60 Special Education Quotes For Exceptional Learning

Take a moment to read these inspirational and eye-opening special education quotes.

As a veteran educator, I have over 15 years of experience working with students of various learning styles.

A famous Albert Einstein quote says, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

The educational models our students must traverse are mainly based on frameworks geared toward industrial-era learners.

Times have evolved significantly since then, and education has made some strides. However, general learning models remain cookie-cutter and designed for a limited scope of learning styles.

In addition, we will also see our students develop as we evolve our educational practices to include more inclusive teach/learn techniques.

These special education quotes honor those passionate about educating and celebrating exceptional learners.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Special Education Quotes on Teaching

Special education teachers are making a difference in schools everywhere. Therefore, these quotes help show why it’s important.

1. “What most people don’t know is that most Special Education teachers are really angels disguised as extraordinary humans.” – Joe Martin

special education quotes on Teaching

2. “Special Education is a service, not a place!” – Anonymous

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3. “A good special education teacher is hard to find and even harder to hang on to.” – Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

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4. “Children with special needs are unique individuals.” – Neena Dash

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5. Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way.” – John Evans

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6. “I did get a degree in special education.” – Clay Aiken

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7. “I’d like to work with kids in special education – younger kids.” – John Madden

special education quotes about younger kids

8. “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada

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9. “Special education students should not be left out of these accountability mechanisms.” – Dianne Feinstein

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10. “All children with special needs have a right to be part of a family, a community and society.” – Angela Dare

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Special Education Quotes That Mean Something

We cannot underestimate the difference that special education educators can make in the lives of many. So enjoy these quotes that help show why it matters so much.

11. “Without question, a diagnosis of an attention deficit disorder does not necessarily equate to a need for special education.” – James Whittemore

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12. “In special education, there’s too much emphasis placed on the deficit and not enough on the strength.” – Temple Grandin

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13. “But a lot of kids shunted into special education classes are deficient only in a willingness to conform to the school pattern.” – Seymour Papert

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14. “I went to school for special education. I always assumed when I had the opportunity I would love to try and help kids with disabilities.” – Clay Aiken

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15. “A lot of the schools’ special education programs end when the kids are 21, like my brother’s school. What is next for these kids?” – Jacquelyn Jablonski

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16. “I decided to study special education and fell in love with working with individuals with autism. That’s what I planned to do with my life.” – Clay Aiken

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special education quotes about life

17. “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” – Robert M Hutchins

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18. “A man becomes an entrepreneur by seizing an opportunity and filling the gap. No special education is required for such a display of keen judgment, foresight, and energy.” – Ludwig von Mises

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19. “I have a child with special needs. I didn’t know if I would be strong enough. Turns out I am. And so are you.” – Lisa Thornbury

More special education quotes

20. “If my career detour from special education to singing has done one thing, it has afforded me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.” – Clay Aiken

special education quotes from Clay Aiken

The Importance of Special Education Quotes

The needs of every child are different. So, society needs to learn how to acknowledge and meet those needs as these quotes show.

21. “The past haunts and the future taunts. This is particularly true if you love a child with special needs.” – Lisa Thornbury

The importance of special education quotes

22. “A poor child who receives high-quality early childhood development is 40 percent less likely to need special education, twice as likely to attend college and dramatically more likely to survive childhood.” – Shakira

Wise special education quotes

23. “Special needs children deviate from the normal children either in the positive direction or in the negative direction.” – Neena Dash

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24. “I pledge to you today that as president, in my first budget, I will introduce the largest increase in special education ever.” – Al Gore

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25. “When you have a child who has special needs, you really start thinking about children across the board with special needs.” – Soledad O’Brien

special education quotes from Soledad O’Brien

26. “The earlier a child’s special need is recognized and assessed, the sooner effective and ongoing help and family-centered support can be provided.” – Angela Dare

27. “Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge, and children with special needs inspire a very, very special love.” – Sarah Palin

28. “My understanding is that Kansas, Massachusetts, they’ve been more pioneers on the special education side.” – Margaret Spellings

29. “Head Start graduates are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to need special education, repeat a grade, or commit crimes in adolescence.” – Joe Baca

30. “But, even here, you have to consider the fact that I’ve had a very special education, that I’m the daughter of a man like my father and a woman like my mother.” – Indira Gandhi

Special Education Quotes About Responsibility

Every child matters. Therefore we need to take action to support them. So, these quotes help show why it’s our responsibility to make sure children have access to what they need.

31. “If every child matters, every child has the right to a good start in life. If every child matters, every child has the right to be included. And that is so important for children with special needs.” – Cherie Blair

32. “What gunpowder did for war, the printing-press has done for the mind; and the statesman is no longer clad in the steel of special education, but every reading man is his judge.” – Wendell Phillips

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33. “I was initially put in special education because I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around the English language because I was listening to Hungarian and Albanian and German.” – Masiela Lusha

34. “My mother is a special education teacher but also an artist, and my father an advertising executive. They are about as wacky as you can get without being alcoholics.” – Sloane Crosley

35. “We have a responsibility to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, from prekindergarten to elementary and secondary, to special education, to technical and higher education, and beyond.” – Jim Jeffords

36. “I left school with basically nothing, I was a special needs kid. I did feel as though my school had let me down.” – Jamie Oliver

Special Education Quotes for the World

We are making progress in providing the necessary and deserved special education to those who need it. So, let’s find encouragement in these quotes.

37. “It is different than in special education where you have no alternative. For the gifted, it is an issue that is not absolutely required.” – Arthur Allen

38. “I’ll say this: It takes a special person to see the special needs of a complicated kid.” – James Duff

39. “A kid shouldn’t need a diagnosis to access help.” – Ross W. Greene, Lost at School

40. “I had a lot of trouble in school to begin with. I got left back in kindergarten, and I was in special education. My teachers didn’t have very much faith in me.” – Jesse Ball

41. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

42. “Parenting a child with special needs will be the greatest challenge of your life, and if you make good choices, it may also prove one of the most rewarding.” – Judy Winter

43. “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” – Sidney Harris

44. “With demands for special education or standardized test prep being shouted in their ears, public schools can’t always hear a parent when he says: ‘I want my child to be able to write contracts in Spanish,’ or, ‘I want my child to shake hands firmly,’ or, ‘I want my child to study statistics and accounting, not calculus.” – Amity Shlaes

More Special Education Quotes

45. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

46. “I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, the youngest of four girls, including my oldest sister, Lisa, who has special needs. My mom was a special education teacher, and my dad worked on the Army base. We weren’t wealthy, but we were determined to succeed.” – Eva Longoria

47. “If you look at the movement to reform the special education movement, it was driven by parents who were fierce advocates for their children.” – Davis Guggenheim

48. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

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49. “Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students, and enthusiastic parents with high expectations.” – Bob Beauprez

50. “Great education is a combination of a supporting environment, dedicated teachers, and students who take joy in learning.” – Hermann J Steinherr

51. “One of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.” ― C. S. Lewis

52. “Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parents with high expectations.” ― Bob Beauprez

53. “The educator must believe in the potential power of his pupil, and he must employ all his art in seeking to bring his pupil to experience this power.” ― Alfred Adler

54. “We can teach our children to flap their wings, but conditions have to be just right for them to fly.” ― Annie Campbell

55. “When you judge someone based on a diagnosis, you miss out on their abilities, beauty, and uniqueness.” ― Sevenly

56. “Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” ― John W. Gardner

57. “The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

58. “For those with learning disabilities, today’s tools for differentiation no longer hold the stigma they used to nor highlight disabilities, but provide opportunities to find success in the classroom.” ― Sharon LePage Plante

59. “The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to use its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others.” ― Tyron Edwards

60. “It shouldn’t matter how slowly a child learns. What matters is that we encourage them to never stop trying.” ― Robert John Meehan

Which of the special education quotes means the most to you?

Special education is an arena where teachers get to be creative. In addition, they work to establish strong rapport and bonds with students.

These challenges are welcome for educators who seek joy in finding new ways to differentiate their lessons so everyone can benefit.

While it may surprise some people, many educational models today are still based on industrial revolution era educational practices.

Back then, it was pragmatic to train learners to adopt a shared form of measurement and weights, wrote memorization had a purpose in those times.

After all, many of these people were trained to work grueling hours at factory jobs. Their employers did not need them to think critically.

In addition, they didn’t want them literate enough to read the small print.

However, thankfully, our lives have evolved significantly since then.

As our education system struggles to address the needs of 21st-century students, Special Education teachers and learners have their work cut out for them.

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  1. Elaine Park

    June 28, 2023 at 4:16 PM

    “The goal of special education is not to fix the individual, but to empower them to embrace their unique strengths and shine.” – EverySpecialChild

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