Elona has a great post I recently read on motivation and I think she just about sums up how I feel children should be treated in the classroom. Not just in a special needs classroom, but all classrooms..
In her post, she writes
In order to meet the needs of my students, I have to be a really keen observer of student behaviour so that I can determine what needs students are trying to meet by behaving in a certain way. Once I determine that, then I can conduct my class so that students can meet their needs in positive ways, one that facilitates learning. I’m still learning how to do this and probably always will be.
Read more here Nurturing intrinsic motivation in your students