Risk and Safety in Physical Education for Children With Disabilities: Adapted Physical Education Textbook Review and Primer for Teachers





abuse, disability, security


Purpose: Much of the information physical educators learn about children with disabilities occurs in an introduction to adapted physical education course. Because disabilities often have concomitant medical conditions, it is critical that PE teachers are knowledgeable about risks and safety measures for children with special needs. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which authors of APE textbooks address risk and safety issues and how accessible the information is. Method: The authors examined eight textbooks in print for APE courses. Topics examined included asthma, atlantoaxial instability, diabetes, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, obesity, spina bifida, and abuse. Results: None of the textbooks covered safety procedures for every topic. In general, the longer books provided more coverage of the topics. Discussion: PE teachers should not rely solely on APE textbooks for appropriate management of medical conditions. The authors present symptoms and appropriate management of targeted conditions. Eight recommendations are made to improve safety for students at risk. 

Author Biographies

Patricia Paulsen Hughes, Oklahoma State University

Associate ProfessorHealth and Human Performance

Nilo Ramos, Oklahoma State University

Visiting Assistant ProfessorHealth and Human Performance

Njoki Mwarumba, Oklahoma State University

Fire and Emergency Management AdministrationDepartment of Political Science