Physical activities help students with special needs develop independence, social skills, and self-esteem. These programs also help students with other disabilities learn and practice new skills.
Physical activity is a major component of overall health and well-being. However, children with special needs, including those with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, intellectual disability and physical disability, often find it difficult to engage in physical activities.
This article will discuss some of the most popular physical activities for children with special needs. It will also include information about how to ensure that your child can participate safely in these exercises.
Physical education is a critical part of the school year, but when you have a student with special needs, it can be difficult to make sure that they get everything out of physical education that they deserve. Sports equipment can be hard to use for students with special needs—especially for students who are in wheelchairs or otherwise have difficulties moving their bodies. It can be easy to feel like there aren’t many options for special needs students, but the truth is that there are lots of activities you can do so that all kids get to participate fully in physical education.
For students with autism, Down syndrome or other special needs, learning how to play games and participate in physical activities can be difficult. Children with special needs may process information more slowly than their peers, struggle with verbal instructions or have difficulty interacting with other children. To help these students succeed in physical activity classes, instructors should create special curriculum that focuses on building skills that are most difficult for the children.
- Sensory Motor Activities
Sensory motor activities use the senses and body movements to develop the ability to perform various tasks, including those required for physical activity. For example, a student who does not yet understand what it means to bounce a ball may have difficulty playing basketball. In this case, an instructor could begin by teaching the student to roll a ball back and forth across the floor, then move on to having her bounce it against a wall and finally attempt to bounce it while standing next to another child. Each of these tasks requires specific sensory motor skills that build upon one another until the student is eventually capable of playing basketball.
- Aerobic Exercises
This includes exercises like walking and jogging, as well as cycling. The goal here is to increase the heart rate and make it beat faster. This is important for kids with diabetes because it can help them regulate their blood sugar levels. It also helps kids stay fit and healthy overall.
- Strength Training Exercise
This includes things such as weightlifting or using resistance bands. These exercises build muscle strength, which can help kids with epilepsy have fewer seizures or make them less severe when they do happen.
- Stretching Exercises
These exercises help improve flexibility in young athletes by stretching out their muscles before competition starts. This type of activity is especially important because it helps prevent injuries from happening when playing sports like football and basketball where there’s a lot of contact between players on both teams during play time.
Swimming is one of the best ways for kids with special needs to get exercise because it’s not only fun, but also low-impact! Consider signing your child up for lessons so they can learn proper swimming technique and so they can build confidence in the water.
Learning how to ride a bike is an important milestone in any child’s life, but biking is also an excellent way to get in some cardio and strengthen muscles at the same time! Help your child pick out a bike that fits their needs (a tricycle might work better than a standard two-wheeler), and then put on some music and hit the road.