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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
June 23, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Psychology of Exceptional Children, Youth and Adults (PS3779) introduces students to issues related to individuals with special needs - both in and out of the classroom.

PS379_quote2.gifThis course provides an overview to exceptionality, as well as an appreciation for various personal, interpersonal, and educational issues that arise because of exceptionality. There is considerable focus on the education of children/youth with special needs, and the development of these children/youth within family and community contexts. 

Students complete a CSL placement involving 20 hours of volunteer work with individuals with exceptionality.  Students gain first-hand experience with individuals with exceptionality and  not only learn about the educational/community contexts they are placed in, but get an opportunity to provide practical assistance within those settings.  CSL allows students to apply (and expand on) the knowledge gained in class; hopefully making them more effective volunteers.

Example of placements include assisting with a swim program for autistic children at KidsAbility Centre for Child Development, in Waterloo; or, as a health and wellness volunteer with  adults with physical disabilities at KW AccessAbility in Kitchener. There are also placements with special education programs in schools, where one-on-one and small group support is important for helping special needs students succeed in the classroom.

The CSL experience is brought back to the classroom via on-going reflection activities, in class discussions, and a major writing assignment  that brings together the placement, course materials, and readings of the students choice.    

For those looking for a more “hands-on” learning experience, developing skills as well as knowledge, and contributing to the KW community, PS277 is a perfect fit.