More and more parents are introducing sports to their children, especially to the new generation that spends most of their time indoors and on their gadgets. There are so many benefits sports can give to your kids, and it is also important that it is introduced at an early age.
Even children with special needs should not be deprived of the happiness and enjoyment sports can bring. Sports have been known to help decrease the stigma and discrimination against individuals with special needs, allowing people around them to see their skills and ability instead of their disabilities. It can also improve their self-worth and confidence.
However, there are still considerations that you need to keep in mind, like their safety. To ensure that the sports you introduce to your kids are appropriate, here’s a list of sports children with special needs can do.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports worldwide and most children are interested in this sport. Moreover, this is one of the best sports to introduce to children with special needs, such as autism, to improve their social skills and physical health.
Adapted basketball assigns activity according to the child’s physical attribute and capability. This type of basketball has several considerations, like adjustable baskets for children who play in a wheelchair. Additionally, certified teachers and coaches who underwent special training will be the ones to help your little champion become successful in this field.
See: https://www.sports.org.au/wcbasketball for further information.
Inclusive swimming teaches differently-abled children the same style and category taught in conventional swimming lessons. Adapted swimming trainers classify the trainees depending on how their condition affects them when practising a certain swimming style.
Modified swimming students are categorized from S1 to S10. S1 is the most affected, and S10 is the least affected. S11 category is only for the visionless, while S12 and S13 are for the visually impaired. Moreover, S14 is for students with psychological impairment.
See: https://www.sports.org.au/swimming for further information.
Adapted baseball games allow every participant to hit the ball and do a home run, which fulfils each child’s fantasy of being a champ in the game. There is no scorekeeping and no outs, unlike the conventional baseball game that has stringent rules. Adaptive baseball will be all about fun and not competition.
The game is open for children with different special conditions from ages 4 to 22 years old. The parent’s participation is also highly encouraged, and they are not allowed to leave the premises while the game is underway.
Adapted Gymnastics is a way children with autism can improve their motor skills. They can learn how to follow instructions, confidence, and learn an expressive language by integrating conceptual themes. Examples of this are start-stop, apart-together, etc.
Adaptive Gymnastics is designed to allow children to safely perform while having fun. Search for a local adaptive gymnastic training to get your kids started. Also, please see: https://www.specialolympics.com.au/Stories/partnership-with-gymnastics-australia. You can enrol your children once or twice a week with one-hour-long sessions. Adaptive gymnastics have a safe environment and routines that are appropriate for your child’s condition.
Soccer can provide great benefits for your children, such as improvement of motor skills and cooperation. Aside from these benefits, it is also a fun way to learn how to socialize. As, children with special needs may tend to be antisocial due to self-esteem issues.
Adapted soccer can improve the player’s speed and leg coordination. This sport is fast-paced too.
Sporting Event Your Kids Can Look Forward To
If your kids excel in their chosen sports, they can qualify for big sporting events specially made for people like them. You can let your kids watch these events to increase their interest in sports and give them something to look forward to.
Here are the sporting events where your kids can get more motivation to participate in sport:
- Paralympics. The IPC authorizes 28 sports in the Paralympics event, divided into two: 22 summer sports and six winter sports. Watching this event will give them confidence that they can also be successful in sports.
- Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for children and adults with special needs. The next Special Olympics winter games is in Kazan, Russia, on January 22-28, 2022.
- Unified Sports. Unlike the Paralympics and Special Olympics, individuals with or without special needs can participate in the Unified Sports. This event will encourage young individuals to come out and play no matter their needs. Another goal of the event is to stop the stigma related to disability and autism.
To Sum It Up
Children with special needs can do almost every sport out there. However, it is better to ask the kids what sports they are most confident with before making them sign up for one. Making them decide what sport they want to engage in prevents them from losing interest in the long run. As a parent, all you have to do is support them, make sure they are safe, and watch them grow and improve in their chosen sport.
Author Name: Aaron Franks
Aaron Franks is a seasoned content writer who works with various sites. He mostly writes about health and fitness, lifestyle, and traveling. He is also an open advocate for the welfare of children with special needs and disabilities and often travels from different states to spread awareness. When not busy working as a wordsmith and chasing good stories, Aaron spends his time at home and reads his favourite comic books.