In the second edition of Marilyn Friend’s introductory special education text, emphasis is on contemporary concepts and evidence-based practices that prepare teachers for their evolving role in the education and well-being of students with disabilities and other special needs. Informed by her years of experience working with students with disabilities and their teachers, this trusted author combines research-informed concepts and skills with practical information for educators working in this challenging age of high standards and accountability, curriculum access, inclusive practices, professional collaboration, student diversity, and legislative change. The second edition fully reflects NCLB and IDEA 2004 legislation and regulations so that readers understand the most recent expectations for professional educators and their students. Throughout the book, the author grounds the discussion in the realities of today’s classrooms in a way that is concrete and compelling to future teachers. The text strikes a careful balance between the immediate concerns of novice educators with the broader human needs and experiences of students with exceptionalities and their families. Real People, Real Classrooms: Chapter Opening Vignettesdescribe the experiences of three different students of varying ages as they relate to the topics discussed in each chapter and are referenced at key points in the chapter. Firsthand Accountlets your students directly from teachers, students, parents, and school professionals as they share their own experiences and perspectives relating to life and learning with special needs. Back to the Casesfeatures at the ends of every chapter revisit the students introduced in the chapter opening vignettes in light of the information presented in the chapter material. Questions are presented for analysis and discussion. Real Research: Validated Teaching Practices. Consistent with today’s standards of practices in the field of special education, this text is filled with contemporary information, teaching approaches, strategies, and tips that are always based on research findings. Evidence-based practice features include: Specialized Instructionhighlights teaching applications for intensive instruction delivered by special education teachers in various educational settings. Inclusion Matters presents teaching applications, service delivery options, and considerations for students with various needs in general education settings. Positive Behavioral Supports illustrates the many positive, proactive ways to address student behavior/social issues as part of overall classroom teaching and learning. Cutting Edge Information about Trends and Issues: Technology Notes showcase fascinating new technology applications for teaching students with exceptional needs in special or general educational settings. Professional Edge describes conceptual material and cutting edge information that connect theory to practice. A unique chapter, Creating Partnerships through Collaboration (Chapter 4), provides a thorough introduction to collaboration that is essential for effective planning and implementation of programs.