Special Education History

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INTRODUCTION
This paper will discuss the historical evolution of special education laws and its impact on education. A child with disability may require some adjustments to his/her school curriculum in order to receive proper individual assistance that meets his/her needs to be successful at school. Federal and State laws drive special education laws and by law, public schools must provide a free education and viable environment.
“Throughout much of human history, individuals with disabilities have been treated with superstition and fear. Infanticide, shunning, attributions of witchcraft or divine punishment, and even awed respect have all been socially sanctioned” (Bartlett, Etscheidt,, & Weisenstein, 2006). Children with disability were excluded, segregated, and discriminated from our society and their families carried a heavy burden on their backs. “The philosophy of excluding students with disabilities from public school education can be traced back in legal history to 1893, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld the expulsion of a student solely due to poor academic ability”, (Esteves, 2008; Smith, 2004; Yell, Rogers, & Rogers, 1998). A few years after that another example of discrimination happened when a child with cerebral palsy was deprived access to school due to his/her condition.
Discrimination and biases regarding to race, ethnicity, and social economic status also played a role in special education. According to Esteves (2008), the first significant
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