Adapted Physical Education
The Adapted Physical Education program (APE) serves the special needs population by modifying the regular physical education program to meet children’s individual requirements. Accommodations are made in teaching strategies, equipment, and games to ensure student success in physical education. Activities in APE might include regular physical education games, which have been modified to suit each child’s particular needs. The APE teacher coordinates each child’s program with the physical and occupational therapists and regular physical education teachers as appropriate. APE's goal is improving motor skills through successful participation in group activities.
Children are eligible for screening and possible placement by APE staff based on a recommendation/referral from the PT or OT or multidisciplinary team. To be placed on services an evaluation must first be completed by an Adapted Physical Education teacher.
Assistive Technology is a system of tools and strategies which enables a person with disabilities to function to his/her maximum potential educationally, vocationally, socially, and in their daily living activities.
The legal definition from IDEA is: “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities” (IDEA; 34 CFR 300.5)
In the Gilbert School District we view assistive technology services as any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
We provide the following services:
- Evaluating the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary educational environment.
- Purchasing, working with outside agencies in the purchase, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices for children with disabilities which will allow them to access their education.
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices.
- Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices with existing education programs.
- Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child’s family.
- Training or technical assistance for teachers, therapists or other individuals who provide intervention to a child with disabilities.
- The assistive technology consultation form is filled out by a member of the child’s MDC team and sent to the Coordinator of Related Services for any child who might benefit from modifications, accomodations, or equipment in order to access their education. The referring person will then be contacted and an appointment will be made to discuss the specific needs of the child.
The Gilbert COPE (Children Overcoming Problems through Education), ESAP (Emotional-Social Adjustment Program) and iBIP (Intensive Behavior Intervention Program) believe that socially and emotionally disabled students benefit from a highly structured, supportive, therapeutic learning environment, which remediates academic, behavioral and social difficulties, based on an individualized educational plan. This service is developed and provided by a multidisciplinary team. The COPE/ESAP/iBIP curriculum and the instructional approach are designed to enhance self-esteem, develop prosocial skills, and develop more effective social and emotional problem-solving skills within the educational setting.
Children residing within the Gilbert School District with an identified hearing loss may be eligible for services from the District’s Hearing Impaired (HI) Program. Eligibility is contingent upon the child’s hearing loss and whether or not it is educationally significant and requires the provision of special education and related services.
How and in what capacity these services are provided is based on each individual child’s needs. The whole child is taken into account when determining the services needed, not only the type and degree of hearing loss. Other variables influencing the child’s placement may include but are not limited to: age at which hearing loss was identified; hearing aid history; the presence of additional disabilities; social-emotional development; and educational performance.
For those students qualifying for the program, it is the District’s intention to provide:
- skills in the areas of auditory training, speech, language, reading, and writing
- an opportunity for achievement in content areas
- an opportunity for students to exit the program with a strong sense of their identity
- skills to function in both the deaf and hearing world as is applicable
School-based occupational therapy is designed to enhance the student’s ability to fully access and be successful in the learning environment. Depending on the student, it may include improving fine motor skills, sensorimotor processing, coordination, adapting environments, recommending/adapting equipment, organizing and using materials appropriately and developing self-care skills appropriate to the learning environment.
Federal law mandates that occupational therapy in schools be educationally relevant. With this premise, intervention in the educational setting is distinctly different from clinically based, medically necessitated treatment. Although medical conditions and/or disability may be present, unless it impacts the student’s ability to benefit from the educational program, services may not be indicated. Therefore, determining the need for occupational therapy intervention must include observing the student within the educational environment and assessing his/her ability to meet the demands of the educational program and environment. To be placed on services an evaluation must first be completed by an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a related service under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and is provided to help a student with a disability to benefit from special education. As such, OT is a supportive service. According to federal guidelines, a student must be eligible for special education before being considered for OT services in the schools under IDEA.
School-based physical therapy is designed to enhance the student’s ability to benefit from special education. Within the educational model, physical therapists assist students with the development and practice of gross motor skills, postural control, functional mobility (transfers, gait, or wheelchair mobility), endurance, strength, joint or trunk mobility, positioning for educational performance, and adapting equipment or modifications to architectural barriers.
Federal law mandates that physical therapy in schools be educationally relevant. With this premise, intervention in the educational setting is distinctly different from clinically based, medically necessitated treatment. Although medical conditions and/or a disability may be present, the student may receive physical therapy only if the condition and movement problem interfere with the student’s educational experience. Determining the need for physical therapy intervention must include observing the student within the educational environment and assessing his/her ability to meet the demands of the educational program and setting. To be placed on services an evaluation must first be completed by a physical therapist.
Physical therapy (PT) is a related service under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and is provided to help a student with a disability to benefit from education. As such PT is a supportive service. According to federal guidelines, a student must be eligible for special education before being considered for PT services in the schools under IDEA.
Speech Language Therapy
Speech/language therapy is a service provided by speech/language pathologists to address the needs of children and youth with communication disabilities, such as impairments in language, speech, voice, or stuttering. Typically, speech/language pathologists:
- Screen, identify, assess, and diagnose disorders of language, cognitive / communication disorders, articulation, fluency, voice, and oral-pharyngeal function.
- Provide speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communication disorders, including augmentative and alternative communication systems.
Students may be referred to the speech/language pathologist by the Child Study Team as a part of a complete psychological evaluation, or by the child’s parent or classroom teacher due to concerns regarding the child’s ability to communicate effectively. After the referral is received, the SLP will screen the child to determine if further evaluation is necessary and make recommendations regarding the child’s communication skills to the referring teacher and parent. If a complete speech/language evaluation is the recommendation, then the SLP follows the district policy regarding evaluation timelines.
It should be noted that a student with a speech or language impairment does not necessarily have to be manifesting academic problems in order to be considered eligible to receive speech/language services. Effective oral communication is regarded as a skill basic to academic performance.