Sunday, April 22, 2012

Playing with Polio

During the early and mid 1900’s there was an epidemic that swept over the United States causing many people to get sick and thousands of people to lose their lives.  This epidemic was called polio and it is a viral disease that can lead to full paralysis in some cases.  The outbreak caused national panic until there was a vaccine created in 1955 by a man named Jonas Salk.  The virus spread through direct person to person contact, contact with infected phlegm or mucus, or contact with infected feces. Since the outbreak in the 1900’s the world has seen a decrease in polio patients, and can be found typically in some areas of Africa and Asia and is more aggressive during the summer and fall months.  Most children are immunized at birth for the disease and most people are only at risk if they travel to an area where an outbreak has occurred.  For children who are affected by polio may result in complete paralysis and they would have to be in a wheel chair for the rest of their life, this may affect the persons physical activity however there are many things that can be done even in a wheel chair especially in the physical education setting.  Some games that students who are chairs users can play are Wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis; most students in chairs can also bowl with minimal assistance.  Also to challenge these students during class they can always be checked for understanding by asking them questions, also incorporating cognitive tasks into the lesson to get the student involved will provide some type of challenge besides physically.  Lessons that use stations can be modified to help with the student’s upper body strength, or obstacle course can be set up to allow the student to practice maneuvering around objects.  Figure

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