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July 31, 2014
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Benefits of Physical Fitness for Special Needs Children

Sports, especially fundamental and movement education-based sports such as gymnastics, provide tremendous benefits for children with special needs. Physical education programs can considerably improve the lifestyle of a disabled child and are highly recommended. These programs may help control obesity, promote activeness, increase a child's self-image and social skills, and increase motivation. The physical activity along with support, rewards, and interaction can, among other benefits, be very helpful to these children and their families.

Physical Improvements - Children suffering from cognitive disabilities are most likely going to suffer from physical impairments as well. These children have substantial problems with motor skills in areas such as hopping, skipping, and jumping. Involvement in gymnastics can help these individuals develop fundamental motor and physical fitness skills.

Sensory Integration - Many autistic individuals have sensory problems, which can range from mild to severe. These problems involve either hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to stimulation. Sensory integration focuses primarily on three senses -

vestibular (i.e., motion, balance), tactile (i.e., touch), and proprioception (e.g., joints, ligaments). Many techniques are used to stimulate these senses in order to normalize them.

Sensory integration activities allow a person with autism to improve responses to certain stimuli. A therapist often recommends certain activities to assist with sensory processing problems. Examples of activities that may improve sensory processing are group sports activity, gymnastics, swinging or creating a sensory room.

Physical Therapy - Often children with autism have limited gross and fine motor skills, so physical therapy can be helpful. May also include sensory integration; vestibular (i.e., motion, balance), tactile (i.e., touch), and proprioception (e.g., joints, ligaments)  Many techniques are used to stimulate these senses in order to normalize them.  Activities with gymnastics movement, balance and strength can be very helpful when

introduced at an early age. Tulsa World Of Gymnastics is proud to offer special classes for both challenged children and young adults. We know from our years of experience that physical education programs can considerably improve the lifestyle of a disabled child. The physical activity along with support, rewards, and interaction can, among other benefits, be very helpful to these children and their families.  For more information please contact Tulsa World of Gymnastics at 918.664.8683.

CLICK HERE FOR A RESOURCE GUIDE FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

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