Special Education
Additional Services

Adaptive Physical Education

Adaptive Physical Education (APE) is a part of the comprehensive program offered through special education services. The purpose of the program is to develop skills through a variety of exercise, sport, and leisure activities that will serve the students throughout their lives. The goals of the APE program are to provide students with an opportunity to be successful in a physical education setting unique to their individual needs, to work cooperatively with mainstream education in planning physical education programs and supervising integrated activities, to evaluate equipment, materials, and curriculum so as to appropriately plan individualized or group programs for students with disabilities, to develop fitness skills in students with disabilities that will serve them throughout their life, and to provide consultative services to physical education teachers in general education who are working with students with disabilities.

Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The areas where Assistive Technology can be applied are:
  • Positioning: Assistance with positions for seating so that a student with physical disabilities can participate in multiple activities in a variety of settings.
  • Computer Access: Special devices that provide access to computers or environmental controls. Input devices include such things as: switches, mouse, trackball, touch Window, key latches.
  • Environmental Control: Independent use of equipment in the classroom can be achieved through various types of environmental controls, such as remote switches and special adaptations of on/off switches.
  • Assistive Communication: Communication devices include such things as: symbol systems, communication boards and wallets, speech synthesizers, and electronic communication devices.
  • Assistive Listening: Devices to help with hearing, such as FM units and closed caption TV.
  • Visual Aids: General methods for assisting with vision needs include: increasing contrast, enlarging images, making use of tactile and auditory materials. Devices that assist with vision include: optical or electronic magnifying devices, hand-held or spectacle-mounted magnifiers or telescopes, tape recordings, large print books, Braille materials, lighting modifications.

A referral for an Assistive Technology evaluation is initiated through an ARD committee meeting. An assessment will be completed by a multidisciplinary team and forwarded to the campus.

Occupational and Physical Therapy Services
Referrals to occupational therapy (OT) and/or physical therapy (PT) are made through the ARD committee. If an evaluation is recommended, it is implemented in accordance with district policy and procedures. State licensure rules for physician referral must be followed. Assessment data is gathered from a variety of sources, including a review of existing evaluation data. Upon completion of the OT and/or PT evaluation, the therapist(s) will make a determination regarding whether occupational therapy and/or physical therapy are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. The evaluation is reviewed by the ARD committee. Recommendations for frequency, time, location, and duration of intervention services are made to the ARD committee by the occupational therapist and/or physical therapist.

Students who need these services receive and benefit from a wide array of intervention methodologies. Therapists work collaboratively with other members of the student’s education team, and integrate their services into the student’s daily curriculum and activities to the greatest extent possible. To support a student’s individual education plan (IEP), suggestions for alternative approaches to classroom materials or activities may be made by the OT or PT. Strategies may be provided for adapting the school environment to remove barriers or to enhance access to learning materials.
The therapists use methods that include hands-on intervention to facilitate skill development and/or consultation with other education team members to ensure skills are generalized into all educational settings. Periodic checks of equipment and the educational environment are also provided to ensure adaptation is made for developmental growth and/or changes in educational need. Staff development training provided at the district, campus, or classroom level may also be appropriate.

Services for Students with Visual Impairment
A student who is visually impaired is one who has been determined by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist to have no vision or to have a serious visual loss after correction, and has been determined by a functional vision evaluation and a learning media assessment, conducted by a certified teacher of the visually impaired, to have a need for special education services.

The ability to learn is directly affected by the ability to access information. Therefore, it is important to provide opportunities for students with visual impairments to learn in ways that circumvent the visual impairment as early as possible. Children birth to age 3, enrolled with an Early Childhood Intervention (E.C.I.) Program, are provided services to address developmental delays in gross and fine motor skills, cognitive development, language development, and self-help skills. The direct involvement of parents in the education of their child results in great gains for children with visual impairments.

Students with visual impairments continue to receive services from a certified teacher of students with visual impairments once they enter school. Many students benefit from individualized instruction to address educational needs that are unique to students with visual mpairments. Direct instruction may be required to teach concepts, use of functional vision, Braille reading and writing, abacus, use of low vision aids, keyboarding skills, use of Assistive Technology, and organizational skills. Other students may be more appropriately served through consultative services. In this model, the teacher of students with visual impairments works with other teachers and support staff to ensure that the curriculum, materials, and methods are adapted for the student’s needs.

Instruction in orientation and mobility enables the student to move purposefully in any environment, familiar or unfamiliar, and to function safely, efficiently, and independently. Instruction may focus on environmental concepts, spatial awareness, sighted guide techniques, use of clues/landmarks, cane techniques, street crossings, residential/business travel, and bus travel. Due to the nature of this service, the student may receive regular instruction on and/or off campus.

Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and Special Education Counselor

These professionals serve students that qualify for special education services throughout the district. They support the special and general education classroom teachers through consultation regarding students exhibiting behavior problems. They recommend positive classroom management strategies, consult with parents, social services, and community agencies, and serve as a resource for behavior management, social skills and problem solving strategies. They also work with students to develop positive self-concept, increase self awareness, develop techniques to enhance impulse control, learn appropriate socialization skills, enhance decision making processes, gain organizational skills, and develop better coping skills.