Here’s 8 practical ways to encourage physical activity in children with Special Needs

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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With all the excitement around the Winter Olympics here is a helpful blog post from Love That Max – Special Needs Blog with some super simple top tips for encouraging inclusion in sports and activities from Barbara Oswald, Director of Youth Initiatives & Programme Development for Special Olympics in South Carolina.

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Think small

I’m always wondering how to rope in all the kids on our block to include Max, but Barbara pointed out it would be best to focus on getting one kid on board. As she says, “One strong-character kid can go a long way to developing a friendship.” She recommends inviting one kid over for a play date to the house, a place where your child will be at his most comfortable. “It’s cool to see kids with special needs sharing their interests—and recruiting their own friends themselves,” she says. “Start with one peer who becomes a friend, then add others in.”
Remember, inclusion benefits everyone
“A child who mentors, coaches or befriends a kid will get as much out of a child with special needs as vice versa,” says Barbara. “Typically, kids with special needs teach more about the human spirit, perseverance and smiling in the face of adversity than any other population on the planet.”
To find a Project Unify programme and other Special Olympics activities at your local branch, visit the Special Olympics site.
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