Benefits of Special Education Programs on Physical Activity
Nationwide, 25.6% of children and adults with a disability report being physically inactive during a typical week, compared to 12.8% of those without a disability. Everyone, including children with special needs, can benefit from regular participation in physical activity. In fact, research shows that physical education is an important component of a special education program and can greatly improve a child’s lifestyle.
Some benefits of physical activity for children with disabilities include: increasing gross motor skills, controlling obesity, improving self-esteem, mood, and social skills, encouraging an active lifestyle, and maintaining motivation in various areas of life.
The Gateway School in Carteret, New Jersey, offers many opportunities in our special education classes to promote the physical activity of our students. Our adaptive physical education program allows students to learn how to follow rules, develop personal goals, practice sportsmanship, gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence and grow to their full potential.
What is Adaptive Physical Education?
Adaptive physical education, also known as adapted physical education (APE), refers to the special education instruction based on specific modifications to traditional physical education curriculum. Modifications can include task, equipment, skills, environment, etc.
APE is specifically designed for a learner with a disability to enhance fitness and wellness and develop a lifetime of rich recreation and sports experiences.
Special Education Programs at The Gateway School:
Adaptive Physical Education
Adaptive physical education classes at Gateway are scheduled three days a week and may include sports such as:
- Track and field skills
- Floor hockey
Throughout the year, our school joins our RKS sister schools, Harbor and Alpha, for intramural events in soccer, floor hockey, basketball and baseball.
In addition, the entire school participates in the American Heart Association – “Jump Rope for Heart” in February, which promotes physical education and provides children with knowledge of heart disease and stroke while raising funds for cardiovascular disease research, stroke research, and health education.
Special Education in the News:
Special Olympics New Jersey athletes go for the gold at Winter Games
Earlier this month, (the night before the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea) hundreds of Special Olympics athletes gathered at Mountain Creek during the Special Olympics New Jersey Winter Games. They competed in alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoe.
What started in 1968, as a day camp for children with intellectual disabilities has now grown into a global movement with more than 4.5 million Special Olympics athletes involved with 32 sports across 170 countries. Focusing on bringing people together through sports, the Special Olympics New Jersey, which has more than 25,000 athletes and 26,000 volunteers, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
At the Gateway School, we provide training to eligible students and accompany them to regional and state events. Additionally, the school also sponsors students for Special Olympics in Power Lifting, Bocce and Track and Field.
The School-Based Program at The Gateway School
At the Gateway School, we recognize that students can face a variety of physical, emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges. Our academic program, aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, directly addresses these unique challenges throughout each of our special education programs, including physical education, to complement the student as a whole.
About RKS Associates
Since 1980, RKS Associates has been a leader in providing the needs of special education students and helping children grow to their fullest potential. Each of our schools seeks to empower each student with skills for life, work, and recreation; we believe that every individual possesses the dignity and potential to contribute to a better world.
As part of the RKS Associates Network of schools in New Jersey, the goal at the Gateway School is to assist all students in becoming as independent as possible and help them get ready for the future. Located in Carteret, NJ, we serve individuals throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. Contact us at our main office at 732.541.4400 with any questions or schedule a private tour of the Gateway School today.
Our Mission at The Gateway School:
Provide a safe and nurturing educational environment dedicated to the vision that individuals with disabling conditions are entitled to a full and meaningful life.
Chris Hoye, Principal-The Gateway School, Carteret, NJ