What does it mean to be “exceptional”? Although one well-known definition of the term is outstanding, the term has also come to describe individuals who learn in different ways. Whether as a result of cognitive, physical, or psychological factors, some children follow a unique path that they, their peers, and their family may never fully understand. In his book Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon chronicled his journey with more than 300 families as he worked alongside them to better understand the supports needed for some children not only to survive but to thrive (Solomon, 2012). With a unique journey ahead, what might some children need you to do differently as they learn language and literacy? How do we move from “He can’t learn this” to “He just hasn’t learned this yet,” or “How can I explain this differently so he can learn it?”
In this Discussion, you explore the possible effects of exceptionalities on language and literacy development. You also conduct research to further explore an exceptionality of your choosing. As you approach this Discussion, also consider your own experiences in working or living with young children whose lives are affected by cognitive, physical, and/or psychological factors.