All humans can benefit from the exercise, energy release, and pure enjoyment of playing sports. This includes those with special needs. About 9 in 50 children in the U.S. have a disability or chronic health problem. (Pierce-Smith) Children with special needs are sometimes not encouraged to exercise. Their parents or guardians may fear they’ll get hurt. But physical activity is as important for those with special needs as it is for any anyone. Participating in sports can help boost self-confidence. It can also improve skills in relationship building and working as part of a team. And it can help in managing weight, which has become an issue in today’s society. Participation in activities is the context in which people form friendships, develop skills and competencies, express creativity, achieve mental and physical health, and determine meaning and purpose in life. (Law, 2006)
Getting those who have special needs active and involved in sports can have many positive effects. For example, it can boost the immune system. Moving arms, legs, and muscles increases the number of white cells in the blood. White blood cells are disease fighters. Those with special needs often have weaker immune systems so this is a key benefit in maintaining a healthy body. Another benefit is improved coordination. Those with special needs often experience poorly developed motor skills, so learning how to play and take part in sporting activities can greatly improve coordination. Even small things such as picking up objects or catching a ball can be major achievements. Even just being active and moving around is known to cheer people up. Movement is a great way to calm the mind when anxious and cheer you up when you are sad. Having a clearer head can help those with special needs pause for a moment and really focus. Participation in regular physical activity such as bowling can instill independence and provide coping mechanisms for those with special needs. At SNAP, we want to make a difference in the lives of our special athletes, and their physical and mental health is a big part of how we can spread the happiness.
As we emerge from this pandemic we want you to help us Spread the Happiness!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 251-366-9978
- Address: 2868 Mill St. Mobile, AL 36607, United States
SNAP is an IRS approved 501(c)3 charity