the brazilian research on knowledge production in the field of special education began more than 15 years ago. the objective was to analyze the type of knowledge produced in the area before the methodology used in dissertations funded by the "programa de apoio a educa？？o especial - proesp". the final paper analyzed referred to those projects approved by proesp within the state of s？o paulo. the analysis period was between 2004 and 2008. twenty-seven studies were found. the review was conducted through five categories: 1) studies that showed generalization and immediate application of the results, 2) research that showed immediate results for a specific group of participants, 3) descriptive research with innovative findings, 4) intervention research with innovative findings and 5) descriptive research that corroborated other studies. it was concluded that the studies advance in knowledge on inclusion and the use of some infrequent methodologies in education served as a subsidy to get the results.