Adapted Physical Education (APE)

What's Required

The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that physical education services must be made available to every student with a disability to ensure students receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

What We Do

Adapted Physical Education (APE) Overview

Adapted Physical Education is defined as the science of analyzing movement, identifying deficiencies within the psychomotor domain, and developing instructional strategies to remediate identified deficiencies.  It encourages positive social interaction and self-esteem, and facilitates motor achievement. Students with disabilities who are unable to participate safely and/or successfully in regular physical education are eligible for Adapted Physical Education service if they meet the criteria outlined above. A medical release for participation in physical education activities may be requested for children with physiological concerns (i.e. shunts, hemophilia, atlanto-axial instability).  The Physical Education Teacher and/or Adapted Physical Educator are responsible for providing instruction to the student with a disability.  There is no set curriculum for Adapted Physical Education; however, Physical Education TEKS serve as the guideline and are modified to fit the needs of each individual student that qualifies. Adapted Physical Education is considered an instructional service.  They are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. The Adapted Physical Educators serve two major roles:
  1. Direct Service Provider - In this role, the Adapted Physical Educator will evaluate, plan, and implement instructional programs in physical and motor fitness, fundamental motor skills and patterns, skills in aquatics, dance, individual group games, and sports for students with disabilities.  Adapted Physical Educators develop an IEP in the motor area for students that qualify for direct Adapted Physical Education services.
  2. Consultant -  In this role, the Adapted Physical Educator provides Facilitated Support to staff such as Physical Education teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff to provide Adapted Physical Education services/programs. They collaborate with staff responsible for implementing the IEP for students that qualify for this service.  
The Adapted Physical Educator also makes recommendations to the IEP multidisciplinary team such as placement, duration, activities, and programming for students that qualify with motor needs.  
Please consult with an Assigned Adapted Physical Educator for any questions or possible students with special needs that may need to be referred for current/future Adapted Physical Education services.  

Adapted Physical Education (APE) Referral Process

Anyone having a concern with gross motor development in the areas related to Physical Education should speak with the student’s Special Education Case Manager.  

1. The Special Education Case Manager should contact the Adapted Physical Education (APE) teacher assigned to their campus (Assigned APE Contact List). 
2. The Physical Education/classroom teacher who is providing direct services to the student will contact the Special Education Case Manager or Educational Diagnostician to initiate the referral process.  
3. Case Manager or Educational Diagnostician sends the completed APE Consult Form to the Adapted Physical Education teacher assigned to the campus.
4. The Adapted Physical Education teacher will review the APE Consult Form and complete an informal observation.
5. The Adapted Physical Education teacher will determine if a formal evaluation is needed.
6. If further action is needed, the Adapted Physical Education teacher will contact the Educational Diagnostician to request an IEP meeting to obtain written parental consent.
7. The Educational Diagnostician provides the Adapted Physical Education teacher with a copy of the signed Consent Form and the date the evaluation is due.