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Exceptional Children

Exceptional Children

2017 Impact Factor: 3.340
2017 Ranking: 2/69 in Rehabilitation (SSCI) | 1/40 in Education, Special
Source: Journal Citation Reports®, 2018 release, a Clarivate Analytics product
Published in Association with Council for Exceptional Children

John Wills Lloyd University of Virginia, USA
William J. Therrien University of Virginia, USA
Associate Editors
Carolyn M. Callahan University of Virginia, USA
Erik Carter Vanderbilt University, USA
Bryan Cook University of Virginia, USA
Vivian Correa University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Lynn S. Fuchs Vanderbilt University, USA
Ralph Gardner Ohio State University, USA
Sharon Vaughn The University of Texas at Austin, USA

eISSN: 21635560 | ISSN: 00144029 | Current volume: 85 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly

2017 Impact Factor: 3.340
2017 Ranking: 1/40 in Education, Special | 2/69 in Rehabilitation
Source: Journal Citation Reports®, 2018 release, a Clarivate Analytics product

Insightful and pioneering research, topical issues, and broad perspectives by leaders in the field for more than 75 years have made Exceptional Children (EC) the most respected scholarly journal in special education.

This peer-review journal publishes research, research reviews, methodological reviews of literature, data-based position papers, and policy analyses on the education and development of children and youth with exceptionalities. EC is published quarterly.

All issues of EC are available to browse online.

Exceptional Children, an official journal of The Council for Exceptional Children, publishes original research and analyses that focus on the education and development of exceptional infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults. This includes descriptions of research, research reviews, methodological reviews of the literature, data-based position papers, and policy analyses. Exceptional Children publishes quantitative, qualitative, and single-subject design studies.

CEC President
Laurie VanderPloeg Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids, Michigan
CEC Staff
Alexander T. Graham Executive Director
Lorraine Sobson Editor and Manager, Professional Publications
Leah Supulski Program Specialist
Field Reviewers
Stephanie Al Otaiba Southern Methodist University, USA
Dannette Allen-Bronaugh James Madison University, USA
Jose Luis Alvarado California State University, Monterey Bay, USA
Charlotte Y. Alverson University of Oregon, USA
Alfredo Artiles Arizona State University
Kevin Ayres University of Georgia, USA
Scott Baker Southern Methodist University, USA
Jeffrey P. Bakken Bradley University, USA
Juliet H. Barnett Arizona State University, USA
Sheri Berkeley George Mason University, USA
Elizabeth Bettini Boston University, USA
Bonnie Billingsley Virginia Tech, USA
Brian Bottge University of Kentucky, USA
Matthew Brock Ohio State University, USA
Mary Brownell University of Florida, USA
Bryan Bryant The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Diane Pedrotty Bryant The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Matthew Burns University of Missouri, USA
Jason C. Chow Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Diane Clark Lamar University, USA
Maureen Conroy University of Florida, USA
Christan G. Coogle George Mason University
Michael Coyne University of Connecticut, USA
Jean Crockett University of Florida, USA
Susan De La Paz University of Maryland, USA
Ronnie Detrich Wing Institute, India
Lisa Dieker University of Central Florida, USA
Christian Doabler The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Shaun M. Dougherty University of Connecticut, USA
David Edyburn University of Central Florida, USA
Anya Evmenova George Mason University, USA
Douglas Fuchs Vanderbilt University, USA
Nicholas A. Gage University of Florida, USA
Justin D. Garwood Appalachian State University, USA
Marcia Gentry Purdue University, USA
Russell Gersten Instructional Research Group, USA
Michael Giangreco University of Vermont, USA
Anne Graves San Diego State University, USA
Daniel P. Hallahan University of Virginia, USA
Shanna E. Hirsch Clemson University, USA
Robert Horner University of Oregon, USA
John Hosp University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
Youjia Hua University of Virginia, USA
Charles Hughes Penn State University, USA
Li-Yu Hung National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Sarah Ivy Florida State University, USA
Asha K. Jitendra University of California - Riverside, USA
Evelyn S. Johnson Boise State University, USA
Kristine Jolivette University of Alabama, USA
Nancy Jordan University of Delaware, USA
Mary Kealey Loudon County Public Schools, USA
Michael J. Kennedy University of Virginia, USA
Hyejung Kim Texas A&M University, USA
Margaret King-Sears George Mason University, USA
Tuire Koponen University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
Timothy J. Landrum University of Louisville, USA
Kathleen Lynne Lane University of Kansas, USA
Holly Lawson Portland State University, USA
Jennifer R. Leford Vanderbilt University, USA
Melinda Leko University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Christopher Lemons Vanderbilt University, USA
Tim Lewis University of Missouri, USA
Mary-Anne Linden University of Oregon, USA
Mickey Losinski Kansas State University, USA
Charles MacArthur University of Delaware, USA
Nancy Mamlin North Carolina Central University, USA
James Martin University of Oklahoma, USA
Linda Mason University of North Carolina, USA
Rose Mason Purdue University, USA
Margo A. Mastropieri George Mason University, USA
Scott McConnell University of Minnesota, USA
James McLeskey University of Florida, USA
Kristen McMaster University of Minnesota, USA
David McNaughton Pennsylvania State University, USA
Paul Morgan Pennsylvania State University, USA
Mary Morningstar Kansas University, USA
Rollanda O'Connor University of California, Riverside, USA
Susan Osborne North Carolina State University, USA
George Peterson-Karlan  Illinois State University
Sarah R. Powell University of Texas, Austin, USA
Paige Pullen University of Florida, USA
Kelley Regan George Mason University, USA
Catherine Richards-Tutor California State University Long Beach, USA
Mandy Rispoli Purdue University, USA
Carly Roberts University of Washington, USA
John E. Romig University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Ji Hoon Ryoo University of Virginia, USA
Edward J. Sabornie North Carolina State University, USA
Elizabeth A. Sanders University of Washington, USA
Barbara R. Schirmer Walden University, USA
Ralf Schlosser Northeastern University, USA
Thomas E. Scruggs George Mason University, USA
Karrie Shogren University of Kansas, USA
Jordan Shurr Central Michigan University, USA
Paul Sindelar University of Florida, USA
Patricia Snyder University of Florida, USA
Manuel Soriano-Ferrer University of Valencia, Spain
Gloria Soto San Francisco State University, USA
Deborah Speece Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Tina L. Stanton-Chapman University of Cincinnati, USA
H. Lee Swanson University of California - Riverside, USA
Cherie Takemoto Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center, USA
Elizabeth Talbott University of Illinois, Chicago, USA
Jonte' C. Taylor Pennsylvania State University, USA
Elif Tekin-Iftar Anadolu University, Turkey
David Test University of North Carolina - Charlotte, USA
Colleen Thoma Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Martha Thurlow University of Minnesota–Minneapolis
Gerald Tindal University of Oregon, USA
Audrey A. Trainor New York University, USA
Jeanne Wanzek Vanderbilt University, USA
Margaret P. Weiss George Mason University, USA
Bradley S. Witzel Winthrop University, USA
Mitchell L. Yell University of South Carolina, USA
Naomi Zigmond University of Pittsburgh, USA
Stanley Zucker Arizona State University, USA
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    Exceptional Children, an official journal of the Council for Exceptional Children, publishes original research and analyses that focus on the education and development of infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults with exceptionalities. Descriptions of research, research reviews, methodological reviews of the literature, data-based position papers, and policy analyses are considered for publication. Exceptional Children publishes quantitative, qualitative, and single-subject design studies.

    Articles published in Exceptional Children must have implications for research, practice, or policy in special or gifted education. Although Exceptional Children publishes research studies that examine the effectiveness of specific interventions, it does not publish descriptions of instructional procedures except as a part of an intervention study or classroom materials, accounts of personal experiences, letters to the editor, book or test reviews, and anecdotal single-case studies. Non-data-based reports on innovative techniques, programs, policies, or models, as well as studies involving a pretest-posttest only design with no comparison condition are also not published in Exceptional Children. Investigations involving questionnaires and surveys are generally not published unless the sample is reasonably representative of the population being studied.

    For questions on manuscript submission, please download this presentation on how to write for Exceptional Children.


    The Journal primarily publishes five types of articles:

    1. Research Studies including qualitative, large group quantitative, or single-subject design studies. Appropriate effect sizes must be reported for quantitative studies.
    2. Research Reviews including the analysis and integration of research in one or more areas. Reviews must be comprehensive and critical. Whenever possible, effect sizes for individual studies should be reported.
    3. Methodological Reviews including systematic examinations of the methodological strengths and weaknesses of a specific body of literature (e.g., a methodological review of the soundness of research on teaching phonological awareness).This can include a methodological analysis of qualitative, quantitative, and single-subject design studies.
    4. Data-Based Position Papers including papers addressing an important (practical or theoretical) issue(s) in special or gifted education. This involves analyzing and integrating the existing research literature to provide a balanced and scholarly examination of the issue.
    5. Policy Analyses including critical analyses and research related to public policy issues that impact the education of exceptional infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults.


    Articles published in Exceptional Children are typically 25 to 35 pages in length, including cover page, abstract, references, tables and figures. Manuscripts should be double spaced with 1-inch margins and size 12 font type per the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, 2010 (APA) guidelines.

    Although Exceptional Children is a scholarly research journal, its articles are read by a broad audience. This includes national, state, and local administrators; school practitioners; and parents. Therefore, articles written for Exceptional Children must be developed with this broad audience in mind. Each article must be clear and concise, providing enough general information so that readers can understand the issues or questions addressed, what was done, and the basic findings and recommendations. Consistent with APA guidance, authors should avoid educational jargon whenever possible, and each article must address implications for practice.

    Authors must also provide enough specific information about their methodology so that their work can be replicated by other researchers. The participants in research studies must be appropriately described, as such description is critical to the science and practice of special education. In research articles, adequate evidence on the reliability and validity of tests, measures, or instruments must be provided. For intervention studies, evidence that treatments were implemented as intended should be provided as well. Authors must further address implications for research, indicating what needs to be done next (see Exceptional Children, 2005, Volume 71, Issue 2, for guidelines on standards for describing research participants and other research quality indicators).


    Manuscripts submitted to Exceptional Children are reviewed only if they meet the following criteria:

    • Manuscript is consistent with the purpose of the journal and is between 25–35 pages including all references, tables, and figures.
    • Manuscript conforms to APA format (see Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, 2010), particularly:
      – Manuscript is double spaced, Microsoft Word, with 1-inch margins (size 12 font type preferred).
      – All pages are numbered in sequence, starting with the title page. Note: The uploaded manuscript should include a title page and abstract but you must remove the author(s) name from the manuscript due to the blind review process.
      – Titles and headings are bold.
      – Digital object identifiers (dois) must be included in the reference list. Below is the link to the CrossRef site where authors can look up a doi number for a reference.
      – Language in the manuscript making reference to disabilities and other characteristics of individuals must conform to the “person first” recommendations outlined in General Guidelines for Reducing Bias (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, pp. 71–77).
    • Reproductions of figures (rather than professionally prepared figures) may be submitted for the review process (APA exception for submission).
    • Effect size information is provided for quantitative studies.
    • All references in text are listed and in complete agreement with text citations. It is important that the journal articles and references to studies that are cited in the articles reflect the most current work (preferably within the last 10 years)—except when it is a classical or seminal work.
    • Article title should not exceed 12 words.
    • Abstract is not more than 150 words long. It is included in the submitted manuscript and uploaded separately on the portal site.
    • Footnotes are not used.
    • All word processing codes (including those that may identify authors) are removed from the electronic version of the manuscript for apostrophes, quotation marks, hyphens, and so forth.

    Cover Letter Requirements

    • Clearly state the purpose of the article and its expected contribution.
    • Indicate that you are the author, or the authorized agent of the author(s) and copyright holder (if different from the author(s)), that the author(s) have approved the work for publication, have agreed to submit the article, and accept full responsibility for the content of the article.
    • Acknowledge that the article is the author(s)’ original work and does not contain any libelous or unlawful statements or infringe on the rights or privacy of others or contain material or instructions that might cause harm or injury.
    • State that the article has not been previously published, is not pending review elsewhere, and will not be submitted for review elsewhere pending the completion of the editorial decision process at the journal.
    • Indicate if any part of the data on which the article depends has been published elsewhere or is part of another manuscript submitted for publication. Authors must also indicate if the data for their study is part of a larger data set, describing how this study differs from other investigations drawn from the same data set. If either situation exists, the author needs to provide a thorough explanation.
    • Report that the author(s) have received approval by the appropriate Institutional Review Boards for all participating agencies and obtained consent and assent when appropriate.
    • Include contact information for all authors (full name, institution, address, phone number, e-mail address).
    • State that if accepted, authors agree to grant exclusive license to publish to CEC.

    Submission Process and Requirements

    All manuscripts should be submitted using the Exceptional Children portal site: 

    The steps for submission are as follows:

    1. Log in to your account on the portal site. If you are submitting for the first time, create an account and then log in.
    2. On the right, click “Submit an Article.”
    3. Read and accept submission agreement. Note: All information in the submission agreement should also be addressed in your submission cover letter.
    4. Fill out your personal information as it appears on your manuscript.
    5. Add additional author email addresses so they receive correspondence about the submission.
    6. Upload manuscript, cover letter, and related items such as table and figures.
    7. Submit.
    8. Verify accuracy of submission and revise as necessary.


    Selection of manuscripts for publication is based on a blind peer review process; however, all manuscripts are screened first by the editors. Those manuscripts that do not meet all the manuscript requirements, or that are not consistent with the purpose of the journal, are not forwarded for peer review. In such cases, the submitting author is notified that the manuscript is not acceptable for Exceptional Children, or is requested to make changes in the manuscript so that it meets requirements.

    Manuscripts that are consistent with the purpose of the journal and meet all requirements are assigned two or more reviewers to evaluate the manuscript. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the manuscript on its overall importance, quality of the work, and clarity of writing. Reviewers will not know the identity of the authors. While under review (until authors receive word of a decision from Exceptional Children), the journal has exclusive options on possible publication. The manuscript should not be submitted elsewhere during this time.

    After reading and evaluating the manuscript and the reviews, the editors will e-mail the submitting author a written decision and the reviews. The decision will be one of the following:

    • Acceptable, with routine editing.
    • Acceptable, with revisions indicated.
    • Revise and resubmit.
    • Unacceptable.

    Decisions on manuscripts submitted to Exceptional Children will be made within 3 months from the time that they are received by the editors. Once a manuscript is received, the date is recorded and the submitting author is notified by e-mail. If the authors fail to submit following the portal directions, the manuscript is not listed as received until the manuscript is uploaded meeting all requirements.


    • After a manuscript is accepted for publication in Exceptional Children, the authors are responsible for completing the following:
    • Acknowledging the funding agency for supported research.
    • Verifying the authenticity of all quoted material and citations and for obtaining permission from the original source for quotes in excess of 150 words or for tables or figures reproduced from published works.
    • Preparing camera-ready black and white copies of all figures included in the article. Obtaining permission to reprint or adapt previously published figures, tables, and other materials.
    • Granting CEC the exclusive license to publish the article by signing the contributor agreement.


    John Wills Lloyd, Editor
    William J. Therrien, Editor

    For more information, please refer to the SAGE Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

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