Adaptive Physical Education (A.P.E.)

Adaptive Physical Education (A.P.E.)

What is Adapted Physical Education? 

In New York State, all elementary and secondary students must receive physical education as a part of their educational program. The federal law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA enacted by Congress in 1975) entitles all students with Disabilities to receive a free, appropriate public education, including appropriate physical education. Adapted physical education (APE) is vitally important to the quality of life for students with disabilities. 

The Adapted Physical Education program is developmentally appropriate physical education. It is adapting, modifying, and/or changing a physical activity so it is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability. We are providing numerous ways that some sports and activities can be modified and/or changed. The goal is to have an activity where ALL students can fully participate in Physical Education. Change the word "adapted" to "differentiated" and you have the idea of Adapted Physical Education. It is GOOD teaching which differentiates the curriculum, task, equipment, and/or environment as appropriate for each child, so ALL students can successfully learn and participate in physical education. 

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)

General Adaptation Suggestions 

Larger/lighter bat 
Use of velcro 
Larger goal/target 
Mark positions on playing field 
Lower goal/target 
Scoops for catching 
Vary balls (size, weight, color, texture) 

Rules Prompts, Cues: 
Demonstrate/model activity 
Partner assisted 
Disregard time limits 
Oral prompt 
More space between students 
Eliminate outs/strike-outs 
Allow ball to remain stationary 
Allow batter to sit in chair 
Place student with disability near teacher 

Boundary/Playing Field: 
Decrease distance 
Use well-defined boundaries 
Simplify patterns 
Adapt playing area (smaller, obstacles removed) 

Change locomotor patterns 
Modify grasps 
Modify body positions 
Reduce number of actions 
Use different body parts 

Vary the tempo 
Slow the activity pace 
Lengthen the time 
Shorten the time 
Provide frequent rest periods