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Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities

Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities


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    For students with moderate to severe disabilities, instruction in physical education can be a challenge. Many teachers struggle with understanding these students’ complex needs, selecting appropriate content, and finding ways to motivate these students. While many educators consider the social aspects of inclusion a priority, the authors in this text stress active engagement with the curriculum and the use of grade-level outcomes to adapt learning for students with a range of abilities. One thing is certain: The keys to making physical education a positive learning experience are the physical education teachers and adapted physical education teachers who work with these students. This text is for you!

    Edited by experienced educators with expertise in general and adapted physical education programming, Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities will serve as a valuable resource:
    • Offers comprehensive strategies for instruction, assessment, communication, collaborative practices, peer supports, and effective use of paraeducators
    • Describes unique equipment modifications and alternative programming suggestions
    • Includes sample lesson plans and assessments that you can use as is or use as models to create your own
    • Is applicable for children with moderate to severe disabilities in general physical education classes and self-contained PE environments
    Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities was written by a team of higher education professionals, practicing physical educators, and adapted PE teachers. These contributors combine to bring a rich diversity and a variety of perspectives that ensure the content is relevant to all teachers. Through this comprehensive text, you will be able to make sure you are complying with the legal requirements associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act, which require that children with disabilities be given the same opportunities for meaningful physical education as other children.

    The text is organized into three parts. Part I provides foundational information on key adapted physical education issues, including Universal Design for Learning, collaborative processes, assessment strategies, communication practices, and how to use peer tutors and paraeducators in physical education.

    Part II helps you acquire the skills you need to teach students with disabilities. The five chapters in this section will help you understand sensory integration theory, develop foundational skills, put your plan into action, and understand your role and the paraeducator’s role in disability sport. You’ll also learn how to establish and assess disability sport, how to program for and assess students in aquatics, and how to help students transition to recreational opportunities in the community.

    In Part III, you receive a blueprint for implementing successful activities at all levels. Included are team sports and target games (track and field, basketball, golf, bowling, and more) as well as lifetime activities (bicycling, tennis, personal fitness planning, and more).

    The result is a resource that provides all the information and guidance you need to deliver appropriate physical education to children with moderate to severe disabilities. The book will inspire you to consider the unlimited avenues for participation in sport and physical activity for all your students—even those with the most severe disabilities.


    Reference for K-12 physical education teachers, adapted physical educators, direct service providers, related service providers, parents, and district administrators. Supplemental undergraduate text for physical education and adapted physical education teaching methods courses.

    Table of Contents

    Part I: Best Practices for Engaging All Students
    Chapter 1: Understanding Disabilities and Universal Design for Learning
    Causes of Severe Disabilities
    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    Universal Design for Learning
    Chapter 2: Collaborative Processes in Physical Education
    The Practice of Collaboration
    Becoming Part of the Education Team
    Developing Adapted Physical Education Goals Through Shared Goals
    Guidelines in the Collaborative Process
    Chapter 3: Assessment Strategies
    Functional Assessment of Students With Severe Disabilities
    Task Analysis Assessment
    Ecological Task Analysis
    Basic Skills Assessment
    Chapter 4: Communication Practices That Enhance Participation
    Considerations for Communication Practices in Physical Education
    Types of Communication Practices
    Chapter 5: Peer Tutoring
    Selecting Peer Tutors
    Training Peer Tutors
    Evaluating the Tutoring Experience
    Chapter 6: Paraeducators in Physical Education
    Understanding the Paraeducator’s Role
    Training for Paraeducators
    Ideas for Acknowledging Paraeducators’ Contributions
    Chapter 7: Creating Accessible Equipment
    Adapting Equipment With SENSE
    Six Ss for Adapting Equipment

    Part II: Participation for All in Sport Activities
    Chapter 8: Foundational Skills and Sensory Integration
    Understanding Sensory Integration Theory
    Developing Foundational Skills
    Putting Your Plan Into Action
    Chapter 9: Disability Sport in Physical Education
    Sport Opportunities for Students With Severe Disabilities
    Role of the Teacher and Coach in Disability Sport
    Chapter 10: Modified Programming in Physical Education
    Establishing Disability Sports Within the Physical Education Curriculum
    Assessment in Disability Sport
    Chapter 11: Transitioning to Recreational Opportunities Beyond School
    Transition Services and Individuals’ Rights
    Initiating the Transition Plan
    Transition Processes in Physical Education
    Training Personnel for Community-Based Programs
    Chapter 12: Aquatics for Students With Disabilities
    Benefits of Aquatics
    Medical Issues, Precautions, and Safety Issues
    Assessment in Aquatics
    Planning Goals
    Teaching and Safety Strategies
    Transitioning to Aquatics in the Community

    Part III: Sample Lessons Using Universal Design for Learning
    Chapter 13: Team Sports and Target Games
    Soccer: Passing
    Basketball: Spot Remover
    Hockey: Rip Off
    Track and Field: Hurdling
    Golf: Putting
    Golf: Stations
    Golf: Alien Invasion
    Throlf (Throwing Golf)
    Bowling for Junk
    Bowling: Battleships
    Bowling for Bucks
    Archery: Safety First
    Archery: Add It Up
    Chapter 14: Lifetime and Health-Related Activities
    Red Light, Green Light
    Hand Function Challenges
    Hand Functions for Sports
    Scooter Train
    Climbing Wall: Periwinkle Rescue
    Bicycling: Rules of the Road
    Tennis: Forehand Stroke
    Tabletop Shuffleboard
    Personal Physical Fitness Plan
    Cup Racing
    Swimming Through the Ocean
    Appendix: Resources
    About the Editors
    About the Contributors

    About the Editor

    Michelle Grenier, PhD, is an associate professor and coordinator of the health and physical education program and adapted physical education program at the University of New Hampshire. She has substantial experience working in the field of physical education and utilizing inclusive strategies for students with disabilities. She is an accomplished researcher and is editor of the text Physical Education for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Grenier is internationally recognized for her work on inclusion and has presented throughout the United States. She enjoys running, cycling, swimming, and traveling the world to meet others who share her professional and personal interests.

    Lauren J. Lieberman, PhD, is a distinguished service professor at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. She has taught higher education since 1995 and previously taught in the Deafblind Program at Perkins School for the Blind. She is fluent in sign language and used sign as her language in earning her PhD. She infuses sign language throughout her courses.

    Lieberman has written 18 books on adapted physical education and more than 118 peer-reviewed articles. She started Camp Abilities, an overnight educational sports camp for children with visual impairments. This camp is now replicated in 18 states and eight countries.

    Lieberman is past chair of the Adapted Physical Activity Council (APAC). She is currently on the board of the division of recreation and sport for the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), and she serves on the board of the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). She acts as a consultant for the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative. In her leisure time, she enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, biking, running, kayaking, hiking, reading, and playing the guitar.