PE / APE: ADAPTIVE PHYSICAL EDUCATION (APE)

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Marcy:  I live in Florida and was told in an IEP meeting this morning that the school does not provide accommodations for PE. My son’s dr has deemed that he receive OT and PT, but he hasn’t met the school’s criteria in the past. He has extremely low muscle tone. In PE with general population, he usually refuses to participate (he has autism and intellectual disability). However, there are some solo activities, he will participate in (such as weight lifting and basketball hoops) that are beneficial to him both physically and his emotionally. Can I do anything to force the school to provide accommodations?

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Amy

I am confused by your post. Adaptive Physical Education (APE) and accommodations are two different things. I believe you are using the terms as though they are interchangeable when they are not. APE is a special education service provided when a student qualifies for specialized instruction in that area. Accommodations do not involve specialized instruction, but utilize strategies that allow students to participate in and have access to the same curricular content as nondisabled peers. You attended an IEP meeting in which the impact of your son’s autism and intellectual ability were discussed. It sounds like the rest of the team did not believe his disabilities were impacting him in the PE setting. Can you give some specifics re: the team’s reasoning in making their decision?

Morning

I am thinking now outside of school time. It can take a few weeks or months to get the school to accommodate this. He loves weight lifting and basketball hoops. Why not have him work at a gym with a trainer. Pay a mature student to shoot the hoops with him after school. If these activities are emotionally important as well as physically, make it happen for him after school. Don’t wait for the school district — you can make this happen after school hours.