Can a Child With Special Needs be Excluded From School? (2023)

As the parent of a child with special needs, it can often be difficult to find a school which has the facilities to give your child the best education possible.

Legally, special needs students can be excluded from any school in the country, no matter what the severity of their condition is. However, ethically, it is much more difficult to decide whether a pupil should be kicked out of the school if they have special needs.

In this article, you will read about the most disruptive special needs conditions, common reasons children are excluded from schools and howyou can prevent this situation from arising.

Table of Contents

(Video) We cannot ignore and exclude those with special needs | Drew Ann Long | TEDxBirmingham

Can Special Needs Children be Excluded From School?

Legally speaking, yes, special needs children can technically be kicked out of school.However, it is frowned upon in the teaching community to send a child away from the school just because they are unable to behave and learnin the same way as other pupils.

That said, there are a handful of schools who are perfectly happy to send special needs children away if they break the rules of the school or disrupt the learning of other pupils during the day. So, whether a special needs child is excluded or not depends on both the severity of their adversity to following rules and the attitudes of the institution itself.

What are the Most Common Reasons a Special Needs Child is Excluded?

The most common reason a child is kicked out of any school is due to behavioural issues,whichcan include unnecessary anger towards teachers and students, disorderly anti-socialconduct,ordisruptivebehaviour in class.You will often find that the chance of a child being forced out of the school is decreased if their condition is more severe or if the symptoms of the special need give reasons for theiractions.

For example, achild with musculardystrophywould have no good reason to become suddenly aggressive towards another pupil, meaning they may be expelled from the school, but not because of their condition.However, severe autism would be an examplewherethe child’s actions wouldn’t be deliberately malicious, so the school may be more lenient.

(Video) Family says child with autism was excluded

How Can You Prevent Your Child From Being Excluded?

It’s understandable that, as the parent of a special needs child, you’re worried about the possibility of expulsion. However, there are a couple of different things you can do to try and decrease the risk of this happening at all.

Talk to the School

Your first option is talking tothe school itself.In any case, you should do your research before choosing a school, but particularly if you have achild with special needs. It is important to ask them about their behaviour policies, the facilities available to help your child’s learning development and how far they will stretch the rules to suit your situation.

Finding a school that facilitates both special needs children and teaches them the rights and wrongs of behaviour will make life easier for you, your child, and their teachers as they grow older.

Find a Special Needs Orientated School

Another one of your choices isfinding a school designed for children with special needs or for theparticular conditionyour child suffers with.This will mean they have all the facilities possibly needed to take care of your child and employ teachers who are specially trained and experienced with the behaviour of special needs children.

Not only this,but also the school will be willing to extend boundaries for children with certain conditions, meaning the only reason they would be excluded is due to actions which aren’t the direct result of their disorder.

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Consider Home Schooling

If none of thesesolutionssound preferable to you, there isalwaysthepossibilitytohome-school.Currently,the number ofhome-schooledchildrenin the UK is steadily increasing,and depending on the specific condition your child has,it could be beneficial to reduce the anxietyand stress surrounding the possibility of exclusion.

Opting to home-school is a big step, so you need tocarefullyweigh up all the pros and cons before making afinaldecision.Clickhereto find out whether home-schooling would be the right choice for you and the personality of your child.If you believe that home schooling is the right path for you, there are several websites which supply the syllabi for different school years. Clickhereto find all kinds of tips and tricks, as well as curriculum lists and training resources to get you started with at-home special needs teaching.

Which Special Needs Conditions Cause Children to Become the Most Disruptive?

When people talk about special needs children, most minds immediately wonder to disruptive, boisterous kids who make learning more difficult for other pupils. However, with most conditions, this isn’t the case at all.With such a wide range of disorders, it is important to be aware of whichone’scause children to become most disruptive,so that you can assess the likelihood of your child being excluded.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder(ODD)

As the name suggests, ODD is a condition which causes children to disobey the orders of their parents, teachers, and other authority figures.Whilst these are qualities which all children show from time to time, the disorder causes them to act with strong anger and disagreement for several months or years on end.

If your child hasODD, chances are they will be highly disruptive to the learning of other children without meaning to, so as a parent, it is vital thatyou find the best way to deal with the obstacles that come with thedisorder, to help keep your youngster out of trouble.

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Conduct Disorder (CD)

CD is very similar to ODD in that children with the disorder disobey rules more often than other children regularly would. The only difference between the two is thatConduct Disorder compels the child to disregard etiquette rules and causes them to be anti-social towards others lots of the time,whereas ODD children only break the standards set by their parents.

Parents again need to be careful with where they choose to send their children to school and how they deal with the disorder at home to make sure disruption stays to a minimum at school.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is one of the most common disorders in school-age children. Most children who suffer from ADHD will cause some disruption in classes and may find it difficult to concentrate,but there are some severe forms of the condition which mean children become extremely disruptive andincredibly difficultto keep under control(the hyperactivity part of the disorder).

The good news is that because the special need is so widely known throughout the world, teachers and other students will often have more patience with childrenif they know about their situation,andthere are plenty of treatments which can be used to lower the severity of the condition, particularly atan early age.


Autism is a difficult condition to cope with, and another one which affects the behaviour of children in school, causing them to possibly be expelled. The severity of the disorder can again be very varied, so some people go through their entire lives without even knowing it’s there.However, for those with severe autism, it can cause them to panic in social situations and become confused orangry about the behaviour of those around them.

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Parents often find it difficult to cope with autistic children at first, but as they grow up this becomes easier, as children start to understand what the disorder is.However,due to the nature ofconditions,a sizeable percentageof school expulsionsinvolve autistic children.

Remember that, althoughchildren with theconditionslisted aboveare most likely to cause issues,schoolsfully understand the difficulty of growing up with any special need,sowillalways cut a little bit of slack, no matter what your child’s condition is.

You can clickhere to visit a website about all the different learning difficulties a child couldget andsee the symptoms of the most and least disruptive disorders.


Can a Child With Special Needs be Excluded From School? ›

Under the ADA children who qualify cannot be denied educational

Education is about learning skills and knowledge. It also means helping people to learn how to do things and support them to think about what they learn. It is also important for educators to teach ways to find and use information. Education needs research to find out how to make it better. › wiki › Education
services, programs or activities and it prohibits discrimination against all such students. As a parent, you may request an evaluation of your child to determine any needs for special education and/or related services.

Should students with special needs be included in the classroom? ›

Several studies have suggested that overall, including disabled children in mainstream classrooms improves academic achievement, self-esteem and social skills.

Can an autistic child be expelled from school? ›

If the IEP Team decides there is no manifestation, then your child can be disciplined just like any other student. This means he can be recommended for expulsion before a school board if the school wants him removed for more than 10 school days.

What are examples of disability discrimination in schools? ›

OCR handles cases of disability discrimination involving a range of issues, such as inaccessible facilities; unequal access to advanced academic programs, extracurricular athletics, and accessible technology; the failure to provide elementary and secondary students a free appropriate public education (FAPE), ...

What is the concept that no child with disabilities can be excluded from receiving a free appropriate public education referred to as? ›

FAPE stands for free appropriate public education. The right to FAPE is a powerful legal right for kids with disabilities. FAPE requires schools to provide special education to meet the unique needs of a child.

Should children with ASD be included in regular classrooms? ›

Having children with autism spend time in regular classrooms provides the opportunity to interact with different children, not just those with disabilities. Some studies have shown that early inclusion can help children with autism improve both IQ scores and social skills.

Should students with special educational needs be taught separately? ›

If they are all in one class, students can help each other if someone is struggling. They will also learn to care for and respect each other. If SEN students are taught separately, other students won't know how to interact with them when they grow up, and vice versa.

What are the rights of a child with autism? ›

The law mandates that the state provide all eligible children with a free and appropriate public education that meets their unique individual needs. IDEA specifies that children with various disabilities, including autism, are entitled to early intervention services and special education.

Should a child with autism go to normal school? ›

Can children with autism attend regular school? Of course they can, but it is important to have accommodations in place that support the special learning needs of a child on the spectrum.

Can a child with ADHD be suspended from school? ›

Federal Law Protects Students from Disability Discrimination

Regardless of how well he or she performs in school, a student who has trouble concentrating, reading, thinking, organizing or prioritizing projects, among other important tasks, because of ADHD may have a disability and be protected under Section 504.

What is the most common disability in schools? ›

The top five most common learning disabilities are dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia. Each of these conditions can present with a range of symptoms and can be diagnosed through a combination of medical and educational assessments.

What are three examples of disability discrimination? ›

What are the Most Common Forms of Disability Discrimination?
  • Refusing to Hire a Job Applicant Based on Their Disability. ...
  • Firing or Demoting an Employee Because of Their Disability. ...
  • Failing to Give Disabled Employees the Same Opportunities. ...
  • Harassing an Employee Based on Their Disability.

What are the barriers to schools with disabilities? ›

Physical Inaccessibility: Students with disabilities continue to encounter physical barriers to educational services, such as a lack of ramps and/or elevators in multi-level school buildings, heavy doors, inaccessible washrooms, and/or inaccessible transportation to and from school.

What is called the Bill of Rights for children with disabilities? ›

About the DD Act

In every state and territory, programs authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) empower individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to help shape policies that impact them.

What is the difference between exclusion and inclusion disability? ›

Inclusion classrooms are integrated classrooms between children with disabilities and those who do not. Exclusion classrooms are separated classrooms for general education students and special education students with different teachers and a different curriculum.

Does learning disability has a definition by exclusion? ›

An important part of the definition of LD is its exclusions: learning disabilities cannot be attributed primarily to mental retardation, emotional disturbance, cultural difference, or disadvantage.

Do students with disabilities benefit from inclusion in a classroom? ›

Some of the benefits of inclusion for children with (or without) disabilities are friendship skills, peer models, problem solving skills, positive self-image, and respect for others. This can trickle down to their families as well, teaching parents and families to be more accepting of differences.

How to make a classroom inclusive for special needs students? ›

Making Classrooms Inclusive for Special Needs
  1. Review Individual Education Plans. ...
  2. Create a Safe Space. ...
  3. Consider How Students Interact With Their Environment. ...
  4. Differentiate Instruction. ...
  5. Rely on Your Fellow Teachers.

How to deal with special needs child in the regular classroom? ›

Teaching Tips for Students with Special Needs
  1. Keep your classroom organized. ...
  2. Remember that each child is an individual. ...
  3. Give your students opportunities for success. ...
  4. Create a support network. ...
  5. Keep things simple.


1. Education and exclusion: Special needs schools
(Health-e News Service)
2. Listen Up! Children with disabilities speak out
(Plan International)
3. Special needs child excluded from school concert in Avondale School District
(Click On Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV)
4. The truth about special education | Suzanne Carrington | TEDxYouth@GrahamSt
(TEDx Talks)
5. Keeping Our Kids in School: Rethinking Exclusion | Josh Adeyemi | TEDxWarwick
(TEDx Talks)
6. Autism Four In 10 Children Illegally Excluded


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