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    High school gym class

    My son was injured 14 months ago and is now an L1 para. He is not taking gym this year because his doctor wrote a note that is was more important for him to focus on his recovery and get adequate physical therapy.

    Now the school is saying he HAS to take two gym classes before he graduates and that they are going to put him in the special ed adaptive gym class.

    There is nothing wrong with his mind. Just his body. I think putting him in the special ed class would be demeaning and just plain wrong.

    His physiatrist said no way to special ed gym that he is "cognitively above" that and to make the school adapt regular gym to him.

    I find the entire thing totally insane. Like I don't have anything else to stress out about!

    You would think the state would have some sort of exemption, but no dice. For goodness sake, the school district provides him with PT each week because they know his limitations but nobody will come up with another plan for gym class. And they won't count his PT time as exercise or gym! UGH!

    I think he would feel odd taking regular gym too with 25 able-body kids.

    Has anyone dealt with this before?

    I don't care if they stick him in ceramics class or band, but how about an alternative to PE.

    Talking to the school is like talking to a brick wall too.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

    #2
    ?

    Penuts...

    I think you're missing the point of a special education certification. It simply means that a students' requirements are different than the general student population. It does not necessarily have to do with cognitive ability.

    Two of my friends in school were "special ed" ceritifed. One had severe cerebral paulsy...he also had a 700 math SAT and went to Stanford university. The other had a SEVERE temper...and had a habit of punching his teachers.

    A special education certification will simply move the bars that your son has to clear...not raise or lower them.

    On a different note...why the hell shouldn't he take a regular gym class, especially with an injury at L1? If you want your son "mainstreamed" then by all means....he NEEDS TO TAKE THE REGULAR GYM class. He can shoot baskets and play volleyball with anyone else. He can probably outperform the most students in weight lifting. And if there's a social dancing unit, then it will be a learning experience for the teacher as well as the student.

    I agree with the school...PT time is NOT exercise or gym. PT as it was meant to be should be specific exercises meant to rehabilitate your son. Above and beyond that, he needs to learn an exercise regimen to keep fit.

    We in the physically disabled community have to work MUCH HARDER than other people. We have to train like professional athletes.

    Personally? If I were your son, I'd want to be certified Spec. Ed...and I'd want my ass kicked into gym class!

    Originally posted by PeanutsLucy
    My son was injured 14 months ago and is now an L1 para. He is not taking gym this year because his doctor wrote a note that is was more important for him to focus on his recovery and get adequate physical therapy.

    Now the school is saying he HAS to take two gym classes before he graduates and that they are going to put him in the special ed adaptive gym class.

    There is nothing wrong with his mind. Just his body. I think putting him in the special ed class would be demeaning and just plain wrong.

    His physiatrist said no way to special ed gym that he is "cognitively above" that and to make the school adapt regular gym to him.

    I find the entire thing totally insane. Like I don't have anything else to stress out about!

    You would think the state would have some sort of exemption, but no dice. For goodness sake, the school district provides him with PT each week because they know his limitations but nobody will come up with another plan for gym class. And they won't count his PT time as exercise or gym! UGH!

    I think he would feel odd taking regular gym too with 25 able-body kids.

    Has anyone dealt with this before?

    I don't care if they stick him in ceramics class or band, but how about an alternative to PE.

    Talking to the school is like talking to a brick wall too.

    Comment


      #3
      Sadly special ed has such a bad wrap.
      So many people associate the stygma of 'Special Ed" with the short bus, retreading tires, or plainly stated - mental retardation.

      Specail Ed has a much broader scope to cover everyone that cannot participate in a regular class. Regardless of IQ or Physical ability.

      Perhaps if you look at it more as an 'Adaptive" class, geared towards your childs particular needs.

      I kind of agree with the prior post.. at an L1 injury, he may not be able to do some things, but should be able to do many things still required of any AB student. Then again, he might have unique needs.

      (yes.. I am not wearing my glasses.. typing is atrotious..)
      Rick Brauer or just call me - Mr B

      http://www.riseadventures.org

      Comment


        #4
        sadly...

        When i go out, I usually use 'wheels' as my bar name...I find it lightens people up to the fact that I'm using a chair.

        Taking a regular gym class is "social proof" if you will.

        Incidentally...something i learned after i was hurt...from another injured person (and a dragster driver...) "Everyone has disabilities...some are more apparent than others."



        Originally posted by Rbrauer
        Sadly special ed has such a bad wrap.
        So many people associate the stygma of 'Special Ed" with the short bus, retreading tires, or plainly stated - mental retardation.

        Specail Ed has a much broader scope to cover everyone that cannot participate in a regular class. Regardless of IQ or Physical ability.

        Perhaps if you look at it more as an 'Adaptive" class, geared towards your childs particular needs.

        I kind of agree with the prior post.. at an L1 injury, he may not be able to do some things, but should be able to do many things still required of any AB student. Then again, he might have unique needs.

        (yes.. I am not wearing my glasses.. typing is atrotious..)

        Comment


          #5
          About Special Ed

          Peanuts, I was in Special Ed beginning in grade school as I was in a gifted program from fourth grade until graduation from high school. Yes, programs for so-called gifted children are also labelled Special Education.

          As for your attitude regarding those who have lower than average IQ's, you stated it would be demeaning for your son to be around them. Do you hold the same view of people who have physical disabilities? How do you feel about people who hold such views about individuals with physical disses?

          As for being in PE with ab children, your son lives in the real world. He will mix and mingle and work and live and love and play and learn and have a life with individuals who are both ab and dis. He will know what he can and cannot do, what he is and is not willing to try in PE. It is possible to do many exercises/activities from a wheelchair.

          I have cerebral palsy (SCI acquired in '93, cp from birth) and was in P.E. in an otherwise all ab class. There were things I could not do, but those were few and far between. Yes, I was a walker not a wheeler in those days and that made a difference. P.E. was hard, but I was glad to take those classes with my ab peers.

          Unless your son is healing and P.E. in any form is medically dangerous for him or will cause too much fatigue and/or pain for what he needs to do the remainder of the school day, try to find a compromise with the school district.

          How does your son feel about all of this?
          Last edited by LaMemChose; 2 May 2008, 11:23 PM. Reason: clarification

          Comment


            #6
            If I was a L1 I would WANT to take gym class. There is no reason he can't, and as for feeling strange taking it with all the ablebodied kids, well, that is going to be his norm in all things from now on so why not start now? He could play softball, baseball (with designated runner), volleyball, tennis, run track in his chair, whatever. He may be surprised at how much he enjoys it, and it would also foster his relationships with the kids in his school. Sure, there may be one or two jerks, but mostly I bet the other kids would find it pretty cool to have him in their class.

            Comment


              #7
              This should all have been addressed in your son's IEP before he started school again after his SCI. Did you have a hearing? Have a written plan? If not, you need to get one NOW. There are a number of ways to address this.

              Training for a wheelchair sport could be considered his PE requirement and arrangements could be made for him to do this during his regular PE class time. He could participate in this through the special ed class, but with individual assignments. There is also a lot he could do in a regular PE class (tennis, basketball, weight lifting, etc.). But that needs to be addressed in the IEP.

              (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

              Comment


                #8
                My school had a swimming pool, and I had just had knee surgery. they let me do a terms worth of P.E. at the pool as an alternative. It was glorious having the place to myself with ony the student assistants and the swimming coach as lifeguards. There should be an acceptable alternative available to him if he prefers. The pool was the best therapy ever, and I got P.E. credit for time spent there. It was lucky for me that it was the last class of my day anyway, so no returning to class with wet hair.
                Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

                Comment


                  #9
                  Come to think of it....I think I'd want a nickname "Shortbus" if I were back in school All the good nicknames...like TeeBone...or jakethesnake..probably already taken

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by PeanutsLucy
                    I think he would feel odd taking regular gym too with 25 able-body kids.
                    Yeah, but he probably feels "odd" in a history class with 25 ab kids.

                    If it was me, I would try and take the regular gym class. I know in my school special ed was strictly kids with crazy behavioral problems and s l o w kids. I wouldnt want to hang out with them

                    Also, if its anything like my highschool, which i guess hopefully its not. You dont really have to DO anything.

                    At L1, he can probably shoot hoops and play volleyball and "run" around the gym in his chair, soccer might be a bit difficult, but they can't MAKE you do anything, wheelchair or no. They're certainly not gonna fail him for not doing jumping jacks.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JakeHalsted
                      Come to think of it....I think I'd want a nickname "Shortbus" if I were back in school All the good nicknames...like TeeBone...or jakethesnake..probably already taken

                      I'm gonna open a restaurant, be the chef, call it "meals on wheels"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yes, he's an L1. And yes, he's fairly high-functioning because it.

                        However, he's only 14 months post.

                        And he has $56,000 worth of hardware holding his spine together due to the nature of his injury and severity of the breaks.

                        I can't say I'm in too big a hurry to put him in a high school gym class with a teacher who doesn't have a clue (I've met the man, he doesn't have a clue).

                        As far as being in the special ed class there are two problems -- at his school it is for the severely impared students who do not even qualify to be mainstreamed. Also, it is only offered during the 4th period -- which is when lunch is and is the longest class of the day -- the one where all the biology and science labs are offered and those classes take priority.

                        He is under an IEP, but the agency that oversees that is a seperate entity from the school and his guidance counselor keeps trying to change things as we go (it's his first year on the job). I have been fighting the school over virtually everything since last year.
                        Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
                        Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
                        -- Lucy VanPelt

                        Comment


                          #13
                          KLD

                          I checked on whether wheelchair sport training would qualify and was told the state department of education took away that option and the possibility of some form of independent study.

                          His IEP for next year is being worked on now, I will see if I can get some sort of clarification.

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

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The school signed my daughter up for gym class at the start of the school year, due to her injury. It's in her IEP, that is the time to get stretched, lift weights and do laps. Then if there is time, she had the option of joining in with the AB kids and play whatever they're working on., some social time Or, occas. jumped in the stander. I'm sorry you have to fight with school. We have fought with ours, on transportation issues and not letting other kids help her up stairs or such.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by PeanutsLucy
                              Yes, he's an L1. And yes, he's fairly high-functioning because it.

                              However, he's only 14 months post.

                              And he has $56,000 worth of hardware holding his spine together due to the nature of his injury and severity of the breaks.
                              He is not fairly high functioning but extremely high functioning as compared to some here. Take Van Damn for instance, he is training for a weight lifting competition...and is constantly riding a hand cycle and he has a cervical level injury.

                              We have all had some sort of hardware at one time or another...your son is no different. At 14 months post, that hardware has no effect on his ability to shoot a basketball or even play tennis from a wheelchair. At 14 months post, his bones are fairly healed as all my hardware was removed at 12 months post.

                              You are making excuses for him and you are setting him up for a lifetime of failure doing this. He needs to participate in gym class and he needs to learn his own level of tolerance.

                              If you are not careful, you will make him dependent on you for the rest of his life and at his level or any other level matter of fact, he is capable of living his own life like anyone else.

                              I never wanted to be labeled as special and I am a T12 through L3 shatter/splinter injury. Even now 18 years post, it bothers me when people try to make excuses why I cant do something.

                              He is going to live with this injury the rest of his life and excuses get you no where in life.

                              I am not trying to be mean...I am also a mother as well. We all want to help our children. My doctor gave my parents some sound advice in the ER eighteen years ago....he told them "they could make an invalid out of me or they could make me independent", it was their choice.

                              Recognize your sons abilities and foster them. If you have to fight the school system for wheelchair sports then do it....but dont label him as "special".

                              Good luck!!!
                              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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