Comprehensive Fitness Programs For Children With Developmental Disabilities

There is no general rule or norm to follow when working with children faced with developmental disabilities. Each special child has his own distinct mind-to-body connection which must be dealt with differently from other children with special needs. Body movements in children with developmental disability go hand in hand with their level of awareness, their balance capacity and spatial recognition of what surrounds them. It is important to strengthen these aspects of their physical condition before any other type of learning is introduced.That is why parents, caregivers and teachers working with children with developmental disabilities focus much on working to increase a child’s physical balance, developing physical strength and proper coordination prior to developing their social, mental and emotional faculties. The proper development of the latter depends much on how well balance, strength and coordination improve during regular therapy.Through various studies and years of specialized research, it has been noted that special movement games are very effective in offering opportunities for these children to practice self-regulation. These movement games were also successful in pushing the children to develop their stamina and resistance with gross motor activities.Yoga has also been used as a model – children with developmental disabilities are taught to achieve balance through certain yoga poses and the same has been used to increase strength in their muscles as well as develop their ability to carry out symmetrical movements.Both movement games and yoga poses instilled some form of patterning to effect progress among these children with special needs. And while these techniques had shown great success in developmental disability therapy, continued research is done to explore other methods to provide the fitness needs of these special children.There are studies currently done involving music into the therapy routine as certain types of music have been observed to encourage balance and rhythmic stimulation. These are incorporated into smooth fluid motion exercises that emphasize on symmetry and self-regulation, which are the most important needs of children with developmental disabilities.