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Teacher: Ryan Patrie who teaches at Wildwood School in Schenectady, NY.

Name of Best Practice: Adapted Functional Motor Ideas

Rationale/Purpose of Event: Wildwood School is a school for students with autism spectrum disorders, complex learning disabilities and other developmental disabilities. There is a group of students at the school that face many challenges to gaining the most basic motor skills. This population of students have such severe motor impairments that they are unable to participate in most physical education activities because of characteristics such as poor attention, unmotivated, poor endurance, and an inability to initiate or sustain a motor activity. Through the combined effort with the school’s physical therapists and occupational therapists a functional motor curriculum has been developed and then adapted by me to include many elements of a general physical education curriculum such as the equipment used and game like activities. The purpose of the adapted functional motor curriculum is to have students be successful in activities that focus on areas such as endurance, overall body conditioning, and range of motion.

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Adapted Functional Motor Ideas

The adapted functional motor curriculum contains highly structures, repetitive, functional tasks that have been adapted to include elements of a general physical education curriculum.

Units in the curriculum include:
-Pushing and Pulling
-Maintaining a Grasp and Carrying
-Bending, Stooping, and Reaching
-Recreational Games

Within these units other areas are addresses such as object manipulation, locomotor skills, non-locomotor skills, health-related fitness components and skill related fitness components.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Example Lesson

Unit: Pushing & Pulling Lesson: Aerobic Orienteering
Cues: “Push” or “Pull”

Each student has a map of the school with a predetermined path already written on the map. Students will follow the path while pushing or pulling open any doors they encounter during the activity.

Using the “Picture Exchange Communication System” (PECS) have pictures of an individual opening a door to use to prompt the students.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

-Increase/Decrease Distances
-Increase/Decrease Duration
-Eliminate Distractions
-Have a variety of equipment available
-Physically assist students
-Keep verbal directions to a minimum
-Visual Supports
-Be Flexible
-Ensure Success

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Posted on PEC: 5/1/2010 and has received 85 votes.

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