Whether your child has a temporary injury (a sprain, bump or bruise), a broken leg or a physical impairment, learning ways to accommodate in gym class, with minimal stigma, is so important. Odds are at some point in your child’s life, he or she child will need to be in gym and be unable to fully participate.
A good gym teacher will operate from an adaptive model of athletics, where everyone can participate with certain accommodations. Adaptations to the curriculum of a physical education class are made in four areas:
- Instruction: The teacher can use a variety of instructional techniques to ensure everyone can participate meaningfully.
- Rules: The rules are up for negotiation! They can be relaxed or altered to accommodate all children.
- Equipment: Look for adaptive equipment that could help your child participate. Also, remember that hoops can be lowered, nets can be lowered, pitching distance can be shortened and courts made smaller so that students with physical disabilities can participate and everyone can enjoy! Look into the magical power of Velcro to help students with motor skills disabilities or temporary issues!
- Environment: Advocate for a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all students, no matter what their differences. PE isn’t a national championship, Wimbledon or the World Series, it should be a place where ALL children can feel good about their teamwork and athletic abilities. (Source)
Encourage a model of adaptive and inclusionary fitness!
“Physical disabilities should not exclude students from participating in gym activities. Depending on a student’s disability, a separate, adaptive class or modifications within a typical gym class both offer physical education. Basketball, golfing and tennis can be adapted or participated in with the assistance of a physical education teacher or aide. Other physical activities, even swimming, can provide great therapeutic benefits to students.” (Link)
Do you have any great stories about how your PE teacher has accommodated your child?
Knowing it’s about having fun and maybe breaking a sweat, have you experienced a really inclusionary fitness class? Do you have a horror story to share? We want to hear from you!