Special Education

Special education is instruction designed for individuals with identified disabilities to meet their specific needs. This entry reviews the history of special education, describes the law that guides special education services in the United States, defines the categories of disability that are eligible to receive special education, and reviews the continuum of educational placements in which special education takes place. This entry also reviews the elements of an individualized education program, the role of related services to special education, and the provision of special education services for young children and adolescents transitioning to postschool environments.


The history of educating children with special needs dates back to the early 1660s. Most early historical evidence of services to individuals with disabilities is related to care for persons ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles