40 Report Card Comments For Students With Special Needs [PDF Included]

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Editorial Team

Every student is unique in terms of their strengths, learning styles, needs, or learning differences which calls for extra support, attention, and care. Considering this, teachers not only have to address their unique requirements and tailor the teaching methodologies accordingly but also to be careful with the choice of words for feedback in the form of report card comments.

Report card comments play a crucial role to communicate the performance review keeping in mind the strengths, accomplishments, areas of improvement, and the specific challenges they may face. When writing report card comments for students with special needs, it is essential to approach the task with thoughtfulness and sensitivity. 

By offering personalized and constructive feedback, these comments can support their continuous development and provide guidance on further enhancing their skills. So, in order to alleviate the stress of teachers associated with writing effective report card comments for students with special needs, presented below are some examples that can act as a guide to help you through the process. 

Report card comments for students with special needs

In the following section of the article, you’ll find a list of examples of report card comments which are divided into certain categories based on the areas of concern for special needs students. 

1. Academic progress:

This part will include feedback related to academic progress, achievements, and areas of improvement such as reading, writing, math, English, or any other subject. 

  1. “___________” actively engages in reading activities due to which the ability to recognize and sound out words has greatly improved. I strongly recommend applying context clues and making connections between the text and the prior knowledge in order to work on reading comprehension skills.
  1. “___________” has shown significant improvement in reading comprehension skills, using various reading strategies to enhance his/her understanding. He/She accurately identifies the main idea of the text and is able to answer related questions. He/She can now focus on building and expanding vocabulary to further enhance comprehension skills.
  1. “___________” has shown good progress in his/her writing skills. He/She tries to follow every punctuation and capitalization rule but still needs to work on organizing the thoughts and presenting them in a clear and concise manner. For this, I would recommend working on expanding vocabulary to clearly communicate the ideas in a proper sentence structure.
  1. Though “___________” is now able to accurately recognize and solve a normal calculation, however, he/she still faces a challenge while approaching word problems. It would be beneficial if he/she engage in additional practice activities and seek assistance and clarification when needed.
  1. “___________” is showing constant improvement in all the subjects except science. Being a practical subject, I would recommend making use of visual aids such as videos and images to make the complex topics easy to understand. With targeted intervention, practice, and support, he/she will be able to overcome these challenges and make remarkable progress.
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

2. Social and emotional development:

Given below comments focus on social skills, emotional regulation, and overall behavior in the classroom concerning the social and emotional development of the child.

Social and emotional development
  1. “___________” has shown progress in social skills. He/ She has started interacting with peers in class and tries to initiate the conversation. I encourage him/her to actively participate in group activities and contribute ideas/opinions. With continued guidance and support, he/she will further overcome shyness and build strong social skills.
  1. While “___________” is continuously working on developing social skills, he/she still needs to focus on managing and expressing emotions. By indulging in coping strategies and mindful exercises, “___________” can work on his/her emotional regulation improving social and emotional development.
  1. “___________” has started approaching every task with a positive attitude. He/She has increased self-awareness which has helped him/her express feelings constructively. He/She makes efforts to help others. With a supportive environment, “___________” can grow substantially in social and emotional development.
  1. “___________” is working on enhancing his/her social skills and emotional development. He/She tries to make new friends and makes efforts to interact with them. But at times, he/she experiences trouble coping with changes around and for that explicit guidance can help him/her overcome challenges and make progress in these areas.
  1. “___________” is kind and shows empathy and respect towards his/her peers. He/She has started engaging in collaborative tasks which has helped in practicing active listening skills and problem-solving skills. He/She can benefit greatly by providing additional support and guidance in understanding and expressing emotions appropriately.
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

3. Communication skills:

Students with special needs experience communication barriers due to speech or language delays which can hinder their social interactions and self-expression. Teachers or educators who want to focus on communication abilities, including verbal and nonverbal communication, listening skills, and comprehension in report cards can check out the following examples.

 Communication skills
  1. “___________” has shown constant improvement in communication skills. He/She tries to use newly learned words in day-to-day conversation. I encourage to practice active listening skills and asking follow-up questions can further build up the understanding. With relevant opportunities and support, “___________” can build strong communication skills. 
  1. While “___________” is working on improving his/her communication abilities, he/she faces difficulty in organizing the thoughts and expressing them concisely. By practicing summarizing information and using simple and clear sentences, he/she can overcome challenges and make progress. 
  1. I am impressed with the hard work and efforts “___________” has made in order to develop communication skills. He/She tries to ask questions to initiate and engage in a meaningful conversation. I would strongly recommend watching relevant videos, and shows, and reading short stories can further help on expanding vocabulary and improving comprehension abilities.
  1. “___________” is making progress in expressing his/her ideas clearly but at times faces trouble in initiating and managing conversations. By practicing asking follow-up questions and organizing his/her thoughts in a logical manner, “___________” can refine his/her communication skills.
  1. “___________” has shown improvement in communication skills in both verbal and written forms. He/She possesses good active listening skills and practices taking turns which helps in maintaining meaningful conversations. By providing additional support and guidance, “___________” will continue to develop strong communication skills. 
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

4. Adaptability and Independence:

It is difficult for students with special needs to adjust and adapt to new changes and environments as they find it challenging to understand and process information easily. Given below comments focuses on their efforts and progress in level of independence and ability to adapt to changes.

  1. “___________” is making progress towards adapting to the changes. I appreciate the efforts he/she is making in order to become flexible and adjust to the changes around. I encourage you to continue providing additional support and guidance by providing explicit instructions and breaking complex information into smaller and manageable chunks to make it easy to understand and process it.
  1. “___________” has shown improvement in adapting to changes by following visual cues and support. With continued practice and guidance, “___________” can further enhance greater adaptability and independence. 
  1. “___________” is continuously working towards developing independence skills. He/She tries to complete the task with minimal support. He/She approaches the task with a positive attitude which makes the process easy. I encourage to continue practicing time management and prioritization skills in order to improve the overall performance.
  1. While I appreciate the hard work and efforts, “___________” make in order to adapt to changes in routines and transitions, unexpected changes sometimes are difficult to manage and control for him/her. I strongly recommend practicing coping strategies such as deep breathing and self-calming techniques to thrive in such situations improving adaptability and independence.
  1. “___________” is making progress towards independence skills. He/She demonstrates good self-help abilities that reduce the required amount of support and guidance. I encourage him/her to continue practicing these skills improving independence in other areas of daily life.
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

5. Support and accommodations:

Students with special needs are generally provided with additional support and accommodations in order to help them learn and grow. Report card comments can also talk about the effectiveness of certain support or accommodation in a child’s growth which further decides the continued usage of it.

  1. “___________” has shown significant progress in effectively organizing and prioritization skills. With the help of visual support such as visual schedules and task lists, he/she is able to complete the tasks independently without any reminders. To further improve time management skills, I encourage to keep practicing and using visual support and guidance.
  1. “___________” is continuously improving reading comprehension skills. The reading intervention program and the use of audiobooks have greatly benefitted him/her in terms of recognizing and sounding out complex words and sentences. With continued support and guidance, “___________” will develop good reading skills.
  1. “___________” has greatly benefitted from the usage of graphic organizers and visual prompts for writing skills. He/She is able to express clearly by collecting and organizing his/her thoughts while writing. Further implementing a reward system can positively influence and motivate him/her to practice and improve writing skills.
  1. “___________” has shown a great improvement in academics this time. With a personalized learning plan, he/she is able to access the curriculum at his/her pace enabling improved learning abilities and deeper comprehension. By further providing differentiated personalized instructions, “___________” can grow substantially in academics.
  1. I appreciate the efforts “___________” is continuously making in order to understand the subject matter. With the help of multisensory techniques like tactile materials and visual aids, “___________” is able to process information faster promoting active participation in the class. By introducing a sensory break plan, he/she can further work on self-regulation skills and improve focus, attention, and learning. 
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

6. Self Advocacy:

Students with special needs experience challenges with self-advocacy skills. As students require special needs, they need to put extra effort into communicating the same to teachers and guardians. In order to acknowledge their struggle and progress made, teachers can check out the following examples.

  1. “___________” is becoming more comfortable talking and expressing himself/herself in the class. He/She asks questions and guidance for more clarity. He/She is able to identify his/her needs and takes initiative in communicating the same. I encourage to keep practicing and with ongoing support and reinforcement, he/she will be able to improve self-advocacy skills.
  1. “___________” has shown notable progress in developing self-advocacy skills. He/She tries to identify and express the needs and preferences to teachers and peers. He/She can further benefit by providing a supportive environment and additional support to encourage him/her to ask for help. 
  1. “___________” is consistently working towards improving self-advocacy skills. He/She has started advocating for his/her needs and preferences. Participating and engaging in class activities can further enhance the confidence to openly communicate the required support and accommodations. With constant practice and guidance, he/she can become independent and assertive.
  1. While “___________” has shown improvement in expressing ideas and opinions, he/she still faces difficulty in advocating for himself/herself. By providing a supportive comfortable environment and constant positive reinforcement, he/she can improve his/her self-advocating abilities.
  1. “___________” has started taking more initiative in seeking accommodations and additional support for academic difficulties. He/She is putting efforts into identifying the strengths and areas of difficulty improving self-awareness and self-expression. With consistent practice and support, he/she will be able to develop strong self-advocacy skills.
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

7. Executive functioning:

Students with special needs faces difficulty in a set of executive functioning abilities like planning, organizing, initiating, and completing tasks on time. Given below comments acknowledges the efforts these students make while struggling with executive functioning and provide constructive feedback to further enhance those skills.

Executive functioning
  1. “___________” has shown improvement in organizing things and following routines. However, he/she still faces difficulty in managing time effectively. By setting timetables and a distraction-free environment, “___________” can improve his/her executive functioning skills.
  1. “___________” is consistently working towards improving executive functioning skills. He/She demonstrates good planning and organizing skills but needs additional support and guidance in initiating a task by himself/herself. By providing explicit instructions and scaffolded support, he/she can overcome challenges and make progress.
  1.  “___________” has demonstrated notable progress in executive functioning skills. He/She follows routines and tries to complete the task on time. He/She occasionally faces difficulty in flexible thinking and adapting to changes. With additional support and guidance, he/she will continue to develop executive functioning abilities.
  1. “___________” has shown improvement in managing time and completing tasks independently. However, he/she needs help in organizing materials and assignments. By consistent practice, “___________” will be able to make progress in these areas and improve executive functioning abilities.
  1.  While “___________” is improving planning and organizing, effective time management and staying on task is an area of concern. By breaking a complex task into smaller steps and setting up timers, “___________” can work on managing time and improving focus. Additional support and practice can further enhance executive functioning skills. 
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

8. Focus and attention:

Students with special needs face difficulty staying on a task, shifting focus from one task to another, and working memory due to which they’re not able to complete it on time and comprehend things well. The following comments can provide relevant examples of the constructive feedback teachers can give while appreciating their efforts in improving the same.

  1. The use of classroom activities has helped “___________” maintain and sustain focus in the class. He/She tries to attentively respond to questions and complete the task on time. By providing relevant opportunities, “___________” can work on increasing the attention span and make progress in this area.
  1. “___________” has shown notable improvement in maintaining the focus on a task for a longer period of time. He/She engages with the study material and asks questions which helps him/her stay focused and attentive. By providing a distraction-free environment, “___________” will continue to make progress in this area.
  1. “___________” is consistently working towards improving focus and attentional abilities in the class. He/She has benefitted from utilizing sensory tools and self-monitoring techniques to stay focused. In addition to this, the implementation of movement breaks can aid in further enhancing the attention span.
  1. “___________” has shown progress in improving focus and attention difficulties. However, he/she still faces challenges in shifting attention between tasks. Explicit instructions and momentary breaks can further help stay on task and enhance the attention span. With consistent practice and guidance, “___________” will continue improving the sustaining focus.
  1. With consistent practice and efforts, “___________” has shown growth in the ability to focus and sustain attention for longer period of time. He/She maintains the timetable and tries to constantly follow it to complete the tasks on time. By using effective time-management techniques like tracking time and breaking tasks into smaller manageable chunks, “___________” can strengthen his/her focus and attention skills.
Report Card Comments For Special Education
Report Card Comments For Special Education

Effective strategies for motivating students with special needs

Motivating students with special needs requires understanding their individual strengths, challenges, and interests. Here are some additional ways to motivate students with special needs:

  • Use Self-Determination Theory (SDT): Special needs children may have limited autonomy in their lives. Offer choices and opportunities for them to make decisions about their learning, taking into consideration their unique abilities and preferences. Provide adaptive materials and technologies that promote independence and self-direction.
  • Implement Goal Theory: Collaborate with the child and their parents or caregivers to set SMART goals that are tailored to their individual abilities and needs. Break larger goals into smaller, achievable sub-goals to provide a sense of progress and success. Use visual supports and concrete tools to track and celebrate their accomplishments.
  • Apply the Cognitive Engagement Model: Special needs children may have varied interests and learning styles. Enhance the value of tasks by making meaningful connections to their real-life experiences, passions, and strengths. Modify instructional materials and provide multi-sensory experiences to accommodate different learning preferences. Foster positive emotional experiences by creating a supportive and inclusive classroom environment.
  • Use Mastery-oriented Feedback: Provide specific and constructive feedback that focuses on the child’s effort, progress, and the process of learning. Acknowledge their unique strengths and growth areas. Offer visual cues, social stories, or assistive technology to help them understand and internalize feedback.
  • Foster Intrinsic Motivation: Special needs children may benefit from finding personal meaning and value in their learning experiences. Offer activities and projects that align with their interests and strengths. Create opportunities for self-expression, creativity, and exploration. Celebrate their individual progress and accomplishments.
  • Foster a Growth Mindset: Encourage special needs children to adopt a growth mindset by emphasizing their potential for growth, effort, and perseverance. Teach them that abilities can develop over time with practice and support. Provide specific feedback that highlights their progress and efforts.


In conclusion, providing report card comments for students with special needs requires a thoughtful and individualized approach. By recognizing their unique strengths, acknowledging their progress, and offering constructive feedback, we can foster a sense of motivation, self-confidence, and accomplishment in these students.

It is important to remember that the journey of each student with special needs is unique and should be celebrated accordingly. Our comments should reflect their personal growth, highlighting the strides they have made in overcoming challenges and embracing their abilities.

Ultimately, the report card comments for students with special needs should not only inform parents and guardians about their child’s progress but also convey our admiration for their dedication, resilience, and accomplishments. Together, as educators, families, and communities, we can continue to provide the necessary support and encouragement to help these students thrive and succeed.

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