Adaptive sports programs for children with disabilities have grown to the point that today there are hundreds of opportunities for kids with disabilities to participate in sports and recreation. The only question your really need to ask is: what do they want to play?
Of course where you live will play a large role in what activities are available, but for kids living near large metropolitan cities, there are generally many, many adaptive recreation possibilities. Additionally, when you are planning a family vacation, look into what recreational programs are offered for kids with disabilities to help make your decision about where to go.
Adaptive Disability Activities Increasing Throughout the U.S.
The number and type of adaptive sports programs offered through the U.S. continues to grow, at both the national and local levels, great news for those of us who want to make sure that recreational disability activities are as available to our kids as similar opportunities are to children without disabilities.
There are several large organizations that provide sports and recreation programs throughout the country, including:
Disabled Sports USA is a vast organization, with 92 chapters in 37 states that have a variety of sports programs for adults and children with disabilities. Each DSUSA chapter offers different recreational opportunities, but you can find a listing of their chapters and what programs they offer on their website.
Blaze Sports is another large organization with clubs throughout the U. S. that provide numerous adaptive sports and recreation programs for kids with disabilities. You can find their various clubs and what activities they offer at their website; click on the BlazeSports America tab for the club listings.
Of course if you have a child with a developmental or cognitive disability, one of the best resources for sports and recreation is the Special Olympics, which provides adaptive recreation programs via their chapters throughout the world.
Adaptive Recreation for Those with a Competitive Spirit: the Paralympics
If you have a child with a disability who has his sights set on Paralympic competition and would like information on specific Paralympic sports and their governing bodies in the U.S., log onto the US Paralympics website for detailed sport-specific information and resources.
The Paralympic program continues to grow in size and international stature, and offers a great opportunity for competitive athletes with disabilities to compete at the highest levels of elite competition.
Disability Activities at the Community Level
In addition to these national programs, many local and community governments have implemented adaptive recreation programs though their parks and recreation departments.
Check with your local parks and recreation program to see what adaptive programs they may offer for children with disabilities in your community. Often the parks and rec department will include recreational therapists whose job is to develop and offer great adaptive sports programs for both kids and adults. (If you’re having difficulty locating your local parks and rec agency, an Internet search on “parks and recreation department” and your hometown or state should do the trick.)
See Related Articles
Double Amputee Jesus Villa Finds Love with Adopted Family