PL 99-457 and PL 101-176 have presented a new challenge for adapted physical education. Federal legislation has provided financial incentive for states to increase the intensity and duration of early intervention programs for the infant/toddler/preschool child with disabilities (ITPCD). The present article proposes a conceptual framework for a new subfield, pediatric adapted physical education (PAPE). The origins and essence of federal legislation affecting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is explained. Because the legislation requires a multi-agency/multidisciplined approach, the role of adapted physical education within the larger context is explained, as is the professional preparation of practitioners of the new subfield. Finally, one state’s initiative is explained to serve as an action plan for other adapted physical education leaders.
Request reprints from Jo E. Cowden, Department of Human Performance and Health Promotion, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148.