Here is an interesting article from the Council On School Health about the importance of recess for all students in school — not just students in special education. The Council writes because recess for students generally is being reduced in many districts throughout the nation. He notes cognitive, academic, social emotional and physical benefits. Here is the link: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/183.full
For those of you with children who have special needs, especially those on the autistic spectrum, you likely have learned how important body regulation and sensory input can be for a student to have success at school. Recess can be a utilized with support from the school OT to provide such benefits, in addition to those discussed in the article.
Indeed some of the ideas discussed in the article about recess for all students should be considered for possible IEP programming specific to your child.
Finally, for all of the above reasons, it can be important for children with special needs that access to recess not be used as a disciplinary tool, and that they are not pulled out from recess for other forms of supplemental or related services. When you sit with your IEP Teams in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you may want to give some thought to these issues.
All the best, Jerry Tanenbaum