Special Time for Those with Special Needs
In July 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disability Act, and for the last 28 years, this act has provided resources and support for individuals with special needs. Yet, many individuals with special needs still face a lack of inclusion in society. But not at YMCA of the Suncoast. We take pride in embracing diversity and ensuring that everyone has opportunities to live a healthy life. With that in mind, here are some tips to help your loved one with special needs live a healthier and happier life.
Pool Power: For many children or adults with mobility issues, time in the pool can allow them freedom they may not experience elsewhere. Swimming lessons and simple motor exercises in water can help build muscle, promote a positive attitude and give the person a much-needed sense of control over his or her body.
ADHD and Exercise: In 2016, the National Survey of Children’s Health reported that more than nine percent of children between the ages of 2 and 17 were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For these children (and adults) who struggle with focus and sitting still, physical activity is crucial. To ensure your loved one gets the physical activity he or she craves, enroll them in an exercise program, sport or karate and martial art that will help them burn excess energy and maintain focus. Make sure you share your child’s or adult’s needs with the people leading activities or stay with them to help.
Social Activity with Autism: Individuals with autism can show savant-like gifts in specific areas such as art or music. These unique individuals may struggle socially, with many people not understanding their special abilities or sensory needs. Finding an activity that your child or adult with autism can do with others can help them learn social behaviors and lessen their anxiety. Consider classes in art, dance music, Camp COAST summer camp and COAST sports at the Clearwater Y.
Learning Assistance: Learning disabilities can drive a smart child to hate school, feel anxious and not want to continue. That’s why it may be important to find homework help or tutoring assistance for your child. Check local before -and after-school programs for options.
Adults with Special Challenges: Children with special needs may grow into adults with special needs. Whether those needs are cognitive, physical, or emotional, consider a community program that helps adults with special needs build skills and stay connected socially so they continue to thrive.