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Special Education meaning | Characteristics of Special Education | Objectives of Special Education


Special Education Meaning 

Meaning and Definitions of Special Education 


Special education is a branch of science under which education is given to those children who are slightly different from normal children in physical, mental and social characteristics. Compared to normal children, the needs of such children are also specific, hence they are called 'children with special needs'.

These children are unable to help themselves. Under special education, identification of special educational needs of children with special needs and their educational rehabilitation study is done.


'Special education' means education of children with special needs in separate schools. It is commonly used for those children who suffer from disabilities, these disabilities arise from more organ-losses.

There is no unanimity among educationists and psychologists on the issue of definition of special education. Different people have tried to define this in different ways.

According to the encyclopedia named Wikipedia, it is a type of educational, which is designed keeping in mind the specific needs of children with special needs like learning disabilities, mental retardation or physical developmental disabilities or gifted children.


Changes in curriculum, provision of assistive devices and special facilities, etc. are taken care of during educational instruction design so that children with disabilities can fully enjoy the new educational environment.

Definitions of Special Education


According to Cancer

The term 'special education' refers to those aspects of education which are done for handicapped and gifted children but are not used in the case of average children.

According to Hallahan and Kaufman (1973),

Special education means training of special children by specially designed means. For this, special means, teaching techniques, equipment and other facilities are required.


According to the Disabilities Education Act

“Special education is specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities. It also includes classroom instruction, home instruction and hospital and institutional instruction.

According to another definition

– “Special education is a type of educational program and regulation in which special classes and programs or services to develop the educational potential of children with disabilities, such as educational placement of such children by school committees, public health, mental health, mental retardation, youth and Social Services and the Act made by the Educational Board etc. are included.


Characteristics of Special Education


1. Special education helps to meet the needs of special children whether the child is gifted or backward.

2. Special education helps in the adjustment of the special children to the society.

3. Special education helps in identification and diagnosis of special children.

4. The nature of special education is developmental. Special education makes special children self-reliant and instills self-confidence in them.


5. Special education material, special curriculum and special training teachers are required to provide special education.

6. Through special education, backward children can be made self-reliant by giving them vocational training according to their level.

7. This education is given keeping in mind the capabilities, abilities, interests and aptitudes of the children.


8. Specific education is education of universal nature. This education is given to all types of special children, irrespective of religion, caste, gender, shape and size.

9. Every citizen has the right to get general education. Therefore, special children have the right to special education.

10. Special education develops every aspect of the special children whether it is physical or mental or social or emotional


11. Special education changes the attitude of people towards special children.

12. Special education is a variation of general education.

13. Special education lays emphasis on teaching methods for children with disabilities.

14. This education is not given to a normal child.


15. Special education is provided in a planned and systematic manner.

16. Mentally backward children get immense benefit from special education.

Objectives of Special Education


(i) To assess the teaching learning and skills of children with disabilities in the classroom.

(ii) To identify physical and academic adaptations for systematic reading and writing of children with disabilities in regular classes.

(iii) To identify the strengths and weaknesses of school children with disabilities.

(iv) To provide opportunities for children with disabilities to visit regular classes.


(v) To make children a participant in the planning of activities to bring them into the mainstream.

(vi) Participation in parent and community orientation programs.

(vii) To establish a reciprocal relationship between the rehabilitation specialists and the school staff.

(viii) Formulation of programs for admission of children with special needs in the main stream class.


(ix) To prepare the teachers and students of general classes mentally to take care of children with disabilities.

(x) To collect information to measure the educational needs of children with disabilities.

(xi) To assess the present activities of each disabled child.

(xii) To determine the educational goals of children with disabilities.


(xiii) To ensure participation of parents in setting goals of children.

(xiv) Creation of teaching-learning materials for children with disabilities.

(xv) To design activity based learning programmes.

(xvi) Designing alternative educational strategies.