The study addresses the social participation of integrated students with special educational needs (SEN) in upper primary regular classes in Greece alongside their perceptions of best friend quality. Social participation was defined as consisting of four key dimensions: students’ acceptance by classmates, friendships, social self-perceptions, and social interactions. Participants were 457 students with a mean age of 11.04 (SD = .83), of which 45 were diagnosed as having moderate learning difficulties. Fieldwork involved implementing a sociometric technique, conducting systematic observations and administering two psychometric instruments: the Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Friendship Qualities Scale (FQS). In line with previous studies, students with SEN received fewer nominations of peer acceptance, had fewer friends and fewer social interactions with classmates than their typically developing peers. The social self-perception and the perceptions of friendship quality of both groups of students did not differ. Contrary to expectations, the social self-concept of students with SEN was not related to their acceptance by peers but it was positively related to the ‘companionship’ dimension of friendship quality. These results highlight the need to direct the researchers’ attention from measuring the social participation of students with SEN within their class network towards examining the quality and durability of their friendships.