C. Elizabeth Reig, 64, who was supervisor of special education for the Prince Geoge's County public schools for 21 years before retiring in 1973, died of cancer Wednesday at Prince George's General Hospital in Cheverly.

Miss Reig was a leader in the development of programs in Maryland for handicapped children. In the mid 1950s she devised programs for children with communication disorders. In the early 1960s, she directed one of the first programs devised to deal with preschool children who were handicapped.

She also directed a preschool program for children who had suffered hearing impairment as a result of a rubella epidemic of the mid 1960s.

In 1966, Miss Rieg was named to a 15-member permanent commission to develop programs for the educational needs of handicapped children by Maryland's then-Gov. J. Millard Tawes.

In March 1979, the Prince George's County Board of Education dedicated a new public school, the C. Elizabeth Rieg Special Center, in her honor. The school is located in Mitchellville, where Miss Rieg made her home.

After retiring from the school, she had worked as a partner in The Gingerbread Shop, an antique store located in Annapolis.

Miss Rieg was born in Roslyn, Wash., and reared in Indiana, Pa. She earned a bachelor's degree at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in counseling at Columbia University.

Before joining the Prince George's Schools, she had taught mathematics in Pennsylvania and, from 1947 to 1952, been supervisor of pupil personnel for the Calvert County, Md., public schools.

Survivors include two sisters, D. Mary and Georgette M. Rieg, and a brother, James N. Rieg, all of Pennsylvania.

The family suggests that experssions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the C. Elizabeth Rieg Scholarship Fund, c/o Prince George's Scholarship Fund Inc., 7305 Kipling Parkway, District Heights, Md., 20028.