Adapted Physical Education
Introduction to Adapted Physical Education
It is the art and science of creating, applying, and observing a thoroughly designed physical education. An individual with a disability can learn through instructional programs which are based on comprehensive assessment and it provides the learner with the skills that are required for a lifetime of abundant leisure, recreation, and sports practices to improve physical health and wellness.
Principles and Methods of Adapted Physical Education and Recreation
Adaptive Physical Education (APE) is a direct service that can be offered to a child who expected needs. It can be determined by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) or the Committee on Special Education (CSE) if the child needs such service. It has also been given and warranted to those children who are visually impaired or blind, physical handicapped, multiple disorders and comorbidities with other health issues. Physical education and teaching are one of the most crucial parts of a child’s development. Researchers and scientists have come to acknowledge that how physical activity influences our brains as well as our bodies that create a neuromuscular connection between our muscles and our brains. Improved physical education is linked with better results for people with learning disabilities, and better physical condition consequences later in life.
It is a type of physical education which has been adapted, modified, and intended to meet the gross motor needs of disabled and health-related challenging students. It can be provided individually or in a small group or maybe in the general physical education setting. The instructor should be trained and required skills in evaluating and working with disabled children. Tutorial plans, guidelines and worksheets must be modified for the needs of the children.
It is essential to note that APE should not be considered as a related facility. Since physical education is federally authorized for all learners, the APE educator is a direct service provider. The APE tutor is specifically trained to provide modifications that help and allow the special needs child to take part in age-appropriate physical education and sports activities. It must be modified in four main areas:
- Instruction: Lesson plans, guidelines, learning strategies and spreadsheets should be modified according to the child which make them successful in physical education. For example, a down’s syndrome child may react to one-word signals as mementoes for doing a summersault perfectly.
- Rules: Several modifications can be made in rules if it helps in succeeding the needy child. For example, if the students are working on volleyball skills, a wheelchair-bound learner must be allowed to serve the volleyball from four feet ahead of the serving boundary.
- Equipment: Basic gym apparatus and equipment can be substituted with other equipment that differs in shape, weight, size, colour and so on. For example, when playing kickball, provide a large bright blue ball for a visually impaired child to kick.
- Environment: It can be altered if needed like modify the size of the playing area or use tape to define the area. For example, if the general education students are throwing softballs back and forth, work with a severely emotionally handicapped child on rolling a ball back and forth by beginning out being two feet apart and gradually increasing the space.
Adaptive physical education might be tapered back at some point if the child continues to gain their gross motor skills but, in some circumstances, Adaptive Physical Education is needed in every year to special need’s students. APE providers are required to encourage the students to do their best. There are programs such as the Special Olympics. that provides amazing and positive opportunities for APE learners to practice competing just like their non-disabled colleagues.
How is the need for APE Determined?
- The IEP unit verifies a student’s need for Adaptive Physical Education.
- The team should include an APE specialist, if accessible, and the general education training teacher. When the student needs and APE suitability is being examined and discussed by the team, teachers experienced in the Physical Education curriculum need to be present.
- To verify eligibility, an Adaptive Physical Education evaluation must take place under the NC Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities
- Goals must be established if admissibility for Adapted Physical Education is determined.
Providing Adapted Physical Education
Like all other education, adaptive physical education is also offered in the minimum restricted environment. Students with ill health must be included to the full extent possible in the general physical education program and those with disabilities who are receiving APE, and those who are joining in the general PE program with accommodations/modifications, a range of placement options may include one or more of the following:
- General physical education setting
- General PE setting with adjustments/modifications
- General PE setting with aid from team and APE expert
- A separate PE class setting with colleagues and extra staff as required
- Separate public school
The inclusion of students with disabilities into the general PE curriculum should not compromise the learning of other students in the class setting. However, supplementary aids and supports must be tried before placing a student in a more restrictive setting. The importance and role of physical education in child growth has never been understood and appreciated for many years. Arguments were made that intellectual and cognitive skills would be more valuable in adult life than physical skills. This led to a neglect of physical education programs in some schools, especially for students with disabilities. But recent studies show and have proven that physical education is essential for healthy brain development. It also presents that adequate physical education can enhance results from health problems that may occur due to inadequate muscular development. Benefits that are essential especially for disabled students include:
- Constructing strong bones and strong muscular mass for lifelong resistance to damage
- Building strong physiques and strength to securely help bones and joints
- Improving the cardio and pulmonary health by strengthening the heart, lungs, and blood vessels
- Preventing or lessening fitness complications arising from obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, and lung functional problems
- Enhancing mood and self-esteem
- Increasing problem-solving abilities, and inspiration
- Providing a sense of success and confidence
- Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Training coordination and essential social skills
- Improving neuromuscular development that impacts both physical and mental health.