Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliot, Nathan

Second Reader

Lisa Silmser


Social Emotional Learning (SEL), the lifetime process of developing skills that enable healthy relationships with others and with the self, has continued to grow in importance as educational programs emphasize more and more the value in educating the student as a whole. Research shows the need and benefits of incorporating an SEL curriculum into the lives of students, especially those with disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD). Without the skills that come from proper SEL training, students with disabilities tend to struggle in everyday life in areas such as mental health, social appropriateness, and verbal interactions. Research explored throughout this thesis also concludes that successful SEL programs for students with disabilities involve a high period of exposure to the curriculum, hands-on student involvement in learning, full body awareness teaching, and emphasis on learning one’s emotional profile. This thesis deeply looks at the research in place regarding needs for SEL amongst students with disabilities and the benefits of different SEL programs and curriculums in order to give greater understanding of the topic and point to future growth and research.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis