made significant improvements in the nature and quality of the educational programs offered to this population. Nonetheless, our review of the literature also shows that several aspects still need to be refined in this field (e.g., conceptual clarification and intervention effectiveness research). In addition, the knowledge base in this field needs to transcend the focus on behavioristic models to include alternative conceptual frameworks.
We have highlighted two prominent topics in the current reform debates, namely, an increasing concern with setting and the complex interactions between sociocultural variables and disability. We are aware that the importance given to these issues in the United States is shaped by sociohistorical forces and, thus, that the special educational reform debate needs to be examined in its own sociohistorical context. Hence, it will be interesting to examine the issues that are prominent in special education systems throughout Latin America in the unique contexts of developing countries. For that purpose, the next chapter provides an overview of the special education system from a Third World perspective.
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