"How long has “special needs” actually been a thing? because by the time I was in kindergarten special was already being used as a slur. Everyone loved it because it wasn’t a real swear so no one got in trouble. And the adults used it to of course.
Because it was “PC” it was totally allowed and considered better than words like “stupid” only there was no question of what people meant and harassed the special ed. kids for it.
I imagine most adults don’t use it because it’s probably a trigger for a lot of people because it’s totally unchecked and acceptable to use on people.”