Coach outlines a play for boys’ wheelchair basketball team during a timeout

The Positive Influence of Recreation and Leisure for Children with Disabilities

Participation in everyday activities is crucial for children’s development, well-being, and future health outcomes. However, children with disabilities often face barriers to fully engage in recreation and leisure activities. A recent study by researchers at CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research* sheds light on the key factors that influence the participation of children with disabilities […]

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Overweight girl running

The Power of Play: How Physical Activity Can Prevent Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic, affecting millions of children worldwide. However, a recent study by the European Childhood Obesity Group and the European Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the solution may be as simple as encouraging kids to get up and move. The study*, titled “Physical Activity in the Prevention of Childhood Obesity,” emphasizes

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Child with a disability swims in a pool

Splash Into Fitness: The Benefits of Aquatic Exercise for Kids with Cerebral Palsy

For children with cerebral palsy (CP), traditional land-based exercises can be challenging due to poor balance, postural control, and excessive joint loading. However, aquatic exercise offers a unique solution, providing a low-impact environment that reduces the effects of gravity and allows for greater freedom of movement. “The buoyancy of water decreases the influence of gravity

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Girl with Down syndrome boxes with coach

Exercise Aids Mobility for Individuals with Down Syndrome 

Regular exercise is beneficial for nearly every young person with special needs to maintain good health. However, many children with Down syndrome are physically inactive thereby increasing their risk for heart attacks and strokes, reduced aerobic capacities, and weak muscles. These factors may affect gross motor skills, leading to difficulty walking, running, swimming, and other

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Child wears a colorful leg brace

Mobility for Children with Spina Bifida: What Are the Factors to Consider? 

There has been limited research on mobility for children with spina bifida. Until more studies are conducted on the most beneficial physical therapy methods and limitations, pediatric physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists must rely on current, accepted best practices.  As defined by the Spina Bifida Association (SBA)1, mobility is defined as “the ability

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Young boys play on climbing wall

The Power of Exercise: A Transformative Tool for Individuals with Autism 

Exercise can be a life-changing intervention for children and adults with autism. It can offer profound benefits beyond mere physical health. David S. Geslak, an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, and Benjamin D. Boudreaux, a kinesiology Ph.D. student at University of Georgia are advocating for greater awareness and education about the transformative impact of exercise within

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Girl rides a Pumper Car vehicle

Creatively Blending Learning with Exercise

A big challenge for special education teachers is to integrate learning experiences with physical exercise. However, a Beaverton Oregon school district’s academic learning center teacher named Heather Gibbons has found a creative solution that works. She combines the use of an innovatively designed Pumper Car® ride-on vehicle with a variety of academic lessons.  Gibbons works

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Boy rides a Pumper Car vehicle

Improving Proprioception for Kids With Disabilities

Imagine being prone to falling when walking on uneven surfaces, not understanding your own strength when being physically active, or having balance issues when playing. This is what life is like for kids who have certain developmental and physical conditions. Collectively, these are called proprioception disorders. Proprioception refers to our muscles’ ability to sense movement,

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Two teenagers play a video game

Game on for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Pediatric physical therapists are getting very interested in active video games. No, they’re not joining the ranks of couch potato gamers. They’re using active video games to make exercise more engaging for children with various types of cerebral palsy (CP) and other special needs. Some creatively designed active video games are getting these kids moving

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A pediatric therapist works with a girl during a session as her mother looks on

Exploring Possibilities: Physical Therapy for Children with Autism

Do you know that 1 in 36 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? This is according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network1. In addition to ASD affecting how children perceive and socialize with others, they often face challenges with motor skills, balance,

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