So Kids Soar (formerly Dreams For Kids DC), provides free adaptive athletic, recreational, and skill-building activities that empower youth with physical and developmental disabilities to Strive, Own, Achieve, and Realize their potential.
An estimated 75,000 people were living with disabilities in 2010 in DC, 6,000 of which were children between the ages of 5 and 17. Many of these people have multiple disability types, which include physical and developmental disabilities. In the last few years, as there has been greater attention on exercise and health (such as Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign), we have recognized the importance of providing activities for children with disabilities not only to get them physically moving, but also enable them to bond with their peers. Children with disabilities want to have friends, enjoy activities, have a break from parents, and be included like everyone else.
There are very few communities and programs that allow children with disabilities to interact with their peers in a comfortable environment where they are not subject to insensitivity. With 6,000 children with disabilities living in just the DC area, and more living in the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia, there is a need for more regularly planned activities and events for this group. Currently, there are many communities for families with physical and developmentally disabled children; however, there is a well documented need for more recreational activities for these children. There is a need to provide more and a larger variety of activities on a regular basis.
Adaptive physical clinics help move children with disabilities off the sidelines to engage in sports, arts, and other recreational activities. When adaptive programs are inclusive of all ages and all disabilities, as well as non-disabled peers and siblings, it allows those with disabilities to grow beyond the segregated settings that have existed for so many years. This variety and inclusion give children a chance to try different sports, add to the skills developed, and increase the likelihood of finding activities for lifetime participation, which can improve social skills.
In a study conducted by the Adaptive Sports Center and Brigham Young University on Quality of Life Benefits Through Participation in Adaptive Sports For Individuals with Physical Disabilities.
89.5% of individuals reported feeling that their adaptive sports experience had a very positive or positive influence on feeling empowered in their life.
100% of individuals reported feeling that their adaptive sports experience had a very positive or positive influence on their self confidence.
94.7% of individuals felt that their adaptive sports experience had a very positive or positive influence on their overall health.
It is clear that adaptive physical activities have a positive influence on people with disabilities. As a result, it is important for us to organize and provide these opportunities to children with disabilities.
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