It is easy to become burnt out when you are a special education teacher. Yet, when you decide to change careers, you don't want to waste your specialized knowledge. There are several career options that will put your skills to good use. You can continue to help children with special needs even if you aren't in the classroom.
Consider becoming a private tutor or even opening your own tutoring business. Many parents who seek tutoring for their children do so because the child's special needs are not being met by the school system. You will be in demand as a tutor as be able to tailor your tutoring to each child's individual educational needs, and can most likely tutor clients in a public library. If you aren't comfortable striking out on your own, check with the local school district about the possibility of teaching homebound special education students.
Become a caregiver for a child or adult who has special needs. Even if you don't have a medical background, you can find work doing respite care -- care that gives family caregivers a much-needed break. If you don't have your own family, you may be interested in becoming a nanny to a child who has a physical or learning disability. Not many caregivers have as advanced an understanding of special needs as former special education teachers, so you will provide much-needed help.
Put your knowledge on paper and make a living as an author of educational books. Write self-help books for people with disabilities or books for parents who seek to understand their child's needs. Educational publishers often need writers who can pen high-interest low-level books for children who have reading difficulties. Other content-area material that is suitable for children with special needs must also be produced, creating plenty of work for people who have the knowledge.
You may no longer be in a public school classroom, but that doesn't mean that you are no longer a teacher. Put your teaching skills to good use by becoming a trainer. Offer in-services to educators who work with mainstreamed special education students and show them how to best meet their needs. If you're good at self-promotion, develop your own seminars surrounding the area in which you specialize.