Adaptive physical education classes aid Pitt County exceptional students

Vidant Medical Center is partnering with the Pitt County School District to teach adaptive physical education classes to students with disabilities.

Instructors say this is the first time in a pool for some of the kids.

The classes are being held in the warm water therapy pool in the regional rehab center.

All of the students are third through fifth graders from Elmhurst Elementary who fall somewhere under the autism spectrum.

Instructors say the 90 to 92 degree water helps facilitate muscle relaxation, which helps kids with limited physical ability move more easily.

Michele Mazey, adapted PE teacher for Pitt County Schools says, "All these things would've been something that they wouldn't have been able to do before and now if they're ever in a situation where they can see water, we want them to be safe with adults always, but if something would happen they could also take care of themselves hopefully."

Mazey says the curriculum for these classes is adapted from the IM program, which was developed by the Michael Phelps Foundation.