor transition plans

6.3.9 Use documentation of response to intervention (RTI) to inform eligibility determination decisions and specially designed instruction

6.3.10 Communicate and integrate assessment results from others as an active team participant in eligibility decisions, the development and implementation of the Individual Educational Program (IEP), and the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)

6.4 Planning, Content, and Practice

6.4.1 Create a safe, equitable, positive, and supportive learning environment for all students that encourages self-advocacy, self-determination, and increased independence

6.4.2 Develop and select instructional content, resources, and strategies that are aligned with IEP goals and respond to cultural, linguistic, and gender differences.

6.4.3 Develop, implement, and monitor IEPs in collaboration with team members, families, and as appropriate, students

6.4.4 Evaluate the need for assistive technologies and incorporate when appropriate

6.4.5 Develop, implement, and monitor IEPs, IFSPs, and lesson plans which align with general curriculum including state learning goals, EALRs, GLEs and early childhood learning benchmarks

6.4.6  Use and model research-based strategies and interventions to facilitate inclusion in the least restrictive environment including appropriate accommodations, curriculum modifications, and alternatives

6.4.7 Collaborate and communicate with school personnel, family and community members to include and accommodate individuals with disabilities into various settings

6.4.8 Use research-based methods to teach reading, mathematics, and writing

6.4.9 Use research-based methods to increase student learning in adaptive, social, emotional, behavioral, communication, and independent living skills

6.4.10 Use task analysis to prepare lesson plans based on unique educational needs that are directly connected to measurable components of the IEP

6.4.11 Plan for the integration of related services’ goals into the educational programs

6.4.12 Sequence, implement, and evaluate individual learning outcomes, including the appropriate use of the EALRs and GLEs

6.4.13 Use research-based strategies for facilitating maintenance and generalization of skills across learning environments

6.4.14 Use instructional time to positively impact student learning by designing and managing effective daily routines

6.4.15 Use strategies, including collaboration with families and other agencies to facilitate all transitions for individuals with disabilities, including:

  • early intervention to preschool
  • preschool to elementary
  • elementary to middle level
  • middle level to high school
  • high school to beyond
  • individualized alternative settings to school
  • extended school year
  • to and from general education

6.4.16 Direct, observe, and provide feedback to paraeducators, classroom volunteers and peer tutors

6.4.17 Prepare lesson plans, organize materials, and monitor implementation of specially designed instruction for self, paraeducators, and general educators

6.4.18 Design and/or provide instruction in a variety of educational settings including community based settings

6.5 Managing Student Behavior and Social Interaction Skills

6.5.1 Use the least intrusive behavior management strategy consistent with the needs of the individual learner

6.5.2 Modify instructional approaches and the learning environment to manage behaviors

6.6 Professionalism and Ethical Practice

6.6.1 Demonstrate commitment to developing the highest education and quality-of-life potential of individuals with disabilities

6.6.2 Uphold high standards of competence and integrity and exercise sound judgment in the practice of the profession consistent with the Council for Exceptional Children Code of Ethics

6.6.3 Access professional organizations and publications (printed/electronic) that support individuals with disabilities, their families, and colleagues

6.6.4 Conduct professional activities in compliance with applicable special education laws and policies/regulations