At its core, special education is about the individual. In its ideal form, special education provides the structure by which people with exceptionalities may be provided with appropriate adaptations and/or modifications to their environments such that they have the opportunity to reach their individual potential. The field of special education, moving out of its infancy, is still grappling with just how this ideal can be achieved. Researchers are building off of past successes in an effort to conceptualize new and exciting approaches to the education of individuals with exceptional needs.
Source: Alfano, M. (2008). Special education. In Encyclopedia of educational psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. http://molloy.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sageedpsyc/special_education/0