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    #16
    I am a T1 and I was injured at 15 in March of 95 and came back the following September (6 monts post) and was placed in Special Ed gym class, but due to my ability was placed in a regular gym class. They will accomodate to him to what he can and cannot do. I did volleyball, basketball, and even softball among other things I never would have even considered doing. I wasn't that great at doing any of them, but I put in a great effort.

    Sure there were things I couldn't do which was rare. It boosted my confidence being able to participate. They are not going to dock his grade if he can't jump rope or do pull ups, etc. A lot of AB people can't jump rope or do pull ups, etc. If he puts in a good effort there is no reason he shouldn't get an A or B in the class.

    I wheeled a mile while my class ran/walked a mile. Due to the fact the track was sloped and the tar was making my hands and wheels dirty - they mapped out an alternative route for me to wheel that was flat and a couple of students did their mile that way with me. They also let me out of class twice of week to go swimming as part of my outpatient rehab.

    At times I would peek in at the Special Ed gym when the class was doing something I just couldn't do and I ended up student aiding for the Special Ed gym class for the next 2 1/2 years. Sure they may not be as cognitive, but they are incredible kids to be around. A lot of times my gym teacher would welcome the Special Ed class to join our main class. All the students thrived off the energy of everyone - special ed or not. It was a good time.

    My high school also started a charity wheelchair basketball game with the Sioux Wheelers (a wheelchair basketball team) and the faculity and some students. It is still a huge hit today and my 10 year reunion is this year.

    Your son should have no problem in a regular gym class even with a clueless teacher. I think he should at least try it before trying to take him out of it. I hated gym before I got hurt, but it was actually one of the classes I looked forward to post injury.
    "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." ~ James Dean
    http://www.kristi-allen.com

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      #17
      Darkeyed Daisy,

      Get off the soapbox sister. Implying that he isn't disabled enough is just bull. He's a kid for god's sake. And the hardware is in there for life.

      And don't even go there and say I'm making him dependent on me.

      I do nothing for him beyond stretch his feet/ankles out. He does EVERYTHING else on his own, from his bowel program to medicine. I make him gather his laundry and help prepare dinner. He's known how to wash clothes and do dishes since he was 7 and he continues to do chores around the house.

      I'm not making excuses for him at school, I've just learned in the past year that there are certain battles worth fighting and others that you should walk away from and in my book PE class is not high on the priority list. The kid does a 60-90 minute exercise program every night that is geared to his abilities and to even think for a second that having him hang in the gym shooting baskets for 30 minutes a day is a good/productive use of his time is nutty. Opening up that fourth period class to advanced biology so that he can one day get into med school is a good use of his time.
      Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
      Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
      -- Lucy VanPelt

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        #18
        Kristi,

        Thanks for the first-hand perspective.
        Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
        Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
        -- Lucy VanPelt

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          #19
          I don;t think you are going to get far exempting him from gym entirely. Around here is is a state law, and they have even stopped the policy of allowing the kids who play a varsity sport let it count as gym. His IEP is probably the ONLY place you can get something substituted.

          I think your goal here should be to get him mainstreamed into regular gym, the spec ed class should NOT be an option due to it conflicting with any science labs. II'm actually surprised that class exists .... [retty much everyone is mainstreamed for gym here. ANy adaptive PE is usually additional, not replacement). Yea he might feel funny with the ab kids but that he will just have to get used to, or get over it. As far as the clueless teacher goes, your son is quite a ways out, and probably isn;t as fragile as you are worried about (I know, it is our jobs as mom;s to worry, LOL). He will have to be an advocate for himself here, and if the teacher is pushing him to do something harmful, he can speak up.
          T7-8 since Feb 2005

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            #20
            sjean

            Thanks. I too think the special ed class is not an option. I'm going to look into having him take regular PE over the summer next year. A friend of mine just sent me an email recommending it. The would get rid of the scheduling problems and elminate the time pressure of changing into a gym uniform (school requirement).

            I know he's not fragile. He plays wheelchair basketball and has earned the nickname "dozer" as in bulldozer. He also plays wheelchair tennis every weekend and really enjoys that.

            I'm just tired of the school changing the rules on me every time I turn my head. Originally, he was going to take it independently. But the counselor nixed that one just last week. Ugh.

            I am going to call the state DOE and see what the rules are because I really don't think his guidance counselor has a good grasp of what's going on. Like I said, it's his first year and we've had a lot of problems.

            I will need to get his IEP ammended for gym class because the teacher is of the macho mindset that if you pump enough iron or whatever then the body will work normally. I don't think he has any concept of simply not being able to move something.
            Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
            Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
            -- Lucy VanPelt

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              #21
              Originally posted by PeanutsLucy
              Darkeyed Daisy,

              Get off the soapbox sister. Implying that he isn't disabled enough is just bull. He's a kid for god's sake. And the hardware is in there for life.

              And don't even go there and say I'm making him dependent on me.

              I do nothing for him beyond stretch his feet/ankles out. He does EVERYTHING else on his own, from his bowel program to medicine. I make him gather his laundry and help prepare dinner. He's known how to wash clothes and do dishes since he was 7 and he continues to do chores around the house.

              I'm not making excuses for him at school, I've just learned in the past year that there are certain battles worth fighting and others that you should walk away from and in my book PE class is not high on the priority list. The kid does a 60-90 minute exercise program every night that is geared to his abilities and to even think for a second that having him hang in the gym shooting baskets for 30 minutes a day is a good/productive use of his time is nutty. Opening up that fourth period class to advanced biology so that he can one day get into med school is a good use of his time.
              Soapbox HELL... I said nothing about him not being disabled enough. You are acting like $56,000 dollars worth of hardware is something no one else here has or has dealt with.

              Suit yourself... most normal kids wheelchair or not enjoy hanging with each other shooting baskets and not just in gym class. But go ahead exclude him.... teach him to whine and get out of everything that you dont consider a priority. You are teaching him to use his disability as an excuse to not have to do what you or he doesnt consider important. Required PE is a state law for a reason because kids need to exercise.

              PE is also a requirement for college as well. Are you gonna try to have him exempted there too?

              If you are looking to get sympathy, you need to go somewhere else besides here.
              T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

              My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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                #22
                Forgive me for thinking that education should be the primary focus of public school.

                Plain and simple, core classes should be the priority. I'm not asking for an exemption from PE, just the flexibility to get the best possible education he can get.

                I didn't ask for sympathy from you or anyone else.
                Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
                Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
                -- Lucy VanPelt

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                  #23
                  Peanuts dont let them put him in special ed...................

                  He needs a EGO..
                  He have one?

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                    #24
                    Does he have to take PE every year or just have a certain number of credits before he graduates? Is it possible to leave it out next year until he is more settled and take it later?
                    I don't really know much about IEPs but if they require him to take the PE maybe you could ask for some education about SCI for the teacher. I think him taking regular PE would be good for him but the attitude of the teacher has a huge impact on that.
                    C3/4 Brown Sequard

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                      #25
                      I made some calls today and got some answers.

                      He has to take two semesters of PE before he graduates and according to the state it doesn't matter when he takes them.

                      So the plan for now is to defer the classes until his junior year and leave him an open period at the end of the day next year to allow him time to continue to focus on recovery. He's doing an intensive physical therapy program because he has been really fortunate and has continued to see slow but steady funtional improvement and I really believe that his intensive exercise plan has played a big part in it.

                      When he does take PE, he will be in the regular class and the gym teacher will be brought into the IEP meeting next year.

                      Thanks for all the input and perspective. I've been getting such mixed messages from the school that my head was spinning.
                      Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
                      Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
                      -- Lucy VanPelt

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                        #26
                        That is good, since it gives you another year to get everything figured out as far as the iep and all too.
                        T7-8 since Feb 2005

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                          #27
                          Gym class issue

                          [quote=PeanutsLucy]
                          When he does take PE, he will be in the regular class and the gym teacher will be brought into the IEP meeting next year.

                          To PeanutsLucy...
                          I'm so glad you called the school to clarify the situation regarding your son's gym requirement. I have to tell you I was troubled by this situation: I am a wheeler and was a participant in the civil rights movement of the disabled back in the early 1970's regarding passage and implementation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in addition to other activities to promote equal rights. One major issue was Inclusion in the educational setting. When I saw that you felt your son should be exempt from the required gym class, and that the school was requiring it, I said wow, the tables have turned - here's a mom doing what the schools used to do - the schools would say 'you CAN'T take gym class because you're disabled', while the moms were pushing to get them into those classes!
                          Another note....back when I was paralyzed as a child in 1949, you could not go to the "handicapped school" (the only option then), unless you could walk onto the school bus. My mom worked desperately with me over the summers to walk on full length leg braces, back brace and crutches, so that I could drag my butt up the stairs of the school bus. They did not take wheelchairs on the bus. When I got to school 2 hours later there was an old fashioned wooden wheelchair waiting for me - I hated it. I did have mostly terrific teachers and went on to obtain 2 M.A. degrees, as well as participate as an adult in wheelchair basketball and roadracing.
                          My high school was the best in the city - that's where all the city's handicapped students were sent, even though I fought to go to my local high school. In high school I was totally excluded from PE. I was also excluded from all extracurricular activities as I had to catch the school bus immediately after last class.
                          Things have gotten so much better for kids and continual improvement is important. I am hoping your son will fully participate in all aspects of high school life and go on to become a doctor, lawyer, or Indian Chief.

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                            #28
                            Hi Triumph,

                            Thanks for the post, and the perspective. He will take regular gym in his junior year and that will give us time for rehab. My big thing was getting him more time to focus on recovery and physical therapy. I just feel like if we didn't do absolutely everything possible to foster as much recovery as possible in the first 24 months, I would be kicking myself down the road. He's doing an intensive PT program and that takes a serious chunk of time each day. Right now the difference between functional ambulation and his wheelchair is on the line and with him only 15 I just feel like we need to keep pressing forward.

                            Give yourself and your mom a big old pat on the back and hug from me and my family because the fight you waged back when you were in school has yielded tremendous results for disabled kids today and we can't thank you enough. Your story is inspiring and I will pass it along to my son tonight.

                            Also, thanks for the good wishes for my son too. He is participating in school activities and playing in a wheelchair basketball league (which he loves!).

                            Take care.
                            Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
                            Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
                            -- Lucy VanPelt

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