Selecting Appropriate Activities
|A boy in his manual wheelchair surrounded by wheelchair racers and others standing in the background on the track.|
Once you have created a positive and supportive environment that will facilitate opportunities for your child to be active and have learned the interests of your child, you can then work with your child to select the activities in which he or she will participate. The number-one factor in choosing appropriate activities should be FUN! Any activity chosen for your child, either by you, your child, or as a group, should offer varying degrees of fun. The primary reason that children participate in sports is fun, and the key reason they quit is a lack of fun. Community-based programs that offer activities for children with disabilities can provide suggestions to help both you and your child select the most appropriate activities for your child's interests and goals.
A national, community-based program that offers opportunities for children with physical disabilities is BlazeSports America. With 49 clubs and 10 affiliates in 2006, BlazeSports can help you find a local program that will fit your needs. In addition, NCHPAD offers a programs database that lists physical activity-related programs throughout the nation that offer opportunities for people with disabilities.
Then the question becomes, "How do I ensure that an activity that my child is interested in will be fun?" There are no guarantees, but listed are some guidelines that you can follow to help make each experience the best that it can be. To be successful in helping your child create a healthy lifestyle, activities must be selected that will help your child achieve feelings of:
Once you have communicated with your child and selected appropriate activities that will allow sufficient opportunity for your child to have fun, you must determine measurable outcomes for defining belonging, success, accomplishment, growth, and competence. To do this, it is important to set goals.