What is Adapted Physical Education?
Adapted physical education is physical education which has been adapted or modified, so that it is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability. Federal law mandates that physical education be provided to students with disabilities and defines physical education as the development of:
- · Physical and motor skills
- · Fundamental motor skills and patterns (throwing, catching, walking, running, etc.)
- · Skills in aquatics, dance, and individual and group games and sports (including intramural and lifetime sports)
The APE teacher is a direct service provider, not a related service provider, because physical education for children with disabilities is a federally mandated component of special education services (U.S.C.A. 1402 (25)). This means that physical education needs to be provided to the student with a disability as part of the special education services that child and family receive. This is contrasted with physical therapy and occupational therapy, which are related services. These therapies are provided to the child with disabilities only if he/she needs them to benefit from instruction.
For all practical purposes APE IS developmentally appropriate physical education at its finest. It involves differentiating instructions so the physical activity is as appropriate for the person with the disability as it is for a person without a disability. The emphasis of APE is to facilitate participation of students with disabilities with typically developing peers in age-appropriate activities.
When do I call an Adaptive Physical Education Teacher?
- · Additional problem solving is needed to generate programming ideas
- · Modified equipment or instructional materials is needed
- · Any time the LEA staff needs consultative assistance to meet the physical education needs of students