All children may benefit from the exercise, energy spent, and plain fun of participating in physical activities or sports. This also holds for special needs children. In the United States, around one in every fifty children has a handicap or chronic health issue. Special needs children develop skills at different rates, and these specific requirements necessitate modifications so that youngsters can realize their full potential.
These children who have special needs are sometimes discouraged or barred from participating in sports, and their parents are very concerned that they will get injured.
Importance of physical activity
Physical activity is just as vital for these kids who have this condition as for any youngster. Taking part in sports or other physical activities will help enhance one’s self-esteem. It can also help you strengthen your relationship-building and teamwork abilities, and it can also help a child in the management of weight.
Children with special needs can have multiple benefits from performing various physical activities.
Some benefits which they derive from performing physical activities are as follows :
Muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility are all improved when performing physical activities. Increase their workout endurance, cardiovascular efficiency, and life expectancy.
One gains an improved sense of balance, motor abilities, and body awareness. Physical education programs, according to research, may do a lot to enhance the lifestyle of these children who have special needs and help them reduce and control obesity.
Enhances their self-esteem
Sports enhance their self-esteem and social abilities. Physical activities and sports encourage kids with special needs to have an active lifestyle and make positive progress. Physical exercise improves their overall mood and self-confidence, and it helps them develop necessary abilities.
Research also shows an excellent improvement in their motor skills and physical health, which aids the kids in fending off disability, forming new friendships, and channeling their energy.
Modify the sports for children with special needs
Almost any type of sport or physical activity might be modified to provide cardiovascular exercise, flexibility, and strength-training advantages to children with special needs, allowing them to stay healthy and active. The more they feel good about their bodies and fitness, the better their self-esteem. Children who use wheelchairs, for example, can participate in basketball or tennis, where they make use of their chairs to move about and their hands to play the sports. Children who cannot utilize their limbs or those with mental problems can benefit from horseback riding. Horseback riding is said to have a lot of therapeutic effects.
Sports and activities which are suitable for children with special needs are as follows :
Besides those mentioned above, there are quite a few other games that children with special needs can play.
Some sports may not require any modifications. For example, for sportperson who uses a wheelchair, the buoyancy when swimming in the water provides a sense of independence. Other exercises can be modified in a manner to better suit their needs. Therapeutic riding programs, for example, can assist them in learning to ride a horse with proper instruction. Furthermore, these programs employ unique equipment to keep the special need youngster safe, regardless of their particular requirements. Participation at the competition level is also quite possible for children with special needs.
Leagues for special needs children
There are several teams and leagues where the sports events are played by using wheelchairs at competitive levels. A youngster can participate in the Special Olympics and Paralympics that are held like the regular Olympic games every four years for the sportsperson with special needs.
We have discussed why physical activities and sports activities are required for children with special needs. We have seen how physical activities can be modified to suit their purpose and keep the games within the scope of their abilities. Some minor modifications here and there can make them play any sports or perform any activities just like other ordinary people. I hope you have liked the article we brought to you. If you have any questions, write them down in the comments section just below the end of the article.