Special Education – What is it?

According to the Center for Parent Information and Resources, special education is “instruction that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.” In other words, the education of a child with disabilities is developed to address that child’s specific needs. Because each child is unique, it is hard to give an overall example of special education since it may be individualized for each child. Depending on the child, special education may focus on speech and language development, cognitive development, or needs related to a physical or learning disability. Special education can consist of a personalized curriculum that is different from that of classmates without disabilities of the same age, such as teaching a child who is blind to read and write using Braille; the same, general curriculum as that for peers without disabilities that uses adaptations or modifications made for the student, such as including the use of counting tools and assistive technology for a student learning math; and a combination of these elements. However, the education, services, and supports outlined in a child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) may not necessarily cover that child’s entire education. It only addresses those educational needs that result from the child’s disability.

NARIC’s information specialists searched REHABDATA for articles on special education from the NIDILRR community and beyond and found over 2000 items! If you would like to learn more about special education, visit the Center for Parent Information and Resources page on special education or contact NARIC’s information specialists by email, chat, or by calling 800/346-2742.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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