Developmental Milestones for Students in Special Education

Special education teachers often consult and train staff members. Consideration of typical development and achievement of developmental milestones can help staff determine if a student needs a referral for a special education evaluation. This information is often used to select assessments and identify the effects of a possible disability. If eligibility is determined, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed. IEP teams describe an individual’s strengths, interests, preferences, and needs, while considering the characteristics of a given disability and its effect on a student. The IEP defines the specially designed instruction, accommodations, related services, and supplementary aids and services that will best support a student in accessing and achieving goals aligned with the general education curriculum. When teachers understand the effect of a disability on learning, they are able to prepare the classroom environment and use specially designed instructions to support students with disabilities.

Imagine that your principal has asked you to conduct a professional development session for staff members about developmental milestones for students. Referring to the topic Resources and your research, use the “Developmental Milestones In-Service Template” to create a 15-20 slide digital presentation that describes the typical cognitive, linguistic, physical, social, and emotional developmental milestones of children in the grade levels associated with your field of study.

The presentation should address the following:

Describe developmental milestones and explain why they are important.
For each disability category, describe typical cognitive, linguistic, physical, social, and emotional development and the atypical development of a student with the specified disability. Include examples of how the milestones may present differently for students with and without each disability.
For each disability category, explain at least one specially designed instructional strategy that could be used to enhance academic achievement.
For each disability category, explain at least one environmental strategy (how you would change the classroom environment) to increase success in the classroom setting.
Title slide, reference slide, and speaker notes.
Support the assignment with a minimum of three scholarly resources.

Refer to “Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations,” located in the Student Success Center, for additional guidance on completing this assignment in the appropriate style.

While APA style format is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using documentation guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

Slide 1: Title slide with the presentation title “Developmental Milestones for Students in Special Education” and my name.
Slide 2: Introduction. This slide defines developmental milestones and explains why they are important for teachers to understand. It states that developmental milestones are abilities that children are expected to meet by certain age levels, such as walking independently by age 1 or speaking in sentences by age 2. Understanding typical developmental milestones helps teachers recognize possible delays or disabilities in students and implement appropriate instructional strategies (Smith, 2023).
Slide 3: Subtitle “Autism Spectrum Disorder”. This slide describes the cognitive, linguistic, physical, social, and emotional developmental milestones of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder compared to their typically developing peers. For example, it notes that students with ASD often have delays in social-emotional skills like joint attention and theory of mind (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022).
Slide 4: Instructional strategy for ASD. This slide recommends using visual supports and schedules to enhance academic achievement for students with ASD by making expectations clear and predictable (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004).
Slide 5: Environmental strategy for ASD. It suggests arranging the classroom in defined activity areas to increase independence and minimize distractions for students with ASD (Department of Education, 2019).
Slide 6-8: Repeat the format of slides 3-5 but address Intellectual Disability.
Slide 9-11: Repeat for Speech or Language Impairment.
Slide 12-14: Repeat for Physical Disability (e.g. cerebral palsy).
Slide 15: Reference slide listing the three sources cited throughout the presentation in APA style.
Slide 16: Speaker notes thanking teachers for their time and encouraging them to ask questions. The notes also reiterate that understanding developmental milestones is key to meeting student needs.

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