A new report is recommending allocating resources for children with special needs - based on their individual requirements rather than their disability.
The report by the National Council for Special Education says the current system may lead to the mislabelling of children in order to secure resources.
It has also found that some children find it hard to find a school place.
CEO of the NCSE Teresa Griffin says some schools put "soft barriers" in place to stop children with special needs from gaining entry.
"For example it might be suggested to a parent that actually a school down the road might be the more appropriate school for that child - and we are very, very concerned with that - because in the NCSE we resource all children and all schools on the same basis" she said.
"So there should be no reason for a child to be refereed to another school" she added.