Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy | An Adapted PE eval? Me? Help!

Janine Calmes, PT, MS
TxSpot Support       
It may not be the same in some other states, but in Texas, school-based physical therapists and occupational therapists can be asked to do an adapted physical education evaluation.
So, you have been asked to assess a student for adapted physical education (APE) – where do you start?

The goal of an APE evaluation will sound familiar since it sounds much like the goal for an IEP. It is to ensure that “each student receives the most appropriate physical education program in the least restrictive environment.”

There are five purposes for APE evaluations:

  • To establish present level of performance.
  • To develop the program – to determine which activities would promote development of delayed areas and any modifications needed to facilitate participation.
  • To determine the most appropriate PE placement in the least restrictive environment.
  • To make an educated estimate of what the student may be capable of achieving.
  • To measure achievement. 
Evaluation for APE can include information gathered from screening or testing instruments, observation, survey reports, review of records, and consulting with parents. The assessment(s) that you choose for APE is going to depend on several things: the age and grade level of the student as well as the nature and severity of his or her disability.
Region 10 Educational Service Center (Region 10) has made recommendations for primary and secondary assessment tools for APE. Primary tools are recommended first because they closely relate to the general education PE curriculum and are age and developmentally appropriate. Secondary tests are recommended when primary assessment tools are not developmentally appropriate. Non-standardized instruments can be used as supplementary information gathering tools. Region 10 APE specialists have designed alternate assessment instruments for students with moderate to severe motor deficits, including evaluation tools for ambulatory students with low motor performance, students with visual impairments, and students with orthopedic impairments. Their package of APE evaluation tools also includes Ecological Surveys, the Physical Education Participation Inventory (P.E.P.I.), and the Lifetime Leisure Survey. 
The primary tools recommended by Region 10 for children aged 0 – 5 years 11 months are
  • Louisiana Motor Assessment for Pre-Schoolers (LaMAP),
  • Hawaiian Early Learning Profile (HELP), and 
  • Brigance (Brigance ).  
The primary tools recommended for children ages 6 – 22 are
Check the links below for other recommendations for APE evaluation instruments: