Special education refers to the broad category of services provided to students with disabilities, disorders, or medical conditions that affect their ability to learn in school. Special education is a sensitive area, and terminology should be handled with care. For example, people once described as “mentally retarded” may now be described as “developmentally delayed.” Some schools and teachers are more sensitive than others, and in some geographic regions the language has evolved more than in other areas. Pay close attention, and follow your child’s teacher’s lead.

See more special education terms, or click the links at the top for a full list of education terms.