Adapted PE for Students with Autism

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Dec 07
Pic of och bucket

This is one of the best tools I have for A.PE. I use it to carry stuff, be a basket and even a step.

One of the groups of students that I find very challenging are the kids that have autism. As a rule they don’t pay attention to balls, targets, other students or teachers. It can be very difficult to reach them.

Most of the students I see are non-communicative. They do have receptive language. This means they can understand you to some degree. But they have very little or no expressive language. If they want something or don’t want to do something they have no way to tell you.

It gets very frustrating for them. Some of them scream, cry, throw tantrums and run away. As you can imagine it gets frustrating for the teachers and parents as well.

I work with one group of third to fifth graders who various degrees of autism. They also have obsessive compulsive behaviors as well (O.C.D.). When working with these kids, I try to have a similar class every day and then add activities to the previous one.

Today, I tried something a bit different. Today we took one activity and then modified the same activity each time. Here were the activities:

1. Run around a cone. We use cones all the time to give us a border. They typically don’t run but the will walk. Twenty percent of the class is 100% independent and the remainder need some sort of hand-over-hand prompting.

2. The second step was to run around the cone and then drop a ball onto a target. We’ve used the target before but never have we had to move to the target.

3. The third step was drop a ball onto a target but to do it in a group. We had groups of three go at one time.

4. The fourth and final step was to carry a 2lb medicine ball and drop it into a bucket. They’ve done the bucket drop before and had to walk but never as far as this time. The bucket was about 10 yards away from where they were seated.

I thought it went very well. I was particularly impressed with the groups. They managed to do it without running away and only one student required hand-over-hand. Everybody else was independent.

So other APE teachers…what do you do with your students with autism?

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