My son will be entering kindergarten in the fall, and I am in the process of developing ideas to share with his IEP team. I am extremely anxious about him entering kindergarten, but feel very thankful that we seem to have a great team to work with.

Does anybody have any thoughts or experiences to share on adaptive PE versus substituting another activity like PT or OT during that time?

I do not know much about adaptive P.E. Does anybody have any experiences to share about it? Would my son still be in the regular PE class but just given different activities?

My first inclination is just to ask if he could miss PE entirely and have something else during that time so as to avoid fatigue and avoid him feeling poorly because he can't do the same physical activities as his peers. He tends to gets very frustrated that he cannot keep up physically with his friends already that I feel like any type of PE might increase these feelings for him.

Also, for those who have gotten out of PE entirely, was this something difficult to do? Did you have to get a formal recommendation or something from your child's doctor?

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice on this subject...and on kindergarten IEP's in general!

Thanks in advance!!
Emily

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My son is almost 8 and entering 3rd grade in the Fall. He still participates in regular PE and loves it. We do have modifications. Each year I meet with the teachers to teach and remind them of what he can/cannot do. Yes, there have been instances when they had him do something he shouldn't, but we just let them know and moved on. For my son, it would do more harm than good to have him in a different adaptive PE class or have him miss it all together. He wants to be as much like all the other boys as he can. We've learned that we really have to balance his physical AND mental health.
Hi Emily,

My son just graduated from Kindergarten so this is still fresh in my mind. At the beginning of the school year I called a meeting with his regular PE teacher and his APE teacher so that we could all be on board together and share ideas that would work with making my son feel like he could participate. I have to say that in our case, removing him from his regular PE class would have not have been a good idea socially or emotionally. As a child in a new school with new friends, he just wanted to fit in like all of the other children. I went into the school as a parent volunteer during his first PE class so that I could see firsthand what types of activities the children were doing and then discussed modifications with his PE teacher. In addition, I also had a full time aide written into his IEP, so she was always present during PE class to make sure he was safe.

During the middle of the school year, we made adjustments to his steriods due to prolonged illness and ADHD side effects and for a period of time he grew weaker. After meeting with his teacher and aide we took him out of class for 3 weeks and allowed him library time as an alternative. He reads at a 4th grade level, so we thought he would enjoy the alternative but after the first week he became very upset that he was missing PE with his friends. His regular PE teacher was very open to allowing him to become his "helper" and it worked out well for the remainder of the year. He was allowed to participate when he had the energy but allowed the option to be a helper when he wasn't feeling as strong.

During the school year he has also participated in Adaptive PE once a week. I honestly didn't see a reason why he needed Adaptive PE in addition to regular PE, but I needed to keep the option open for the future in the event that there were any major changes to his health. The APE included a lot of hand/eye coordination games and worked closely with the school's OT to brainstorm for ideas that would work.
Joshua is moving to Grade 2 next fall. Last year when he was in Kindergarten he had PT during the day in the classroom. When they had circle time, he sat in a chair. When it came to PE though, his teacher was told to make sure he tries the activity once. If it doesn't feel right to him, he's allowed to sit out for that brief time. Also, when they were having fun during PE, the biggest topic with Joshua was "listen to your body". Whenever they were doing anything active, Joshua would give his body a break whenever he felt he needed it. It only lasted for a minute or two; but it worked!
Thank you so much for all of you replies! You've definitely made me think differently about the whole P.E. thing. I think I'm just so worried about him struggling with it that I don't even want him to have to experience it at all, but hopefully it will be totally fine. Although Jake really doesn't care for a great deal of physical activity or running, etc, I guess I can see him preferring to be with classmates. In preschool he would say he didn't like going on the playground because he got so tired and his friends ran so fast, but when we offered to find something else for him to do at that time, he ultimately wanted to be with his classmates. It sounds like it will just be key to teach the P.E. teacher what he should/shouldn't do and get Jake to learn to listen to his body.

I really appreciate all of your sharing your experiences! It definitely helps to hear what others have done! Thank you!

LeeAnn - just curious how things worked with your son's aide? What did the aide do for him? Was the aide present the entire school day? Would love to hear your experience with that!
Emily,
This is a something I came across when I was looking for information to write my IEP for my sons. I think you have to copy and paste it.
http://ladymdesigns.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&fe...
We lucked out with our school district. What ever we ask for or suggest they will do for my boys.
My son Craig who is 7.5 and just finished 1st grade. He has an aide who is with him during PE, she would stretch him and do something different when he was not able to participate. He was allowed to have a few special friends with him. I tell him he has to pick different people each time and the aide helps him choose so their is no one being left out.
Good Luck
Gina
Ditto to what Laurie said. My son is also turning 8 and going into grade 3. PE is his favorite class even though he can't always keep up with the other kids.
Also, exercise is important.
Emily, because my son didn't need the aide for academic purposes (with the exception of a reminder here and there to keep him on task) she was utlized by the teacher as a general aide in the classroom. When he walked anywhere on the campus whether it be to the nurse's office, office, computer/art classes, PE, etc. she would accompany him. She also watched him on the playground during recess and lunch to make sure he was playing safely.

He was never aware that she was his aide and just assumed that he was a teacher's helper and worked with all of the children in his class. I sat down with her at the beginning of the school year to discuss his diagnosis in detail and gave her guidelines that I asked her to respect. Although and aide may not be right for every family to consider this early, I wanted to be very proactive because of budget cuts in our school district and it has really given my husband and I peace of mind knowing that he was being observed all day. Also, I wanted to mention that he was in preschool for 2 1/2 years (2 days a week) prior to starting Kindergarten and I never needed to consider it then, but the transition from p/t preschool to full time Kindergarten is a big adjustment for our boys.
Our experience has been basically the same as Laurie's. My son will be 9 next week and entering 3rd grade this fall. If you ask him what his favorite thing about school is he always says PE. I meet with the teachers every year when school starts to make sure they know what activites need to be avoided. My son also knows he can sit out or take a break whenever he wants and is pretty good about doing this. I also volunteer at the school and have stopped in to watch if he's in PE when I'm there and he always looks like he's having a ball. I do ask him from time to time how PE is going and if he's having problems with anything, but to this point he still loves it. He does have adaptive PE written into his IEP so it's there if anything changes, but so far what we're doing has worked fine. Good luck, I remember how nervous I was when Cole started kindergarten.

Laurie Paschal said:
My son is almost 8 and entering 3rd grade in the Fall. He still participates in regular PE and loves it. We do have modifications. Each year I meet with the teachers to teach and remind them of what he can/cannot do. Yes, there have been instances when they had him do something he shouldn't, but we just let them know and moved on. For my son, it would do more harm than good to have him in a different adaptive PE class or have him miss it all together. He wants to be as much like all the other boys as he can. We've learned that we really have to balance his physical AND mental health.
Really appreciate hearing all of your experiences! I feel much better about it and hope my son will have the same positive experiences as yours. Thanks again!
Hello, I am wondering if anyone has taken their child completely out of PE and been happy with that decision? My son is in 2nd grade, and I am just getting very scared about reading all the broken legs and how devastating that can be, Aside from just having fun, what are the benefits of PE? He already has the team building, sharing, etc.... during regular class activities. I know he is monitoring his own body and making decisions based on his fatigue, but why risk a broken leg when you don't have to? Just wondering. Thanks. Carolyn
Hi Carolyn, I don't know if you have received a response from this, but my son too is in 2nd grade this year (diagnosed at age 5). One thing to remember is that each of our boys progress differently, but I think one thing that I think I am noticing that is similar is that they do know their bodies and when it's time to take a break. Some boys are more active, some aren't. I don't think I would necessarily be worried about a broken leg in PE class - because quite honestly, if they were doing anything that aggressive I think there would be some serious issues (fyi - I'm on the school board of our school district). We talk to our PE teacher each year and during the course of the year. Our philosophy has been - let him try what he wants, if he looks tired ask him, if he asks to sit for a bit, let him. A few things we don't want him doing are climbing a rope unless they assist, scooters on his belly (because it's so much arm strength)- unless someone pushes him, don't want him jumping down from a significant height (ie. really anythign higher than a step). We let him try pretty much anything. He LOVES to run - so we let him. I asked him one time if there was anything in the entire world he could have, or go, or be and he said, just run... (and he doesn't REALLY know anything is wrong with him - ironic huh?). I guess what I am trying to say is that we want so hard to protect these wonderful little boys, but in so doing, we should also let them be little boys and experience anything they can - of course as long as it's not dangerous. Another thing I would definitely use as a guideline is to really have a good relationship with your son's nurse where he gets his DMD check ups. We talk to Kyle's nurse before and during the school year on anything that comes up. One thing that suprised me this year is that he could have played organized flag football and when we asked him if he wanted to he said no that he was afraid he would get hurt (so we were actually kind of relieved he didn't want to do that - he made it easy on us). Obviously, at some point the doctor is going to tell us what to start pulling back on, but until then, to us, he's a little boy. Hopefully that helps... Donna

Gina,  Can you tell me the wording that was used to get an aide for your son's class.  I am trying to work on getting an aide for my son, since there is a lot of stairs, PE time, Recess time etc....  that he needs help, and I can't seem to find any guidance on the writing of IEPs.

 

Thanks. Carolyn

Gina Manning said:

Emily,
This is a something I came across when I was looking for information to write my IEP for my sons. I think you have to copy and paste it.
http://ladymdesigns.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&fe...
We lucked out with our school district. What ever we ask for or suggest they will do for my boys.
My son Craig who is 7.5 and just finished 1st grade. He has an aide who is with him during PE, she would stretch him and do something different when he was not able to participate. He was allowed to have a few special friends with him. I tell him he has to pick different people each time and the aide helps him choose so their is no one being left out.
Good Luck
Gina

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