Georgia Frey honored for adaptive physical education program
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Georgia Frey, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University Bloomington, was awarded the 2004 Friend of Autism Award from the South Central Indiana Chapter of the Autism Society of America. The award recognizes those in the community who provide services to youth with autistic spectrum disorders and their families. Frey was honored for developing the Indiana University Adapted Physical Education Program, which provides an activity outlet for youth with a variety of disabilities, including ASD.
"Georgia and her wonderful group of students provide a valuable resource for the disabled children and youth of our community through her Adapted Physical Education program. Her dedication and willingness to work with parents has enhanced the lives of all who participate or have someone participate in her program," wrote parents of a participant in Frey's nomination letter.
The program is offered to youth ages 3-21, who receive one-on-one instruction from IUB students based on assessment and weekly lesson plans. Activities can range from fundamental motor activities such as balancing, kicking and throwing to more advanced skills such as roller blading and bicycling. All activities are designed to be age-appropriate and functional.
The IUB students develop their skills by receiving feedback and supervision from graduate students in the Adapted Physical Education Program and advanced undergraduate students, who serve as program leaders and laboratory assistants. The goal of the program is aligned with the mission of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, which is to provide movement experiences for youth with disabilities that will enable them to "Live Well" as active members of the community. Several former participants, for example, have advanced to integrated physical activity programs, including one young man who is now part of his high school swim team.
Frey directed similar programs in Oregon, New York and Texas, and she started the IUB program in 2001, a year after her appointment to the faculty. She received support from an Indiana University Active Learning Grant, as well as the School of HPER and its Department of Kinesiology, to develop the program as the laboratory component of the undergraduate Adapted Physical Education course. Most of the students are majoring in physical education teacher preparation or pre-therapy and want to gain experience working with youth with disabilities. The 10- to 12-week sessions, held each Thursday evening at the HPER building, cost $30, but nobody has been turned away due to financial limitations.