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Every child is designed and built differently. Some children like sports, some like music, some like art; each child has their own unique character. Children with special needs are in no way inferior to children without special needs. They, like every other child, have likes and dislikes and they also love to have fun! Yes, it can be quite daunting having to work with children with special needs, because they may require a little more attention, but they deserve the right to participate in sports and require physical activity!



Below you will find information to help you integrate children with special needs into your programs.

Mouse-over each box to learn more. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

A neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social skills and social development and how one interacts with the environment

Fragile X Syndrome

A genetic disorder that causes mental 

Fragile X

Photo source:

Cerebral Palsy

A disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills


Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex, sex-based social structures, or gender identity.

Source:  Wikipedia

Down Syndrome

A condition that causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically.

Culture and Religion



Description needed

Why Sport / Activity is Important?
Sport / Activity Improves:

Cognitive behaviour





Emotional and psychological health


Social skills


Motor skills



Sport / Activity Reduces:

Risk of disease


Risk of (some types of) cancer

Success Stories

Brad Bowden  |

Brad Bowden is a Canadian Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Basketball Paralympian. Brad has a syndrome called Caudal Regression Syndrome or Sacral Agenesis which means that there was abnormal fetal development of his lower spine. However, this didn't stop him from going to the Paralympics for two different sports! Brad scored the winning goal leading team Canada to a bronze medal at the 2014 paralympic games in Sochi.  

Rick and Dick Hoyt  |

Rick was born in 1962 suffering from oxygen deprivation to his brain at birth resulting in being diagnosed as a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. The doctors told Rick's parents that he was to be institutionalized and would not live, however he has defied these odds!...

Jon Stoklosa  |

One Down's Syndrome man has overcome the odds to become a champion weightlifter. Not just in special Olympics competitions – he regular beats the best of his non-disabled opponents... 


Delivering Physical Activity for Children of All Abilities  |  OPHEA

Steps to Inclusion supports the belief that everyone deserves and benefits from physical activity programs based on the simple principles of inclusivity, respect and participation.

Everyone in the Game!  |  OPHEA

Taking part in daily physical activity is a vital part of any child’s development. It not only helps children to develop physical literacy – the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities – but has also... 

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew  |

One of the autism community’s most beloved books, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew brims with insight, compassion and spirited humor as it takes a timeless, succinct, and informative look at ten characteristics that help illuminate – not define – children with autism.

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