Children everywhere look forward to summer vacation when they get a break from school and a chance to play outside and spend time with friends. But, even with all that summer has to offer, this time of year can be difficult for parents of children with special needs because they have a lot of extra time to fill with entertaining events.
Depending on your child’s specific disabilities, finding the right activities to accommodate their needs can be challenging, but we are here to help as best we can. Here are some activities that can help your special needs child stay active, healthy, and happy during the summer months.
Swimming and Aquatic Therapy
Local pools, swim clubs, or swim teams can be a great way for your child to make friends, socialize, and build relationships. Additionally, swimming is a low-impact activity that can help your child build strength, endurance, and flexibility.
Before you take them to the pool, you should check with the pediatrician to ensure that it is a safe option. Due to spasticity or other physical limitations, your child may not be able to swim properly without assistance. Make sure that they are never left alone in the water.
Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a popular activity and form of therapy among people with disabilities. While riding on a horse, a person experiences rhythmic movements that can help the rider develop increased strength and better balance and coordination. It can also increase a person’s confidence and self-esteem.
You can look up local stables that offer hippotherapy and equine-assisted therapy classes and programs, which provide beginner lessons and assisted riding for those without riding experience.
Amusement Parks or Zoos
There’s no better way to teach your child about animals than taking them to a local farm or zoo. It is also a place that the whole family can enjoy and spend quality time together. You can quiz your child on what animals they see, what sounds they make, and what foods they eat.
Carnivals and amusement parks are another fun day activity that your child may enjoy. Keep in mind, however, that amusement parks can be crowded and hot during the summer and can overstimulate your child. If needed, leave early or plan to only take them for a short period of time before it becomes overwhelming.
Summer Camp for Kids with Disabilities
While traditional summer camps may not be able to accommodate your child, there are certain summer camps specifically designed to provide for children with special needs, such as cerebral palsy. These camps typically employ personal care assistants to help children with their daily needs.
Whether it’s a day camp or an overnight program, summer camp programs can help your child build social skills while enjoying those traditional summer activities. For instance, many of these types of summer programs include activities such as camping, cookouts, swimming, fishing, arts and craft, and sporting events.
At Angel Law, P.C., our Portland birth injury attorneys represent families of children who have suffered harm due to negligent doctors or medical professionals. If you have any questions about how your child’s cerebral palsy or other condition developed, we are here to help you explore your potential legal options.
Contact our team at (503) 862-8666 to schedule a free case review.