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Special, different or wrong?

I've been thinking about this for a few days now. I teach children who have English as an additional language and often find myself pondering semantics. We use the word special, as in special educational needs, for learning or behavioural difficulties and also for physical disabilities; so here is my offering:
With a group of six five year old boys, looking at the last page of a book we had been reading with a picture of a little girl.
Me (stupid teacher question)Oh is there something special about this girl?
Boy1 Yes, she got she yellow t shirt
Boy2 Hat...hat..no HAIR - black hair
Boy3 Her got shoes are shiny[much more discussion now cos her shoes are plainly trainers]
Boy4 She trousers are blue
They have really exhausted matters of appearance by now - and of course I've returned and remodelled and expanded on their comments, so I try a more closed question;
Is she running to pick up her cat or is the cat jumping on her lap?
They all agree on the latter statement, so I ask them why isn't she running?
All the boys immediately make rolling motions with their arms and after a long pause one boy says,
Hospital trolley
He is quickly corrected by just one boy who says
No - wheelchair
AT LAST!!!
Now my stupid teacher question did elicit plenty of useful responses but I am left wondering whether as an EAL teacher I should maybe have asked What's different about her? or maybe even What's wrong with her?