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Implications of U.S. Federal Law and Court Cases for Physical Education Placement of Students with Disabilities

Martin E. Block

Inclusion, the philosophy of placing all children with disabilities in regular education settings, is easily the most discussed and controversial education reform issue since the 1975 passage of PL 94-142, Education of Handicapped Children Act (EHA). However, inclusion is never mentioned in the original EHA or the updated PL 101-476, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (e.g., Sherrill, 1994; Stein, 1994). What is discussed in IDEA as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the “continuum of least restrictive environments” (LRE). The purpose of this paper is to (a) review United States federal laws regarding inclusion and LRE, most notably IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; (b) review recent U.S. court cases regarding inclusion and LRE including three landmark cases: Roncker v. Walter (Ohio) (1983), Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education (Texas) (1989), and Sacramento Unified School District, Board of Education v. Rachel H. (California) (1994); and (c) apply these federal laws and court decisions to physical education placement.

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Motor Development in Children with Down Syndrome: A Review of the Literature

Martin E. Block

The effects of Down syndrome (DS) on motor development have been widely reported over the years, particularly with the profusion of research in the past 10 years. Although more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between DS and motor development, there is a need to synthesize the current findings. Henderson (1985, 1986) and Reid (1985) reviewed the literature regarding the motor development of children with DS. While Henderson’s review was extremely well done, certain recent studies can add to our understanding of the motor characteristics of these children. Furthermore, Henderson did not examine factors such as cardiac, anatomical, and sensory deficits that can affect motor development. Therefore this paper reviews the extant literature regarding the motor development of children with DS in terms of health and medical conditions that can affect this development as well as the motor development of infants and all others with DS. Finally, implications for future research and programming are discussed.

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What Is Appropriate Physical Education for Students with Profound Disabilities?

Martin E. Block

What is appropriate physical education for students with profound disabilities? Some suggest a developmental model in which students learn prerequisite skills before they are exposed to higher level skills. Others suggest the use of specially designed games that often bear little resemblance to traditional physical education activities. Still others call for a therapeutic model in which physical education focuses on physical and occupational therapy techniques. While these models provide viable programming options for students with profound disabilities, alone they do not constitute an appropriate physical education program as defined in PL 94-142 (reauthorized as PL 101-476). In addition, current philosophies in special education for students with severe and profound disabilities call for programs that are chronological age appropriate, functional, data based, and taught in natural, community based settings. This paper provides an alternative view of what is appropriate physical education for students with profound disabilities by integrating the best aspects of the models described above with the current life-skills curricula model employed in special education.

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Children with Autism: A Parents’ Guide (2nd ed.)

Martin E. Block

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Can Children with Mild Mental Retardation Perceive Affordances for Action?

Martin E. Block

Recent evidence utilizing an ecological approach to perception (Gibson, 1979; Warren, 1984) suggests that children acquire the ability to distinguish what movement an environment “affords” soon after they acquire motor skills (e.g., Gibson et al., 1987; Palmer, 1989; Ulrich, Thelen, & Niles, 1991). However, it is still unclear whether or not children with cognitive disabilities can accurately perceive affordances (see Burton, 1987, 1990). The purpose of this study was to determine if boys with mild mental retardation could perceive affordances for the skill of jumping distances (standing long jump). Boys with mild mental retardation were asked to judge whether or not various distances could be jumped across by use of a two-footed takeoff and landing. Perceptual judgment was then compared to actual maximum jumping distance. Results indicate that boys with mental retardation were able to accurately perceive the affordance for jumping distance. Results were explained via an ecological perspective.

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Collaborative Teams for Students with Severe Disabilities: Integrating Therapy and Education Services

Martin E. Block

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Development and Validation of the Children’s Attitudes Toward Integrated Physical Education–Revised (CAIPE–R) Inventory

Martin E. Block

This paper describes the development and validation of the Children’s Attitudes Toward Integrated Physical Education–Revised (CAIPE-R) inventory, an inventory designed to assess attitudes of children without disabilities toward including peers with disabilities in regular physical education. The CAIPE–R inventory includes a description of a student with disabilities, followed by seven statements regarding including a child with disabilities in regular physical education and five statements regarding specific adaptations to a team sport that would foster inclusion. Users respond to each statement on a 4-point Likert scale. Construct validity using factor analysis, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability was determined on a sample of 44 sixth graders. The CAIPE was revised (CAIPE-R) and given to a second set of subjects (n = 208). Results indicated that the CAIPE-R was a valid and reliable instrument for measuring attitudes of children without disabilities toward including children with disabilities in physical education. Preliminary data on children’s attitudes toward including a student with disabilities in regular physical education are also presented.

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Disability and Motor Behavior: A Handbook of Research

Martin E. Block

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Consulting in Adapted Physical Education

Martin E. Block and Philip Conatser

The purpose of this paper is to broaden the knowledge base regarding consulting in adapted physical education (APE). First, a definition and key characteristics of consulting are discussed. Second, a review of theoretical foundations and major characteristics of the two most common types of consulting models used in APE—behavior and organizational consulting—is presented. Third, the four most common roles of APE consultants—advocacy, trainer, fact finder, and process specialist—are examined. Fourth, the most common four-step consulting process (entry, diagnosis, implementation, and disengagement) is outlined and discussed. Finally, three major barriers to APE consulting—time to consult, administrative support, and attitudes and expectations of the consultee—are analyzed.

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An Activity-Based Approach to Physical Education for Preschool Children with Disabilities

Martin E. Block and Timothy D. Davis

Traditional motor development programs for preschool children with disabilities usually utilize a behavior-analytic approach in which children are given specific training and instruction on identified IEP objectives. While this approach has its merits in terms of time-on-task and focus on critical IEP objectives, it is not consistent with current developmentally appropriate philosophies in early childhood education. One of the newer techniques suggested by early childhood educators as a “best practice” in educating young children is an activity-based or play-based approach. Children still have individually determined goals and objectives, but these goals and objectives are “embedded” in a variety of child-directed play activities. The teacher acts as a facilitator, encouraging the child to practice individual goals while exploring the environment. The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of activity-based intervention and provide examples of how it can be implemented within a motor development/physical education context for preschool children with disabilities.