Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Benefits of Sports and Exercise for Kids with Special Needs

(page 1 of 2)

In order to be healthy and to form positive life-long habits, children benefit from athletic activities. This is as true for children with special needs for many of the usual reasons. Physical activity engages large muscle groups, provides social interaction, teaches teamwork and healthy competition.

Children who have special needs, according to Erin Kizzar, occupational therapy clinic manager at TherapyWorks in Tulsa, “have decreased tone, strength and coordination, which actually require a greater amount of physical activity.”

The Tulsa area offers plenty of opportunities for these children to find an activity that is fun and challenging.

By participating in yoga, swimming, gymnastics, horseback riding and cheer, children with special needs can “become more independent and [have] higher self-esteem and a greater sense of accomplishment,” Kizzar said.

Students can participate in classes exclusively for kids with special needs, or they can register for integrated classes. The classes they choose depend on the need of the child. But Kizzar said that the long-term goals of the child and parents, as well as the cognitions and coordination of the child, need to be taken into consideration when they are choosing an activity.

At TherapyWorks, the first step in the process is evaluation. The staff identifies strengths and weakness in the child and discusses parental concerns. After the evaluation, the staff creates a customized plan to address each child’s specific needs and goals. TherapyWorks uses a “team approach to collaborate with other disciplines such as physical, occupational, dietary and speech therapy,” and can call in outside resources if necessary.

When looking for a class, parents need to look at “class size and teacher experience,” Kizzar said. Often classes offer a chance to observe prior to enrolling, which can give both the parent and the child an idea of how the students interact and what opportunities there are for one-on-one moments with the teacher.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Popular Articles

One Reason Why

There are not 13 reasons why a person commits suicide, there is one: mental illness.

Tulsa Birthday Parties for Kids

Age Appropriate Books to Talk to Your Kids about Sex

Top Places to Play Indoors in Tulsa

Here are my top choices for where to go when you need to get the wiggles out in the middle of winter.

Free Events for Tulsa Families

Homeschooling in Tulsa

Area families choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons-and mold options to fit their unique needs.

Teachers Can't Find the Nurturer in TPS's Classroom Management System

No-Nonsense Nurturer has been criticized as being robotic, stifling and under-researched.

Indoor Places to Play in Tulsa

You're Only as Old as You Feel

While my upcoming 60th birthday is still somewhat of a shock, I've realized that this season of life comes with plenty of perks.

Anatomy of a Meltdown

Autism meltdowns can be terrifying both for the child experiencing them and those nearby; the best thing we can do is to love each other and reach out for available support.