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Adapted Physical Education

Adapted Physical Specialists provide services for students’ gross motor development. Services may be direct instruction (group or individual), collaboration or consultation. APE instructional techniques are used to improve the student’s movement performance in gross motor, object control (ball handling), perceptual motor, functional, and sport/game skills; physical fitness (strength, endurance, cardiovascular and flexibility); and motor fitness (speed, power, agility, balance and coordination).

Philosophy of Service
The OCDE Special Schools Adapted Physical Education (APE) program believes that students benefit and should practice fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills in a variety of age-appropriate activities.  Our program emphasizes that students have access to a wide variety of age-appropriate equipment to ensure multiple opportunities to practice skills.  We believe that as each student’s skill level develops, they begin to understand the relationship between practice and successful participation.

We believe that participation in physical activity is an important venue for the social, psychological, and emotional development and learning.  We believe that social skills and personal responsibility skills are taught and learned with feedback via structured physical activity.  We also believe that Adapted Physical Education classes provide an ideal setting for students to learn and practice appropriate social interactions, suitable ways to express and control emotions, and desirable personal responsibility skills.

Service Defined
Adapted Physical Education is defined as a program to meet the unique needs of an individual with a disability who is unable to fully participate in the general PE program.  Services of the credentialed APE specialist may be provided via direct instruction with students either individually or in groups.  Services may also be effectively provided in a collaborative manner, where the classroom teacher and staff provide the majority of the instruction under the supervision of the APE specialist. Consultative services may also be provided to school personnel and others, including parents, medical personnel, and social agencies for the purpose of identifying supplemental aids, services, or modifications necessary for successful participation in the general physical education program or specially designed PE program. Frequency and duration of services, and goals and objectives, which are monitored by the APE Specialist, are identified within each student’s IEP.

Program Description
Adapted Physical Education in the Orange County Department of Education Special Schools is a diversified program of functional/critical motor skills as well as developmental activities, games, sports, and rhythms suited to the needs and interests of students.  The emphasis of the Adapted Physical Education program is to develop motor skills, for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory students, which improve the quality and productivity of every individual’s life through participation in a comprehensive, inclusive, and sequential physical education program.
The Orange County Department of Education provides Adapted Physical Education as a related service to students. The objective of Adapted Physical Education is to facilitate the student’s independent function and to decrease the effect of the child’s disability on his/her ability to benefit from the special education process. This is accomplished through the use of purposeful goal directed activities and environmental modifications.
School-based Adapted Physical Education is structured to teach students to:
1.    Participate regularly in developmentally age-appropriate movement and motor skills.
2.    Develop a healthy level of flexibility, balance, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, and cardio-respiratory         endurance.
3.    Develop competency in movement and motor skills.
4.    Learn game rules and strategies and demonstrate their use in game settings.
5.    Demonstrate appropriate social skills in a physical activity setting.
6.    Understand the benefits of regular physical activity.

The Adapted Physical Education program also emphasizes the importance of physical activity and personal fitness. Fitness is developed through the activities in the daily lessons that emphasize determined amounts of physical activity, continuous movement, and challenges that involve working the major muscle groups.  Student goals are individually developed through the triennial assessment, observation, analysis of the State APE Standards, adapted standards as defined within the SEACO curriculum guide and established curricula such as Movement Opportunities Via Education (MOVE).  In addition, the IEP team via the APE portion of the triennial multidisciplinary assessment determines goals and service levels. Services are provided in both outdoor and classroom environments, in both school and community settings.

Program considerations also include integration with non-disabled individuals, as appropriate.  Integration into age appropriate recreational skills, and activities can afford students with opportunities to increase cognition, social competency and communication skills