Benefits and Barriers To Fitness For Children With Disabilities



Introduction


by Joanne Bauman

Most children have the option to participate in recreation, after-school activities, weekend team sports, and summer camps. At school, they have a chance to exercise in physical education classes and on the playground at recess. However, these opportunities for fitness and leisure are limited for children and adolescents with disabilities. Children with disabilities want to have friends, enjoy activities, have a break from parents, and be included like everyone else. Like other children, their interests range from swimming and sports, to visiting parks and playgrounds, attending summer camps, and just hanging out with friends.

Multiple barriers can stand in the way of fitness and leisure for children with disabilities. Many parents are apprehensive to encourage their children to become involved, because of the range of obstacles they were likely to encounter. Yet, many resources are making it possible for children with disabilities to participate in leisure options, and as this demand increases, more programs are likely to develop and grow.






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