Exceptional Children » Exceptional Children

Exceptional Children

Brandon Sutton, Ed.D
Dr. Brandon Sutton
Director of Student Support Services

Welcome to the Exceptional Children Department

We are dedicated to providing a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities. Our mission is to offer our students successful educational experiences in the least restrictive environment. To accomplish this task, we partner with schools, families and the community.

Services for students with disabilities are available in every school in Swain County. Exceptional Children teachers are assigned to schools in accordance with the ratio mandated by North Carolina Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities.

Building knowledge, inspiring growth, empowering action


Contact Information: 

Dr. Brandon Sutton

Exceptional Children Director

828- 488 -3129



Locating children with Special Needs in our Schools!

What is Child Find?

An effort coordinated by your local school system and the Exceptional Children Division, State Department of Public Instruction to:

  • Locate and identify children and youth ages 0 through 21 with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services
  • Inform parents and/or guardians of the services available from their local school system and other state and community agencies.


Who are the Children?

Children and youth who have been diagnosed or are suspected to have mental, physical, or emotional disabilities and are unable to benefit from a regular school program without special assistance.

What Help is Available?

  • A complete evaluation and , if appropriate
  • An Individual Education Program for children with a disability beginning at age 3
  • An Individual Family Service Plan for each child with a disability birth through 2
  • A referral to other agencies when needed


How Can I Help?

If you know of a child or youth with disabilities who is not in school or receiving special assistance, you can help by:

  • Giving a copy of this brochure to the parents or guardians of the child
  • Encouraging the parent/guardian to contact the school system
  • Lending support to the child and his/her parents/guardians until the referral is complete


For more information, contact:

Swain County Schools

PO Box 2340

Bryson City, NC 28713


Dr. Brandon Sutton, Exceptional Children Director

828-488-3129 ext. 5129


Child Find Info
Private School Student Services:

Parent Resources




EC Handbook of Parents Rights



NCDPI Website


The mission of the Exceptional Children Division is to assure that students with disabilities develop mentally, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized education in the least restrictive environment.

DIBELS – Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Success


The DYNAMIC INDICATORS of Basic Early Literacy Skills is a set of measures and procedures assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.




In order to read and write confidently, children need to develop a wide range of skills in their early years. Phonic knowledge is an important part of this. Learning the letter shapes, and the sounds they make in words, helps children to become confident and secure readers.


Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC)


ECAC is North Carolina’s Parent Center and is committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children. Established in 1983, ECAC offers a variety of projects and services designed to meet the needs of NC parents, families, students, educators, and other professionals.


Testing Students with Disabilities


The mission of the Accountability Services Division is to promote the academic achievement of all North Carolina public school students and to assist stakeholders in understanding and gauging this achievement against state and national standards.


NC Division of Career Development and Transition (NCDCDT)


The mission of the NCDCDT is to promote and support efforts to improve the quality of, and access to career development and transition services for individual and all exceptionalities across the life span.


National Council for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)


The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) works to ensure that the nation’s 15 million children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities have every opportunity to succeed in school, work and life.


Attention Deficit Disorder Information


Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity (CHADD) is a national non-profit, organization providing education, advocacy and support for individual with Ad/HD.


North Carolina State Improvement Project in Readingand Math – NCSIPII


The North Carolina State Improvement Project II provides personnel development and program support services to significantly improve the performance and success of students with disabilities in North Carolina. Swain County participates in NCSIP II and has implemented the following research based programs to support students learning: SRA Corrective Reading in grades 3 – 8; Language in grades 3 – 8 and Transitional Math at Swain Middle School.


Council of Exceptional Children


The Council for Exceptional Children ( CEC ) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.



Open Forest ADHD Blog


Autism Society of America

The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. This is done by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.