Benefits of Adaptive Sports for Children

Adaptive sports offer a range of physical, emotional, and social benefits for children with disabilities. These sports are specifically designed to accommodate individual needs and abilities, ensuring that all children can participate and experience the joy of physical activity. Here are some of the benefits of adaptive sports for children:

  1. Physical Health:
    • Improved Strength and Coordination: Adaptive sports help children develop better muscle strength, coordination, and balance through regular physical activity.
    • Cardiovascular Health: Engaging in sports promotes cardiovascular fitness, helping to maintain a healthy heart and circulatory system.
    • Bone Health: Weight-bearing activities in adaptive sports can contribute to better bone density and overall bone health.
    • Motor Skills: Children can enhance their fine and gross motor skills through the various movements and challenges presented by adaptive sports.
  2. Psychological Well-being:
    • Self-Confidence: Participating in sports empowers children by showing them that they can overcome challenges and achieve goals, boosting their self-confidence.
    • Self-Esteem: Success and improvement in adaptive sports can lead to a more positive self-image and higher self-esteem.
    • Stress Relief: Physical activity, including adaptive sports, helps reduce stress and anxiety, promoting mental well-being.
    • Sense of Achievement: Achieving milestones and mastering new skills in sports can provide a sense of accomplishment that positively impacts a child’s emotional state.
  3. Social Interaction:
    • Teamwork: Many adaptive sports involve team activities, fostering collaboration, cooperation, and a sense of belonging.
    • Friendships: Children can build friendships and social connections with peers who share similar interests and experiences in adaptive sports.
    • Communication Skills: Being part of a team or engaging in sports-related activities can improve communication skills and enhance social interactions.
    • Community Involvement: Adaptive sports often bring together a supportive community of families, coaches, and volunteers, creating a supportive network for children and their families.
  4. Inclusion and Acceptance:
    • Promotes Inclusion: Adaptive sports promote inclusivity by providing opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in physical activities alongside their typically developing peers.
    • Educates Others: Inclusive sports help educate the broader community about the capabilities and potential of children with disabilities, promoting acceptance and reducing stigma.
  5. Skill Development:
    • Transferable Skills: Many skills learned in adaptive sports, such as communication, problem-solving, and perseverance, can be applied to other areas of life, including education and employment.
  6. Healthy Lifestyle Habits:
    • Long-Term Benefits: Engaging in adaptive sports from a young age can instill a love for physical activity, encouraging a healthy lifestyle into adulthood.
    • Prevention of Secondary Conditions: Regular physical activity can help prevent secondary conditions associated with certain disabilities, such as obesity and muscle atrophy.

Adaptive sports provide children with disabilities the opportunity to lead active and fulfilling lives, enhancing their physical and emotional well-being while promoting a sense of belonging and achievement.

You can help support Children’s Clinics adaptive recreation programs which include basketball, soccer, tennis, cheer, and dance. These programs are not covered by insurance, but we believe they are vital to a child’s health and well-being. Please support these programs by donating today!

Ten Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

BY: Amy Serafin



Aquatic therapy, also known as hydrotherapy or aquatic rehabilitation, is a form of physical therapy that takes place in a pool or other water-based environment. It offers numerous benefits for children with disabilities, promoting physical, cognitive, and social development. Here are some of the key benefits of aquatic therapy for children with disabilities:

  1. Buoyancy and reduced weight-bearing: Water provides buoyancy, which reduces the effects of gravity on the body. This allows children with disabilities to move more easily, experiencing reduced weight-bearing and less strain on their joints. The water’s buoyancy also helps improve balance and stability.
  2. Increased range of motion: Water’s natural resistance provides gentle pressure against the body, which can help improve muscle strength and flexibility. The buoyancy of water allows children to move their limbs through a wider range of motion, promoting joint mobility.
  3. Improved muscle strength and endurance: Aquatic therapy offers an environment where children can engage in various exercises and activities that target muscle strengthening. Water resistance increases the challenge for muscles, leading to improved strength and endurance over time.
  4. Enhanced cardiovascular fitness: Engaging in water-based exercises helps promote cardiovascular fitness. The resistance of water provides a gentle yet effective workout for the heart and lungs, improving overall cardiovascular health.
  5. Sensory stimulation: Water provides a unique sensory experience with its temperature, texture, and hydrostatic pressure. Aquatic therapy can stimulate the sensory systems of children with disabilities, enhancing their proprioception, tactile awareness, and overall sensory integration.
  6. Pain management: Warm water used in aquatic therapy can help relieve pain and muscle spasms, providing a soothing effect on the body. The hydrostatic pressure of the water can also reduce swelling and inflammation, providing pain relief for children with disabilities.
  7. Balance and coordination improvement: Water’s buoyancy and resistance challenge the body’s balance and coordination systems. By participating in aquatic therapy, children can enhance their balance, coordination, and overall body awareness.
  8. Increased confidence and self-esteem: Aquatic therapy can be a fun and enjoyable experience for children with disabilities. Achieving new physical milestones and experiencing success in the water can boost their confidence and self-esteem, transferring to other aspects of their lives.
  9. Social interaction and peer support: Participating in aquatic therapy often involves group sessions, providing opportunities for children with disabilities to interact with their peers. This social aspect promotes communication, cooperation, and the development of social skills.
  10. Relaxation and stress reduction: Water has a calming effect on the body and mind. Aquatic therapy can help children with disabilities relax, reduce anxiety, and manage stress levels.

Aquatic therapy at Children’s Clinics integrates the unique knowledge, skills, and training of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech and language pathologist to provide rehabilitative services in a pool that are individual to each patient. It’s important to note that the specific benefits of aquatic therapy may vary depending on the individual needs and disabilities of each child. Consulting with one of our physical therapist can help determine if the aquatic therapy program is suitable for a specific patient.