Special Education Needs and Environment

NAPSEA National Association for Professional Special Education Advocates

Special Education Needs and Environment

Special Education Needs and Environment

Based on the current laws and regulations the definition of special education is teaching and educating exceptionally needy children with special needs in the least restrictive environment. Many people are involved in the implementation and determination of special education. Many public and private schools offer a variety of special education programs.

Several of the different types of special education programs available are learning disabled, hearing impaired, and autism specific programs. Programs for the gifted used be included in with special education funding, however, it has been dropped from the federally approved guidelines.


The goal of special education is to try to help children reach their full potential in the least restrictive environment that is possible. One of the first steps to this process is identifying a need. A parent, teacher, or guidance counselor must place a request with the school for an assessment hearing.  At the hearing there will be a social work, educational development specialist, and special education specialist. The child will be tested and evaluated. If it is further determined that there is a need for special education there will be a subsequent meeting in which the purpose will be to set up the IEP.

An IEP is a very import federally required Individualized Education Plan that is required for all special education students. In the IEP goals for the child, disciplinary requirements, curriculum adaptation, and primary goals are included. Often, a parent will have his/her own specialist attend the meeting in order to make sure that your child’s best interests are being provided for. In order to have a specialist you must fill out a form stating so before the IEP hearing.

It is very important that the child be educated in the least restrictive environment.  Contained classrooms are used very judiciously. Occasionally, a child will have to leave the main classroom in order to receive services that may not be able to be acquired otherwise.

When the schools, parents, and government work together special education in the least restrictive is attainable. Parents and schools are always working to increase funding with students with special needs.



Angela Ball, education specialist writing about special education in order to help promote informative assessment and planning for special needs children.

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