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Why Special Needs Children Benefit from Sports and Physical Activity

Lisa Landman explains the importance of sports for children with special needs.

· Lisa Landman,Special Needs

Children with special needs can benefit from routine physical activity from exercise programs or team sports. The parents of a special needs child should make sure that she participates in a school’s physical education class or a local park’s recreational programs.

Benefit 1: Improving the Body’s Muscle Strength

A child with special needs should engage in physical activity at least three times a week to build her muscle strength in her arms, legs, and torso. Activities such as playing baseball can help a child use her shoulders and arms to hit a ball before using her legs to run around a baseball field.

Benefit 2: Socializing Skills Will Improve

By participating in team sports, a special needs child can improve her socialization skills with her peers, helping her to increase her verbal communication and body language. A child may need to talk to her other team members during a game to understand what the other team members want to achieve.

Benefit 3: Increase Body Coordination

Physical activity can increase a child’s coordination to improve unusual walking gaits or poor sitting postures. Exercise routines that use calisthenics or yoga are especially beneficial for the body. Improving body coordination in a special needs child can take several months of physical exercise.

Benefit 4: Developing Confidence Levels

Participating in sports with other classmates can help with the development of mental confidence for a special needs child. A child who doesn’t excel in academic subjects might have better success with sports such as basketball. Parents will notice the increase in confidence by the facial expressions of their child while she plays a game of soccer.

Benefit 5: Reducing Spasticity in the Muscles and Joints

Some types of medical conditions can cause spasticity in the joints and muscles, but with regular physical activity, the joints or muscles have improvements that can help a child to stand and walk better. Participating in activities that require running, jumping or throwing a ball can improve the condition of the legs, shoulders, and arms.

Benefit 6: Maintaining the Appropriate Weight

When a special needs child has a problem with gaining weight, she can benefit from physical activity. It is essential for a special needs child to burn her excess calories to avoid weight problems that can remain during adulthood.

Lisa Landman has a passion for helping others and has worked with special need adults throughout her career. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!

Originally published at lisalandman.net on September 20, 2018.

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