Much is said about the challenges children with Cerebral Palsy face and the doors shut in front of them. This is sadly the case in far too many instances, leading to serious exclusion and the constant belief that many things are simply not an option. However, a new trend in adaptive equipment and enablement that shows a wide assortment of opportunities exist in sports for children with Cerebral Palsy.
One area in which activities and outdoor fun exist for children with special needs is in horseback riding. Equine therapy (or hippotherapy) is a great way to get your child involved with a new hobby while at the same time benefiting his or her physically. Rolling back the impact of Cerebral Palsy is always welcome and the fact it can involve a fun activity like horseback riding is a fantastic intersection of fun and functional.
There are a number of ‘winter sports’ that have accessible versions emerging. Beyond mountain climbing, which we highlighted CAN be an option for some with Cerebral Palsy, there are a number of cold, fun options to dig into. Sledge hockey involves the use of a sled-like device to go up and down the ice (it’s called sled hockey in the U.S.) Skiing can also be an option for some based upon their challenges, though even wheelchair options exist! Finally (thought there are other things we didn’t bring up!), snowboarding through adaptive equipment may be of interest for your child.
Have you heard of adaptive bikes? Made to help a child overcome challenges associated with riding a traditional bicycle, adaptive bikes can be costly but provide a unique sense of freedom that cannot be ignored. A variety of organizations do exist that can help connect parents with adaptive bikes at reduced or no cost, so contact us today to find out more.
What about kayaking? You bet!
Camp is a fantastic place for children to discover interests, especially when it comes to sports. There are a wide assortment of camps that specifically focus on being accessible for children with special needs. At these camps, children can enjoy a wide assortment of activities, including those discussed here. For more information on camp options, in your area and nationally, check out our blog post on the topic.
You shouldn’t have to go far from home, though, to find options for your child. Learn more adapted sports in the public school system here.
Of course, we’d be mistaken to not include the wonderful work done by groups like