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Adapted Physical Education

What is Adapted Physical Education?

Adapted Physical Education is a special education service provided to students who demonstrate a gross motor delay and as a result, are unable to participate safely and successfully within their current PE program, even with accommodations and/or modifications. See The California Code of Regulations, CCR Title 5, Sec. 3051. 

There are several factors that contribute to a student’s ability to participate in physical education. They include:

  1. Physical/health impairments and/or delays in the growth and development process.
    1. Physical, health and/or neurological impairments that delay motor skill development
    2. Delays in maturation that have a negative effect on the student’s ability to perform age appropriate gross motor skills
  2. Intellectual impairments and/or cognitive delays.
    1. Student demonstrates difficulties with processing information in a movement setting. Including input of information, storage of this information and using this information as feedback to repeat the movement skill, task or activity
  3.  Adaptive behavior delays.
    1. Delays in adaptive behaviors in the movement setting including, waiting their turn, sharing equipment, listening to/following directions, and difficulties with responding appropriately to “winning” and “losing”
    2. A discrepancy between a student’s competence and confidence

What You Should Know About APE

  1. Adapted Physical Education is a SERVICE, not a placement. Students who demonstrate the need for APE services also benefit from appropriate and consistent physical activity within the general or specially designed physical education settings. California education code requires 200 minutes of physical education every 10 days for students in grades 1 through 6 and 400 minutes of physical education every 10 days for students in grades 7 through 12.
  2. All students with disabilities do not automatically meet the eligibility for or require Adapted Physical Education services. In fact, many students with disabilities are able to function safely and successfully within their current PE program. Students with disabilities should be provided every opportunity to participate in physical activity with peers.
  3. Adapted Physical Education services can be provided as a direct service and/or through collaboration and consultation. A collaborative approach is often times best for maximizing student participation in their PE program.
  4. Adapted Physical Education is a combination of the disciplines of physical education and special education.
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