Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. (context idiomatic English) Needs for special care, services or accommodations.
In the United States, special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, mental, or psychological. For instance, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases 9th edition both give guidelines for clinical diagnosis. Types of special needs vary in severity. People with autism, Down syndrome, dyslexia, blindness, ADHD, or cystic fibrosis, for example, may be considered to have special needs. However, special needs can also include cleft lips and/or palates, port-wine stains, or missing limbs.
In the United Kingdom, special needs often refers to special needs within an educational context. This is also referred to as special educational needs (SEN). In the United States, 18.5 percent of all children under the age of 18 (over 13.5 million children) had special health care needs as of 2005.
More narrowly, it is a legal term applying in foster care in the United States, derived from the language in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. It is a diagnosis used to classify children as needing "more" services than those children without special needs who are in the foster care system. It is a diagnosis based on behavior, childhood and family history, and is usually made by a health care professional.
Special needs is a term that describes the requirements of individuals who need support to cope with neurological disabilities.
Special needs may also refer to:
Special Needs is a dark comedy/satire about three reality TV producers creating show about people with physical and mental disabilities. The film was written, produced, and directed by Isaak James, who also starred.
Special Needs (briefly known as ‘The Needs’) were a five-piece alternative rock group formed in London, England in 1998. They disbanded in 2005, reformed in 2011 with the group's comeback including a first tour for over six years in November 2011. The group disbanded for a second time towards the end of 2012.