One reason special needs limit people's lives is the attitude of many people toward anyone who is different. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requiring handicapped accessibility in public places took effect many conditions are less limiting than they used to be.
As Martin Luther King Day approaches I'm reminded of similar changes brought about by the Civil Rights Act. In a way, being a member of a minority race used to be similar to having a disability because it limited many life activities.
While things are still far from perfect, we're lucky to live in a time when people have become more accepting of differences because that makes all our lives better. And as more and more people get to know others who are different from themselves, things will probably improve even more.