Activities and Sports for Children with Disabilities Stemming from Birth Injuries
At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland birth injury attorneys represent parents who have children suffering from injuries which resulted in disability. We are highly skilled in handling cases for children with both physical and cognitive disabilities, as we understand how to interpret complex medical records and tenaciously fight insurance companies.
Your children do not have to miss out on the fun
As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to watch other children energetically playing games when the same activities are difficult, or even impossible, for your own child, due to a disability caused by a birth injury. However, there are activities that many children with disabilities can and do enjoy, including:
- Horseback riding
- Using playground facilities
- Kayaking and canoeing
These activities provide children with many benefits, such as a boost in confidence and self-image, an exercise routine, and improved social skills. Of course, the type of activity most beneficial to your child will depend on the nature of the disability and your child’s overall health.
Horseback riding has been shown to benefit children with various types of physical and mental disabilities. In horseback riding programs, students learn how to ride and care for horses with the assistance of instructors. Students improve their muscle control, balance, coordination, and verbal communication skills through horseback riding. Students who may be restricted in their movements also thrive on the independence that horseback riding can provide.
The benefits of such programs are vast. For students with hypertonia, an increase in muscle tone, or hypotonia, a decrease in muscle tone, improvements in muscle movement have been observed. For example, students who initially had trouble supporting themselves on horses may find that, after a few months, they are able to ride unassisted. For those with cognitive impairment or learning disabilities, students improve their sense of spatial relationships and body awareness. Children with sensory impairments also reap many benefits from horseback riding, ranging from experiencing tactile sensations to gaining a sense of direction.
Children have loved riding bikes for decades. Many companies manufacture special bikes for children with disabilities. For example, some bicycles provide extra wheels or a wider base. Tricycle-style bikes or cruisers are also available. Just as horseback riding improves muscle tone and strength, cycling provides similar benefits. Biking also opens the door for play dates with friends, offers a sense of freedom, and is an activity that parents and children can enjoy together.
Baseball fosters teamwork and communication, and strengthens senses as well. For example, blind children may learn to listen for the sound of an approaching ball and figure out the precise moment to swing. At fields that are designed for children with disabilities, the infield surface is often wheelchair-friendly, and softer balls and wider bats may be used. Self-esteem skyrockets, and a child’s sense of skill and strategy improves as well, when he or she participates in organized sports such as baseball.
Thanks to regulations passed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, playgrounds are becoming more disability-friendly. Many playgrounds now include therapeutic swings, which have back support so that children remain safe and secure. Many other pieces of equipment now include ramps, so children in wheelchairs are able to enjoy them and feel a sense of belonging.
With kayaking, very few (if any) modifications are required for disabled children to participate. Many kayaks have tandem designs, which provide space for two paddlers. Kayaking has been shown to help children overcome fears, such as a fear of water; distance themselves from their disability; and bond with other kayakers. Core strength and coordination is improved as well. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun.
Contact our experienced Cleveland birth injury attorneys today for more information
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of medical professionals, and those injuries have resulted in a disability, it is important to quickly seek legal counsel to protect your legal rights. The skilled Cleveland birth injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm offer a free initial consultation and case review. Call our office at 216-687-0900 or contact us online today to set up your consultation.