Physical Education and Inclusion

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An inclusive school is a place "where everyone belongs, is accepted, supports, and is supported by his/her peers and other members of the school community in the course of having his/her educational needs met" (Stainback, 1990). Inclusion provides opportunities for students with physical or mental disabilities to interact with, learn from, and form friendships with their peers while still ensuring that the child receives an appropriate individualized educational program. As inclusion strives to encompass all students in all subject areas, whether language arts, mathematics, science and so forth; either with or without the help of a Educational Assistant (EA), physical education provides many different types of obstacles to a physically handicapped student. As an example, a student with Cerebral Palsy (CP), dependent on the severity of their condition can either work on a modified or adapted program striving to meet the same or similar learning outcomes within the academic curriculum. However, if this student is physically restrained to either leg braces, crutches or a wheelchair his/her mobility is restricted; therefore, any activities that require movement may need to be adapted. In the case of physical education, the student with CP working along with their EA are going to be faced with many challenges that will result in either positive or negative outcomes. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a term used to describe "a group of disorders affecting body movement, muscle co-ordination and posture caused by abnormal development of, or damage to, motor control centers of the brain. CP is usually cause by harmful events before, during, or shortly after birth" (Bax, 2005). The abnormalities of muscle control that define CP are often "accompanied by other neurological and physical abnormalities. The effects of cerebral palsy vary widely from individual to individual. At its

mildest, cerebral palsy may result in a slight awkwardness of movement or hand control. At its' most...
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