Inspiring Inclusive Physical Activities

The Running Room has on its website a series of articles dedicated to helping families raise active kids. One particular entry, “Active kids of all abilities and interests,” includes a number of useful suggestions for making physical activities inclusive. Children with disabilities should be included as much as possible in their families’ active pursuits. Depending on a child’s needs, he or she may participate in the activity with or without modifications, participate in a parallel active activity, or play a supportive role.

Modifications to an active activity may be minimal or moderate. A child with a visual impairment may appreciate it if family members wear bright, recognizable pinnies on a run, or the child could ride on a tandem bicycle with a family member. If considerable modifications to an activity are necessary to accommodate a child’s needs, choosing a different activity for the whole family could be a better choice.

The author makes specific suggestions for adapting active activities for children with multiple disabilities (including communication disorders), children who use wheelchairs, children with an amputation, and children with visual impairments. Warm-ups are important for everyone, and children should have the opportunity to play at different levels (such as low to the ground) and move in different ways and patterns. With a little planning, families can get started moving around their communities together.

Read the full article on the Running Room’s website here, then maybe go out and find a smooth trail on which anyone can enjoy moving!