Fun, Fitness, and Friendship in a Whole New Way (Ep 164)Dec 21, 2022
I took a fitness class last week and it was different than anything I’ve experienced before! This fitness class reminded me about 3 important things in our IEP process. 1) We need more options for P.E. during the school day. 2) We need more person-centered planning for employment options. 3) When we see a gap in our communities, we often need to fill it with NEW solutions, just like Let’s Go Fitness!
Let’s Go Fitness - https://www.letsgo.fit/
Free IEP Checklist - www.iepchecklist.com
Online and In-Person IEP Workshops - www.masteriepcoach.com/learn
I'm going to tell you about a fitness class that I just took last week that is like no other fitness class I've ever taken before. Welcome to the Special Education Inner Circle podcast. I'm your host, Catherine Whitcher, and I want you to know that wherever you're watching or listening to this, you have a link to an IEP checklist that will help you prep for your next meeting. There's also a link to Let's Go Fitness. That's where I took my exercise class at, and it's something that you are going to want to explore. So, you know, as we're talking about IEPs all the time, and we're talking about how to prepare a child for further education, employment, and independent living, we're talking about reading goals and math goals and all of the different academic things, but there's a piece that tends to get put kind of secondary to our thoughts, and that's physical education, that's fitness.
And here's what's really important about this. If you're like, I, I don't know about this fitness thing, I don't know what she's going to be talking about. You know, I want to encourage you to just keep on listening because there is a solution through Let's Go Fitness that I know would be great for so many of you. Let’s Go Fitness is an online fitness program that is designed by a parent of a child with disability, and it provides fun, fitness, and friendship. And it was, it really built because a parent saw a gap in services or support for his son. Sound familiar? A lot of parents find these gaps and they create something that's amazing. Everything from Be Kind to Everyone t-shirts to John's Crazy Socks. And if you don't know what those are, go search those up because they're amazing companies that are built by parents because of the needs of their child.
And they're truly, I was going to say person centered companies. And that's exactly what Let's Go Fitness is. So let me describe to you what my fitness class looked like. My fitness class took place on Zoom and it had a certified trainer, it had a disabled adult who was also trained in fitness. And then there was, another login on my screen, and that was an entire special education class. And as a teacher, I remember back when I was in the classroom, and gosh, we could have used this type of programming. See, I was in the type of school that we did not have adaptive pe, we did not have training for our general education teachers on how to truly support a child in inclusion, especially in, you know, something like pe. And, it just would've been such a blessing to me as a teacher to be able to have a resource like, let's go Fitness.
So during this class, okay, so now you're, you're back with me, right? In the Zoom class, during this class, we have our certified trainer who's really just there for support in making sure that the class is going well. Then we have our disabled adult who has all of her notes, , written down of what the routine is going to be for that day. So everything from jumping jacks to planks to lunges, , you know, encouraging full participation of this classroom who had students of all different ability levels. It was truly a beautiful experience to see everybody engaged at their ability level and stepping outside their comfort zone. I can definitely see that happening too in a fantastic way. Let's Go Fitness is all about fun, fitness, and friendships. And, let me just tell you a little bit about how this came about because this is what we really hope for in special education, right?
So special education is not about worksheets and helping child keep up with other students. Special education is about providing a service that helps a child become more independent and really reach their goals as a person, right? So Keegan's son, was at home while everything was shut down and needed to get active. So he started working out with a family member every day over Zoom. And of course, with consistency, he started to see progress. Keegan's son came to him and said, dad, what's this job where you could help people work out? And Keegan says, well, that's a personal trainer. And he says, well, is being a trainer a good job? And Keegan's like, yes, yes, it's a good job. Now, the challenge was going to be how is he going to help his son become a trainer. How is he going to help his son help others achieve the success that he was seeing?
And that's where Let's Go Fitness came from. It came from, you know, Keegan really seeing that his son had the potential to help others and had the drive and the motivation to help others and had seen results himself and now wanted to help others see those results. This type of solution did not exist before and Keegan helped create it. So I want to encourage you, number one, if you are looking at, needing more physical activity during the school day for your child or for your students, and the resources are not there, I want you to reach out to Let's go Fitness. I, again, I'll put some links here. I'm going to make sure there's, there'll be a discount code or a free trial. There'll be something for you there, okay? And so I want you to go follow those links and reach out because this is something that should not be secondary in our programming.
Speaker 2 (05:57):
The whole mission of Let's Go Fitness is fun, fitness, and friendships, it's important for us to remember that life is not just about addition, subtraction, and sight words. Life is about relationships and doing things together. It's important for us to make sure that we are designing a school day that meets a child's needs and that we're not doing things just because they've always been done that way. Let me give you an example when it comes to fitness, how many of you have experienced that when we talk about inclusion of, okay, let's try inclusion, which first of all, I don't like that phrase at all. We'll talk about that on another episode, but let's try inclusion. Let's send this child to PE and see how it works out. That is setting a child up for failure. There are so many benefits to physical education, however, a lot of times trying out inclusion in one of the most chaotic, noisy, unpredictable environments.
This can lead to a disaster. A disaster of the team feeling like inclusion isn't working. A disaster for the child who is now not experiencing physical education as they should be, right? They're not participating at the level that they could be because the supports, the training, everything that needed to be done for this to be successful, it just didn't happen. Okay? Or maybe that's just not the, the right place, the right environment for a child to be successful at this time. And now they're going to be doing adaptive PE in their classroom led by the teacher who has just got done doing all of the reading and the math and all of the things, right? So bringing in the supports of a certified trainer to meet a child where they're at, to help them build some fun and fitness and friendships. It just makes sense. This is how we build programs during the day, again, that meets a child where they're at and it really helps them flourish in ways that we have not been doing.
So I just want to give encouragement to all the parents who are thinking, what is my child going to do in the future? You know what, you don't, you don't know, okay? You don't know where this, just kind of situation is going to come about. Like Keegan's son where he is. Like, what is this job? And how do I get paid to do this? Okay? You don't know. We can't predict the future, but I promise you there are going to be opportunities that you haven't even imagined and you might have to be the one to create those. And that's okay. You can join the ranks of, of Keegan with Let's Go
Speaker 3 (08:54):
Fitness and you know, of Jackie, of be kind to everyone, you know, t-shirts and John's Crazy Socks. And, and you can help create these solutions because we need them. And I also want you to encourage, want to encourage you that as we look into transition planning, that's another thing in addition to kind of this inclusion situation that I just talked about of kind of plopping kids into PE and it doesn't work out. But really now using Let's Go Fitness as a solution to meet a child where they're at for their physical education during the day. All right? But also when we think about transition planning and finding a job, a lot of times we are, we are going back to what has always been done, which is, you know, cleaning off tables at a restaurant or bagging groceries at a grocery store. Now, there is nothing wrong with those jobs if that's what the student or your child wants to do.
However, we need to get serious about person-centered planning when it comes to transition planning. Even if that means creating opportunities that don't exist right now, that's solving a big problem. So for all my teachers and parents who are listening thinking like, yeah, I wish there was something that, you know what, it's up to us a lot of times to create that and that's okay. That is all right. So I want to encourage you if physical education has been a challenge during the school day or at home, I want you to go look up, let's go fitness. If you are thinking what is going to happen with my child, with employment or your a a high school teacher looking at transition planning, I want you to go look at let's go fitness and see how they are set up and see who they are and see what they're doing.
And I want you to grab some of their energy and really say like, yeah, we can find solutions. We can find solutions. And you know what? And reach out to Keegan and talk to him and, and really connect with it. He is, a wonderful person who is making strides in the disability community for his son and for so many others. I want to encourage you that if you are looking for some fitness at home and you want to do something with your child or you want your child to have the independence to do it on their own, let's go fitness as a fantastic solution.
So let's get beyond just worksheets and academics when we're talking about IEPs. All right? Can we agree with that? As we are, you know, looking at finishing this school year strong, we're looking at all the progress that we've made. We gotta remember that progress and need a whole lot of different things, getting active, building relationships, having fun. That's progress. Don't forget, look at the links above and below. Wherever you're watching, you're listening to this. Grab your free IEP checklist to get prepped for your next IEP meeting. Don't forget to click on become a Master IEP coach www.masteriepcoach.com/learn and also find out when our next master IEP coach mentorship is happening. And I'll see you guys next time on the Special Education Inner Circle podcast.
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