Powerful Exercises to Use in Physical Education for Special Needs Children


Children with special needs can benefit largely from single or group activities in physical education. However, the question lies in the types of exercise. Are there powerful exercises that can help both the child and the parent?

Some special needs children experience fatigue from their medication, while children with downs syndrome may be non-verbal and require help with motor skill development. Therefore, exercise that can hold the concentration of each specific child may help. It is important that the exercise excites the child to want to learn and grow.

The Laws in Place for Special Needs Children

In the United States, there are several federal laws that apply to special needs children:

1973 Rehabilitation Act (Section 504)

1990 Americans With Disabilities Act

1975 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

The 1975 act requires that all individuals aged 3 to 21 may qualify for a personally designed program under the child or youth’s individual education program or plan (IEP).

If the special needs child is a risk to themselves, or others, that child is entitled to partake in physical education, structured sports, and other recreational programs that can benefit the life of the child. Organized sports programs include swimming, tennis, basketball, softball, and several others. Special needs children may also participate in summer camps and other beneficial group activities like yoga, dance, and scouts.

If the child struggles to enjoy any form of physical exercise, there are many other activities that the child may engage as fun. These include hula-hooping, jump rope, dancing, walking, swimming, maintaining balance on a stability ball, exploring nature, photography, and collecting flowers and/or rocks etc.


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