Special Education/pt goals


Thanks for the speedy reply. Can I ask a follow up? The school claims legally it only has to relate to academic goals or safety goals. Is there someone online I can look this up? They say the PT goals are not supposed to have anything to do with gym class unless it relates to safety. This doesn't gel with the past, common logic or even why he was given PT. But I can't fight the "legal" argument as they've provided zero proof and I don't know where to find guidelines. Thanks.

Hello, Lisa,

I am sorry this reply wasn't so speedy!  But I hope it will be helpful!  "Legally" the definition of a related service (which PT is), can be found at the following link:

Now you know I am not an attorney!  But the school is going to have to show you it's policy and what documentation it is relying on in order to deny your requests.  So I would advise you to write a letter to the school, copying everyone from the Principal to the PT to the teachers, and say something like this:
"You have denied my request for increased PT for my child and you have denied my requests for additional goals for PT on my child's IEP.  Please provide prior written notice regarding the school's decision to deny my requests.  And provide the written authority for the school's statements that PT goals are limited to certain areas."

See these two links about your right to receive prior written notice:

You may have to be rigorous and diligent when attempting to document what was said to you and requesting the school give you the 'policy' to which it is referring.  

Also, remember that evaluations may need to be updated in this regard.  The PT can relate to academics, because there is a curriculum for physical education.  So you can ask the school to do an evaluation focused on the curriculum and you can also obtain an evaluation privately.  This is usually the best way to force the school to consider your specific requests.  

I don't know what district you are in, but look at this from a NY district.  It mentions all kinds of areas PT can address.  Also, don't forget to request an adaptive PE evaluation and services.  Adaptive PE is different from PT:


Adaptive PE is a service on the child's IEP related to equipment, instruction, adaptations, and whatever the child needs for PE:


This is a NY resource for that area.  Also there are APE evaluations which qualify a child for service.  

I hope this follow up answer has helped you!  Please consider bringing on a professional like myself when DIY is not working!  


Good luck as you advocate and I wish you the best!

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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