The IEP (Individualized Educational Program) process, along with many Special Education services your child may receive can be VERY overwhelming to any parent. With that in mind, we have included some information for you on Adapted Physical Education and the rights you have as Adapted Physical Education is a federally mandated Special Education service.
“What is Adapted Physical Education?”
Adapted Physical Education (APE) is the art and science of developing appropriate Physical Education for children with disabilities. Essentially, APE is individualized Physical Education that is designed to build off of the strengths and unique needs of your child.
Many children with disabilities can safely and successfully participate in General Physical Education (GPE). However, they may require support from an Adapted PE teacher “pushing in” to GPE with your child in order to:
Provide coaching to your child’s PE teacher to implement new strategies and provide accommodations to activities, games and skills to ensure your child’s success and safety in class.
Provide coaching to your child’s Paraprofessional(s) to ensure they are properly supporting your child in PE.
Alternately, if GPE isn’t the Least Restrictive Environment for your child, or you feel your child is not safe in GPE, your child can instead attend Adapted PE class. Similar to Special Education classrooms, APE classes are highly structured and in smaller settings in order to increase student success. The activities, games and skills taught in class are developmentally appropriate to your child and will mirror GPE whenever feasible.
At Adaptability, we will often work with your child’s school to start Reverse Inclusion Adapted PE classes. In these classes, typically developing peers will attend the classes as Peer Support. This model creates Peer to Peer Socialization in a structured environment, which enables friendships to build. It allows for Peer Modeling of skills, games and activities. The classes help to build an Inclusive Culture not only in your child’s school, but your community as well.
“Is my child Eligible for Adapted Physical Education?”
As mentioned above, Adapted Physical Education is a direct Special Education service that is federally mandated via IDEA. In order to see if your child is eligible for APE services, an Adapted Physical Education evaluation is completed by an Adapted PE teacher in order to determine services. This can be requested by a parent at any time!
“How Can I get Adapted Physical Education services for my child if they don’t currently receive it?”
You can request an Adapted PE Evaluation be done for your child. The request can be made during an IEP meeting or by contacting an administrator in Special Education at your child’s school. Some schools in Illinois already have an Adapted Physical Educator that can complete the evaluation. If they do not, the school can contact Adaptability or you can make the recommendation to contact Adaptability! There are many schools that do not provide or have access to Adapted Physical Education services. Adaptability was opened in order to ensure students across Chicagoland receive appropriate and quality Physical Education services.