Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education


early childhood education, special education, children with disabilities, inclusive classroom


Recent legislation, including the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 (Public Law 105-17), has brought together the fields of early childhood education and early childhood special education (Knoblauch, 1998). Most Lutheran Church preschools and early childhood centers do not have special education personnel on staff and thus the responsibility for assessment and evaluation of children becomes that of the general education teacher.

This study will review current research in the areas of emotional, developmental, learning, and behavioral disabilities, and explore how preschool teachers can determine which children have special needs that must be addressed in the inclusive classroom and/or which children need to be referred to other professionals. The concluding product of this study will be a guidebook that Lutheran early childhood staff members can use as a tool in the initial screening of disabilities in their young students.


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