Talking without words

shared communication between students with severe disabilities and their peers in Physical Education


  • Michelle Grenier University of New Hampshire
  • Lauren Lieberman State University of New York at Brockport



Disabilities, Shared communication, Physical Education


This case study explored the inclusion of students with severe disabilities in a general elementary physical education program. Qualitative methods were used to capture the communication protocols and instructional practices used by the physical education (PE) teacher and Individual Education Plan (IEP) team members in one fourth grade and second grade physical education classroom.  Data from three primary sources including field notes, interviews and a journal were analyzed to address questions of interest. Findings revealed four primary themes. The first “Collaboration-Needing to Know What I Don’t Know” described the process the PE teacher used in gaining information on her students with disabilities. The second, “Community in the Classroom,” revealed the value system shared by the IEP team members. The third theme, “The Role of Modeling” articulated the value of appropriated practices between teachers and students. The final theme, “Talking Without Words” highlighted the communicative processes and shared language between the students with and without disabilities.


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Como Citar

Grenier, M., & Lieberman, L. (2020). Talking without words: shared communication between students with severe disabilities and their peers in Physical Education. Revista Brasileira De Educação Física E Esporte, 34(Esp.), 117-125.