What is DAPE?

Developmental Adapted Physical Education (or DAPE as it is also called) means specially designed physical education instruction and services for pupils with disabilities who have a substantial delay or disorder in physical development. Developmental adapted physical education: special education instruction for pupils age three through 21 may include development of physical fitness, motor fitness, fundamental motor skills and patterns, skills in aquatics, dance, individual and group games, and sports.

Students with conditions such as obesity, temporary injuries, and short-term or temporary illnesses or disabilities are termed special needs students. Special needs students are not eligible for developmental adapted physical education: special education. Provisions for these students must be made within regular physical education as described in Minnesota Statutes, section 126.02. (M.R.3525.1352, subp 1)

The National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPERID) defines adapted physical education as the following:

Developmental Adapted physical education (DAPE) is PE which may be adapted or modified to address the individualized needs of children and youth who have gross motor developmental delays. This service should include the following:

   * Assessment and instruction by qualified personnel means that professionals are prepared to gather assessment date and provide adapted physical education instruction for adapted children and youth with disabilities and developmental delays.
   * Accurate assessment data, including diagnostic and curriculum-based data collected by qualified personnel.
   * Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals and Objectives / Benchmarks and assessment are measurable and objective statements written by the adapted physical education instructor. The goals and objectives of assessment are reflective of the adapted physical education instructional content and monitored/evaluated according to district policy, to ensure that goals and objectives are being met in a timely manner.
   * Instruction in a Least Restricted Environment (LRE) refers to adapting or modifying the physical education curriculum and/or instruction to address the individualized abilities of each child. Adaptations are made to ensure that each student will experience success in a safe environment for assessment. Placement is outlined in the IEP and may include one or more of the following options:
         o The general adapted PE setting for assessment
         o The general adapted PE setting with a teaching assistant or peers
         o A separate class setting with peers
         o A separate class setting with assistants for assessment
         o A one-to-one setting between students and the instructor

For all practical purposes, Adapted Physical Education IS developmentally appropriate physical education at its finest. It is adapting, modifying, and/or changing a physical activity so it is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability.

The DAPE teacher is a direct service provider, not a related service provider, because special physical education is a federally mandated component of special education services [U.S.C.A. 1402 (25)]. This means that adapted PE needs to be provided to the student with a disability as part of the child's special education. This is contrasted with physical therapy and occupational therapy, which are related services. These therapies are provided to the child with disabilities only if he/she needs them to benefit from instruction.

Change the word "adapted" to "modified" and you have the idea of Adapted Physical Education. It is GOOD teaching which adapts (modifies) the curriculum, task, equipment, and/or environment so that ALL students can fully participate in physical education.