What is Adaptive PE (APE)?

  • APE is physical education modified to meet the needs of children with disabilities
  • APE is a federally mandated component of physical education
  • Physical education is distinctly outlined as an essential area of instruction for students with disabilities, protected under the IDEA
  • If the PPT determines that the student requires APE services then the district must find a way to provide the service

Autism Health & Fitness Center Program Overview

  • Provide a safe and productive environment for students to engage in physical activity
  • Structured, organized and personalized classes designed to meet the needs of students who otherwise have difficulty engaging in physical activity in a traditional PE setting
  • We foster a creative and innovative environment that promotes a motivation to participate, reinforcement, and a sense of achievement in students
  • Modified gym class structured to advance the abilities of each school’s special needs population
  • All programs supervised by licensed Connecticut PE teacher

Class Structure


Our Adaptive PE program helps instill confidence in children and adolescents with special needs. Many times, children with special needs do not feel comfortable in a typical physical education class. Most PE classes are only structured for typical students, which can cause anxiety and stress among non-typical students. The skills students learn in an Adaptive PE Program can translate to other social situations. The exercise provided in an Adaptive PE class can:

  • Help combat the prevalence of obesity among students with special needs
  • Reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other common illnesses
  • Demonstrate improvement in cognitive and emotional functioning
  • Decrease the frequency of negative, self-stimulating behaviors
  • Decrease aggressive behavior
  • Promote self-esteem
  • Increase levels of happiness
  • Lead to positive social outcomes