Benefits of Individualized Instruction in Sports

Benefits of Individualized Instruction in Sports

We are all used to receiving guidance in our lives: over loudspeakers in airports about terminal changes, from teachers providing directions to students before taking a test, or by skimming the written instructions that come with a new board game. Usually, we don’t stop and think about the fact that these instructions are provided in a format designed to communicate to the majority. This is the case in many sports programs and physical education settings as well: the focus is on the group, and individual attention rarely occurs for any significant length of time. At Be the Best Sport, our goal is to help each participant develop to his or her full ability in self-confidence, motor skills, overall fitness and health, growth in aptitude in any given sport, and success in every area we can influence. One of our core techniques built into each of our programs is individualized instruction that enables each participant to feel motivated, comfortable, and successful.

Individual Support & Motivation

Individualized instruction means our coaches and mentors tailor their teaching strategies based on the interests and ability level of each individual. What motivates and encourages one child may have an entirely different effect on another child. Learning styles vary; one child might pick up a skill by watching, while another child needs to perform the skill steps himself. So we adjust and adapt our instruction on a participant-by-participant basis. This could look like a time of group instruction and then breaking apart into small group interaction times. This could also look like taking each step one-on-one as many times as needed with each child. Because we are working closely with children who have a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional needs, our coaches and mentors get to know each of these children in a unique way and can become some of the biggest cheerleaders your children will ever have (after you, of course!).

 

Comfortable Development

Our coaches and mentors recognize that any child, especially one with special needs, must feel comfortable when learning new skills and participating in sports settings. We value earning each child’s trust as we work closely, patiently, and encouragingly with each one. By helping children set goals, and then helping them work toward successfully achieving those goals, we get the privilege of watching their confidence and comfort levels increase. We guide group play times so that each child will safely grow more comfortable with the activity and with interacting with others. As the comfort level increases, we can tailor and refine goals to continue helping each child develop to the fullest. Our staff carefully adapts instruction to help each child grow at a comfortable rate.

 

Successful Group Inclusion

Instruction that is geared to each individual actually means that everyone gets included in successful physical activity and sports experiences. Many children with special needs have been unable to participate in sports programs and physical education prior to enrolling in a program at Be the Best Sport, and sometimes they are apprehensive and afraid of failure. Our approach means that as we work in one-on-one and small group settings, our coaches are learning your child’s strengths, interests, and abilities and adapting instruction to meet his/her unique needs in order to succeed both individually and as part of the group. This means that each child can grow successfully, learning new skills while developing self-confidence as “one of the team.”

 

Be the Best Sport welcomes participants of all capabilities, and we offer a wide variety of sports and physical activities in which we implement individualized instruction. We make sure that all of our programs are adequately staffed so that each participant can learn and develop every session. Check out the Programs page to learn more about our classes and the current schedule or to register for a program. You can also request a free trial of a class to see if it’s the right fit for your family. We want both you and your child to be comfortable and confident in our programs.

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

Sources:

http://www.dreambox.com/individualized-learning

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2663&q=334452

http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/determining-individualized-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/education

http://www.aph.org/physical-education/articles/using-differentiated-instruction-in-physical-education/

Top Ten Winter Weekend Activities for Adults and Children with Special Needs

Top Ten Winter Weekend Activities for Adults and Children with Special Needs

The weekend. This small phrase could evoke relaxing thoughts or overwhelming weariness. The upheaval of the normal schedule for two days can be tricky to navigate for families of special needs individuals, where routine often brings a sense of security and normalcy. To avoid utter boredom, frantic mayhem, or anything in between on the weekend, it’s helpful to find scheduled, supervised, engaging, and fun activities. So far, this all makes sense. But add in the factor of fluctuating (or just plain cold) wintertime weather, and the task to find fun activities can become just as overwhelming as not having any activities at all.

Don’t dread your weekends with your kids or adults who have special needs. We’ve compiled a list of ten winter weekend activity options recommended for special-needs individuals. Some activities require snow; some can be done on your back porch or in the living room.

 

Helpful Hints to Know Before Planning

First, a few suggestions to make winter weekend activities as helpful as possible:

  1. Have a calendar. Put it somewhere visible; make it as big and as fun and as normal as you can. Keeping your family’s daily norms (wake up, breakfast, lunch, bath time, nap time, etc.) the same through the weekend can help individuals with special needs realize that Saturday and Sunday are normal days too. Add in different activities in bright colors to create positive anticipation for fun events in the middle of a normal day.
  2. Schedule some quiet time. Remember that everyone needs the weekend to recharge before the next week. Make sure you allow for time for special needs individuals to have some independent play, imagination, rest, or time in an activity corner. You could put together a special weekend box of games and playthings that don’t require constant supervision, things like stuffed animals, puzzles, books, crafts, and favorite toys.
  3. Invest in a timer. Depending on the activities and events you choose to help your special needs individual participate in, it can be helpful for him or her to hear a clear sound that ends one activity and begins another. Positive endings to activities are just as key as positive activities.

 

Creative Fun to Have

Here are our top ten suggestions for fantastic winter weekend activities:

  1. Snow Play–If you live in an area with snow, then you might already be trying to get the “Do you wanna build a snowman?” song out of your head. Building a snowman, making snow angels, or going on a snowshoe hike can be fun ways to help your child or adult with special needs gain some sensory play in the winter. Make snowballs, but instead of a fight (which can be difficult for fearful or over-competitive individuals), aim to hit stationary objects and targets. Use the snow as your own family’s playground.
  2. Snow painting–For those who don’t like romping around in the snow, a great way to have fun outside and involve motor skills is snow painting. Gather squirt bottles (condiment bottles work well), fill them with water, add enough food coloring to make bright colors, and shake to mix. Children and adults both will enjoy “painting” their own artwork masterpieces by squirting the colors on the blank snow canvas.
  3. Indoor Snowman–Winter tends to revolve around snow, which can leave those of us in warmer climates feeling like we can’t find distinct winter activities. Indoor Snowmen to the rescue! (We suggest laying down an old sheet or newspaper or taking this indoor snowman to the back deck.) Gather a large box or plastic container; 2 boxes of cornstarch; 1 can of foam shaving cream; random buttons, sticks, leaves, clothespins, ribbons, or other materials from around the house. Dump the cornstarch into the box, add the shaving cream (you’ll use most of the can), and let your child mash it all together until it forms a crumbly mixture that you can shape into balls (add more shaving cream if it’s too dry to stick together). Make a snowman and decorate it with the random materials. You can re-use the “indoor snow” indefinitely if you use a box with a lid of some kind.
  4. Welcome to Fort Cozy!–With a little bit of forethought, you can put together a fort kit with old sheets, blankets, pillows, rope, cardboard, clothespins, and such. The sky is the limit with the imagination that goes into building forts. Plan to serve a snack, and make books, games, sensory bins, coloring materials, or perhaps an iPad readily available for hours of playtime fun in a cozy, soft blanket fort.
  5. Outdoor Recreation–Skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and other wintertime sports may seem inaccessible or impractical for some special-needs individuals. However, options have sprung up in recent years to allow for therapeutic recreation, which is defined as “creat[ing] adaptations so that people with disabilities have access to activities that they wouldn’t otherwise have” (www.parentmap.com). Check in your area to see if any organizations offer therapeutic or adaptive outdoor recreation options, especially if you live in snowy areas or near winter resorts. A few other suggestions: try to introduce your child to ski or snowboard areas on a weekday, when the slopes won’t be as crowded. It may help to prepare your child by reading a book about skiing or watching some videos on YouTube. If available, trying on ski or snowboard equipment ahead of time may make a first-time day at the slopes more enjoyable.
  6. Hockey–If able to ice skate, special needs individuals may enjoy and benefit from the community and team setting of ice hockey. If your child shows interest in hockey, playing some family street hockey with sticks and a ball in the driveway can give you an indication of your child’s abilities and attentiveness during play. Talk with local coaches and explain your child’s abilities and needs. Discuss any possible accommodations to make hockey a successful integrated experience for your child.
  7. S’more Fun–Build a winter bonfire in the backyard and roast s’mores. This can also be a great social interaction if you invite neighbors, hockey teammates, or other friends over to enjoy a relaxing afternoon or evening.
  8. Pool Time–Create your own sensory play time in an indoor pool! Take several pool noodles, cut them down to six-inch lengths, and fill the tub (or a plastic kiddie pool) with them. The bright colors and foam noodles will provide hours of sensory play, similar to a ball pit.
  9. Good clean…work–Wintertime chores can actually provide stimulating activity options for children and adults who have special needs. Shoveling sidewalks, scraping ice off windshields, collecting firewood, or making patterns in Jack Frost’s handiwork on windows while washing them off are all examples of chores that can become avenues for fun, physical development during the winter months.
  10. Obstacle Courses–Obstacle courses can be set up either indoors or outdoors, making them a versatile winter weekend activity. Outside, make tunnels in the snow, create paths to follow with visible markers, or set up a section of snow to shovel out of the way. Inside, connect rows of chairs for crawling under, ottomans to climb over, and “lava floors” (blankets on the floor that you can’t touch). Obstacles create opportunities to develop motor skills, translate sensory observations into resulting actions, and provide hours of learning fun.

 

Be The Best Sport offers great winter activities for children with special needs. Our Saturday sports enrichment programs are perfect to get out of the house and be active!

Please check out our program schedule, and register for a FREE Trial Class if you are interested in trying out any of our programs!

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

Helping Special Needs Kids Learn Unfamiliar Things

Helping Special Needs Kids Learn Unfamiliar Things

Unfamiliar things come into everyone’s life on a daily basis. For most of us, these unfamiliar things do not cause too much confusion. However, for the special needs child, anything that is unfamiliar has the potential to become a huge challenge for them. Some will get frustrated trying. Some will look at it from every angle and try to figure it out. And some will just curl up and not even attempt to figure out what they need to do. There are several steps that you can take to help a special needs kid through the unfamiliar circumstances that they encounter.

1.     Start with the familiar.

In every situation, there is some kind of familiar factor. Start with that. Help them to see a color they know, a favorite shape, or a familiar person. They may need help becoming comfortable with the familiar in an unfamiliar setting, but it will become their rock. Be sure to point out the familiar in every unfamiliar situation to help them gain initial confidence!

 

2.     Look for the easiest adjustment.

When helping a special needs child learn unfamiliar things, it is important that you break down the situation and start with the simplest step or component. Starting with the simplest component will go a long way in helping them gain confidence and familiarity with the unfamiliar task or concept they are being asked to tackle.

 

3.     Watch for nonverbal and verbal clues.

It is so important to watch for clues when a special needs child is being asked to do something that is unfamiliar to them. As you are helping them, they are going to be constantly giving you indications that will let you see how they are adapting. Be sure to pay attention and adjust the situation as needed. If the child feels that their mode of communication is not being understood, they will get frustrated and will not be willing to move on and learn the unfamiliar that is trying to be taught.

 

4.     Be consistent.

Who doesn’t like consistency? This one factor is very important to a special needs child. As you are introducing them to an unfamiliar item or concept, be sure to be consistent with how you introduce it. Special needs children thrive on consistency, and if you try to introduce the unfamiliar in a totally different way from how you normally introduce changes, this will make the process so much harder for you and the child. Be consistent! It’s so important!

 

5.     Give praise.

Special needs children also thrive on praise. It gives them a reassurance that everything is okay, and it motivates them to move on and keep trying things. When they face an unfamiliar situation, they need that reassurance even more. It will take baby steps all along the way when it comes to introducing anything that is unfamiliar to them, but the praise that comes with every baby step will motivate them even more to achieve the ultimate goal!

 

At Be the Best Sport, our goal is to work in these ways to help your special needs child become comfortable with the unfamiliar things that they encounter in the sports arena. Each child will have their unique way of learning unfamiliar things, but with these steps, we are confident that we can help them learn each unfamiliar concept in a fun and effective way!

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

 

Benefits of Track & Field For Children and Adults With Special Needs

The opportunity to participate in track and field events is one of the greatest ways to improve health physically and emotionally. Everyone can benefit from physical exercise, team effort, perseverance, companionship, and establishing and accomplishing goals; however, special needs individuals must work additionally hard at conquering obstacles and cultivating a spirit of friendly competition, both of which will carry over into other areas of life.

When choosing a track and field activity for your special needs child, consider his or her developmental age first, not physical age alone. Physical limitations or impairments in sight or hearing may require adaptive equipment or special modifications. Your child’s personality and potential responsiveness to a coach or teammates may determine the pace or number of participants that he or she is comfortable interacting with. Keep in mind your child’s interests by including him or her in the decision-making process. Lessen any uneasiness ahead of time by familiarizing your child with the rules and simplifying instructions in a way that won’t overwhelm them.

Many programs institute a buddy system. Older students are often paired with younger special needs children to participate together in the event of their choice–training together, competing together, encouraging each other. Special needs youth have the satisfaction of a one-on-one teammate with a sense of readiness and accomplishment that he or she would not have acquired without the support of their buddy. In addition, a partner makes transitions more comfortable and provides an example to follow.

Track and field can be modified to most disabilities, even though some special needs kids may require adaptive equipment or special conditions. For tossing events, like javelin or discus, a modified set of rules may apply for wheelchair participants. On the track, visually impaired participants may use a guide runner or parallel bars around the course to help lead. Strobe lighting or flags signal hearing impaired runners to start off. Races may be between athletes of varying disabilities. Programs like Unified Sports mix non-special needs individuals jumping over hurdles with wheelchair athletes racing alongside or around cones.

The benefits of track and field are many. Such activity

  • Sustains proper body weight
  • Promotes better coordination
  • Improves balance
  • Focuses attention
  • Teaches to drown out interruptions
  • Trains to work with basic coaching instructions
  • Focuses behavioral actions and boosts spirits
  • Works off unproductive energy
  • Provides adjustment to unexpected situations and new circumstances
  • Develops more regulated patterns of sleep
  • Adapts to multitasking
  • Gives clearer mind and mental focus
  • Teaches self-restraint
  • Provides teamwork in controlled amounts
  • Builds self-reliance
  • Accomplishes specific objectives
  • Motivates others

Be the Best Sport loves to see our athletes grow in all these areas! Our track and field program offers training in the following events: form and formula running, 200 meter run, 4×100 and other relays, long jump, obstacle course, hurdles, javelin, and shot put to name a few. Safety is a number one concern, so our track and field is individualized to accommodate each child’s special need. Our athletes will learn a variety of new events as well as have fun, make friends, and build confidence in the process.

 

Fall Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am9/9-11/11NONE4 - 715$250Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am9/9-11/11NONE8 - 1415$250Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball11:00am-11:45am10/7-12/611/257 - 1110$250YMCA at Glen Cove
125t Dosoris Lane
Glen Cove, NY 11542
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm9/9-11/11NONE12 - 2010$250Tokey Hill
95 Seaview Blvd
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayBeginner Track & Field11:30am-12:15pm9/9-11/11NONE7 - 15 10$250PW Tennis Academy
100 Harbor Road
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness Fun11:45am-12:30pm10/7-12/611/257 - 1110$250YMCA at Glen Cove
125t Dosoris Lane
Glen Cove, NY 11542
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm9/9-11/11NONE4 - 710$250Tokey Hill
95 Seaview Blvd
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm9/9-11/11NONE7 - 1210$250Tokey Hill
95 Seaview Blvd
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness Fun12:30pm-1:00pm10/7-12/611/2512 - 1812$250YMCA at Glen Cove
125t Dosoris Lane
Glen Cove, NY 11542
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdvanced Track & Field12:30pm-1:15pm9/9-11/11NONE7 - 1510$250PW Tennis Academy
100 Harbor Road
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayBeginner Basketball1:45pm-2:30pm9/9-11/11NONE7 - 1512$250Lutheran Church
12 Franklin Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdvanced Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm9/9-11/11NONE10 & Up12$250Lutheran Church
12 Franklin Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050

 

Determining the Best Sport Choice for a Special Needs Child

Determining the Best Sport Choice for a Special Needs Child


As part of the childhood rite of passage and growing up, each kid should have the chance to experience the fun of playing sports and the confidence and sense of belonging it can bring. Many sports can be adapted for special needs children and adults. For example, those in wheelchairs can play basketball or take up modified track and field, and those with limb loss or prosthetics can participate in therapeutic horseback riding or swimming. Perceived limitations should not prevent special needs kids with varying ability levels from trying.

Health Benefits

Sometimes concern of injury keeps parents or guardians from enrolling those with behavioral or physical disabilities into a sport, but it’s especially important for special needs children to get physical exercise to counter adverse health risks. Recent statistics show that the obesity rate for those with special needs is 40% higher than those without, and the odds of being bullied are three times greater than those without a disability. Sports can help in a variety of ways:

  • Cardiovascular improvement
  • Muscle coordination and skeletal strength
  • Weight control
  • Mental sharpening
  • Emotional/social skills
  • Reduced likelihood of other health complications

 

Personal Rewards

When choosing the best sport for your child, avoid mentioning any “limitations.” Help them go into the activity with a “can do” attitude. Schedule a doctor’s examination for any safety concerns, and inform the instructor or coach of any possible health problems beforehand. Understanding the special needs child’s abilities is key for parents. Those kids with behavioral, emotional, or mental disabilities might benefit more from one-on-one or individualized sports as opposed to team sports. If a team sport works best, notify the instructor and fellow players so that they become familiar with your child’s disability. Sports and physical activity in general can boost confidence for special needs children. It will be a stepping stone for trying new things.

Multiple Choices

Be the Best Sport offers a wide selection of sports that can be a benefit to children in many ways:

  • Basketball–teaches great teamwork and following directions, promotes hand-eye coordination, encourages camaraderie
  • Soccer–improves foot-eye coordination, teaches coaching instructions, coordinates play with peers
  • Multi-sport–provides a variety of activity and promotes physical coordination
  • Karate–teaches focus and control, great for individualized training and accomplishment
  • Fitness–promotes cardiovascular health and general muscle coordination with daily steady exercise routines
  • Track and field–enhances speed with individualized competition as well as team relay and obstacle course skills
  • Tennis–teaches hand-eye coordination and running, can be individualized or mixed doubles to promote limited exposure to teamwork

 

We want our athletes to learn to show respect to leaders and peers as well as to accept instruction. We desire that they make friends and learn good sportsmanship. Besides physical strength and growth, each of these sports has many ongoing benefits. Each child learns how to enjoy victory but also how to accept defeat. Team members learn how to congratulate other individuals on their wins. Special needs athletes learn to be compassionate toward those who have lost and to console others who are injured or disappointed. They can learn self-discipline and motivation skills they can apply in other areas of life. Be the Best Sport aspires to help those with special needs achieve these goals.

 

Summer Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
MondayTrack & Field 5:30pm - 6:15pm July 10,17,24,31
Aug 7
NONE
8 - 158$150Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
MondayFitness 6:15pm-7:00pm July 10,17,24,31
Aug 7
NONE
8 & Up8$150Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
TuesdayMulti Sport 6:00pm - 7:30pmJuly 11,18,25
Aug 1,8
NONE
12 & Up12$200Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Wednesday Multi-Sport5:30pm - 6:15pmJuly 5,12,19,26
Aug 2,9
NONE
5 - 88$180Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
WednesdayBike Riding6:15pm-7:00pm Session 1: July 5,12,19
Session 2: July 26, Aug 2,9
NONE
4 & Up3 Per Session $150 for 3 Weeks Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Thursday Fitness 5:30pm - 6:15pm July 6,13,20,27
Aug 3,10
NONE4 - 88$180 Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Thursday Bike Riding6:15pm-7:00pm Session 1: July 6,13,20
Session 2: July 27, Aug 3,10
NONE5 & Up3 Per Session$150 for 3 Weeks Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990

Summer Programs for Children With Special Needs

Special Needs Summer Programs

How would your child like to spend his or her summer? Most would enjoy going to camp, no matter age or ability. In fact, there are a wide variety of summer camps and programs designed specifically for special needs individuals–something for everyone from Down’s syndrome and autism to limb loss and cardiac patient. Whether the program you choose focuses on medical recuperation, sports and outdoor events, or learning assistance and tutoring, there are certain things to consider:

  • What is the result or goal of the program? Your child may be learning a new skill, gaining self-reliance in an unfamiliar area, connecting with others, building physical strength, or sharpening academically.
  • Which option takes into account your special needs child’s interests, age, and temperament?
  • What are the program’s structure and offerings? Some are indoors with a focus on academics like reading and language skills or even  art, music, performance, and acting. Technology, life skills, and internship training for the future are also practical options. Some programs emphasize outdoor physical activities like nature and exploration, field sports, and animals and zoology.  The camp may be social or individual, large or small, day or overnight, mixed groups or boys and girls separate, or competition versus recreation.
  • Is the program accredited by the American Camp Association?
  •  Is the camp able to make your child feel at home away from home? It should include sufficient equipment and personnel for treating injuries and other medical concerns. It should also have established policies on reimbursement in case of early departure or in-completion of the program. Ask about staff training requirements and the ratio of kids to counselors. Are the program’s arrangements accommodating to your child’s eating (including special dietary needs), sleeping, and daily hygiene routines? Are all areas accessible for specific disabilities or mobility challenges? What communications are available to you and your child while he or she is at the facility?
  • Is the cost inclusive, or will there be charges for additional activities? Some school districts may fund a portion of the costs.

In making a final choice, ask previously participating parents and kids if they’d recommend the site. Buddy up if a new situation is too tasking, and join with a friend. Check with your local school staff; many camps or programs aren’t just for special needs but are adaptive to include them. Some options to explore include nature preserves and parks, community centers, local churches, youth clubs, museums, art/music centers, community theaters, and libraries. Get to know the program staff, and let them know all the pertinent information about your child’s individual condition so that they can best care for him or her. Ask to tour the facility personally if you have any concerns.

 

Be the Best Sport looks forward to working with special needs youth during summer vacation. Tuesday nights will focus on younger kids with a variety of multi-sport activities, including tee-ball, basketball, football, soccer, and scooter/bicycling to build motor skills and coordination. To encourage socializing and teamwork, we will aim to integrate siblings with the parents’ permission. On weekend mornings, we will be running at the Mid Island Y JCC in Plainview. Come join the fun!

 

Summer Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
MondayTrack & Field 5:30pm - 6:15pm July 10,17,24,31
Aug 7
NONE
8 - 158$150Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
MondayFitness 6:15pm-7:00pm July 10,17,24,31
Aug 7
NONE
8 & Up8$150Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
TuesdayMulti Sport 6:00pm - 7:30pmJuly 11,18,25
Aug 1,8
NONE
12 & Up12$200Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Wednesday Multi-Sport5:30pm - 6:15pmJuly 5,12,19,26
Aug 2,9
NONE
5 - 88$180Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
WednesdayBike Riding6:15pm-7:00pm Session 1: July 5,12,19
Session 2: July 26, Aug 2,9
NONE
4 & Up3 Per Session $150 for 3 Weeks Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Thursday Fitness 5:30pm - 6:15pm July 6,13,20,27
Aug 3,10
NONE4 - 88$180 Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Thursday Bike Riding6:15pm-7:00pm Session 1: July 6,13,20
Session 2: July 27, Aug 3,10
NONE5 & Up3 Per Session$150 for 3 Weeks Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990

Special Olympics and Basketball

Since 1968 the Special Olympics has grown to include more than 170 countries and over 30 different sports. Evident in the stories of the many athletes, the confidence that training and competing in Special Olympics sports builds often helps those with special needs face challenges and obstacles in their daily lives. In addition, the special Olympics events are an ideal way for volunteer workers, special needs participants, and the families and friends who cheer them on to become involved, as the organization itself says, “to discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.”

Eunice Kennedy Shriver birthed the organization over a period of 10 years in the 1950s-1960s as her desire for a fair and dignified way to showcase the accomplishment of special needs youth in sports grew. Her goal to provide a location for special needs kids not only to play and thrive also emphasized focus on their abilities and never their limitations. At the time, there was no such place, so Eunice Kennedy Shriver starter her own–on her own property as a day camp during the summer. What she began eventually became the Special Olympics organization. By July 20, 1968, the first games were hosted in Chicago with 1,000 competitors in floor hockey, track and field, and swimming. In 1971, the US Olympic Committee had given lawful approval to use the title “Olympic”–a right given solely to two groups. The Special Olympics became international in 1977 with its winter events in skiing and skating and included TV broadcasting by major networks NBC, CBS, and ABC. By May 2015, unprecedented numbers were recorded: over 4.5 million competitors and 94,000 events internationally.

The Special Olympics’s almost-fifty-year history of empowering special needs kids and adults also brought about one equally important aspect in its 1989 Unified Sports initiative–the cooperation and bonding of individuals with and without special needs competing together on the same side. Besides teamwork, volunteers have had opportunity to coach, officiate, help out at the events, or simply to be a fan. Today, the range of  Special Olympics activities now covers almost every interest: bowling, roller skating, horseback riding, cycling, swimming, badminton, kayaking, sailing, football, hockey, softball, tennis, volleyball, alpine skiing, figure skating, gymnastics, powerlifting, triathlon, and basketball.

Long Island is home to various youth and adult basketball sports centers. On Saturday, May 14 2016, Be The Best Sport entered into the Long Island Special Olympics Basketball Competition held at the John Venditto Athletic Center in Hicksville, Long Island. The event had hundreds of participants competing in the yearly tournament. The gym was filled with enthusiastic parents, athletes, volunteers and coaches cheering on their team and showing their undying support and dedication.

Be The Best Sport’s basketball team, a local team comprised of players from Port Washington, Manhasset, Roslyn, Great Neck, and Queens qualified for the “A Division” and won the silver medal. This is the first year the team qualified for the “A” Division. It is a tremendous accomplishment and we are so proud of the athletes for the hard work and dedication that they have put in over the years to accomplish this goal. The basketball program will continue throughout the summer and into the following school year, as they set on to their next challenge in competing in the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament next May.

We would like to thank everyone involved for their passion and dedication. It is because of their support that our programs have grown tremendously and will continue to help more athletes become introduced to sports and increase their skills each week.

 For more information, visit: http://bethebestsport.org/special-needs-sports-programs/special-needs-basketball/

Sources:

http://www.lightningbasketball.net/

http://www.islandgarden.com/

http://specialolympics-ny.org/longisland/

Socialization, Recreation, and Sports Programs Help with Autism

As a neurobiological disorder that affects every area of life, autism is associated with lifelong traits that include heavily repetitive behavior, fixed regimens, struggles to communicate, and underdeveloped social skills. While standard behavioral therapies have proven successful in helping reduce the extremities of these traits as well as focusing on expanding mental and emotional skills, studies have shown that by adding socialization/recreation or sports programs, not as a substitute therapy but an additive, children with autism have an edge on gaining the skills they most need to navigate their way through life.

Socialization and Recreation

Although plenty of communities provide programs that allow individuals with autism the opportunity to build communication and social skills, the first place successful socialization begins is at home. Autistic children will learn best when surrounded and encouraged by supportive family and friends. Recreation programs not only benefit the special needs individual but also the whole family by alleviating stress and giving an atmosphere of relaxation and fun. When researching recreation programs, parents should keep in mind 1) what pastimes attract their autistic child’s attention or let them excel and 2) what recreational programs will foster growth or provide results for the challenges they face socially or communicatively. In addition community programs can help by giving children with autism fun, skill-building interactions through activities in a structured environment. One increasingly successful way to accomplish this goal is through sports.

Sports Programs

Although sports programs are not a replacement for other therapies, when used alongside they have undeniably positive effects. Sports can:

  • encourage body awareness
  • grow endurance and muscle coordination
  • teach the importance of fitness and an active lifestyle
  • lower the risk for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems and other health issues
  • create improved motor function
  • increase self-assurance and independence
  • reinforce concurrent alternate therapy methods
  • provide social aspects through exposure to coaches and peers

Physical movement through sports and exercise combine with other therapies to refocus repetitive symptoms into functional traits in daily life.

The autism spectrum spans various combinations of sensory issues and limited motor skills which might hinder some kids in heavily team-based activities where person-to-person communication is problematic. Some individuals with autism might find events repetitive by nature with limited social engagement such as basketball (one-on-one), track, swimming, or horseback riding highly structured and easier to master.

Behavioral therapies such as sports, socialization, and recreation are taught to increase peer skills, thinking, and good communication. Be the Best Sport recognizes foremost the importance of working as a family to increase the physical, mental, and emotional abilities of every unique child and adult with special needs. We also realize the right fit of sport or activity to the individual is vital. Recreational sports should be fun and attainable for people with all levels of social, mental, or physical challenges, and our varied programs meet those needs with a capable staff. By teaching sports activity we strive to give our athletes life skills as well as a personal sense of accomplishment.

Check out our spring schedule below, and sign up for a FREE TRIAL CLASS

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Benefits of Bike Riding for Children with Special Needs

Learning to whistle, tying shoelaces, or turning a somersault are all childhood milestones every boy or girl wants to grasp because everyone else can do it. Learning to bike ride is one such rite of passage, but for those with special needs—each of which has a unique set of challenges to overcome like limited mobility, sensory difficulties, or communication/social deficiencies—the opportunity may not always present itself. A study conducted by the University of Michigan reported fewer than 20% of children with autism and 10% with Down’s syndrome learn to ride a bike. The goal of the research was to seek out ways that mastering riding a bike would benefit special needs kids in other areas of their lives. Whether learning the “usual” way at home or at a day camp specifically designed to teach bike riding, children with special needs discover (and parents and counselors can witness) that it has advantages extending to every level.

Learning to ride a bike strengthens kids with special needs physically. The exertion of the pedaling allows them to develop the leg muscle organization and endurance they might have lacked before. Bike riding can fine-tune motor skills and physical coordination as well as aid with balance. Building a habit of continued, enjoyable physical activity can lower risk of future cardiovascular problems and obesity and their associated health complications.

Learning to ride a bike grows special needs kids mentally. As everyone experiencing the struggle knows, it takes focus to stay upright as he or she masters the task. Grasping the skill to bike ride also requires determination to carry through to the end. But once your child does, the results prove to be well worth the effort.

As a result, learning to ride a bike reinforces children with special needs emotionally. Many such kids can attest to the sense of independence they gain as well as the accompanying feelings of freedom, pride, and accomplishment. Because they mastered the bike, they can now work hard to learn new things and have the confidence to succeed in other aspects of life. Learning to ride also helps special needs children develop their social skills since it’s an activity the whole family can participate in.

Biking is a childhood rite of passage, a milestone which can be hard for those with special needs to conquer. As a skill that everyone learns, many of them can do it with support and practice. For those who find it a little more difficult to achieve on a standard bicycle, companies have developed various adaptive bikes to fill in the gap. More importantly, encouragement from family, friends, and trainers help boost the confidence of children with special needs to succeed. Be the Best Sport is dedicated to the goal and offers that very program to teach them to ride a bike and develop the focus, balance, independence, and social self-assurance they’ll need to interact with others and lead fulfilling lives. For more information, visit http://bethebestsport.org/special-needs-bike-riding/

BUILDING A HEALTHY & HAPPY LIFESTYLE

Sports and recreation for children and adults with special needs.

Author: Michael Furino – Be The Best Sport Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Studies have shown that children and adults with special needs face the same obesity risks as other peers, but have a larger set of factors that affect and may limit them. As a result, the types of foods they eat or activities they participate in may have a direct correlation. Some of these factors include:

  • Having a more complex relationship with food
  • Barriers to exercise
  • Medications
  • Family stress
  • Genetic disorders
  • Perceived risk of participating in too “difficult” or too “dangerous” activities

These barriers are tough to break, but ultimately, it’s most important to teach children and adults with special needs how to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Establishing good habits early on is essential.

In addition to eating healthy, sports and recreational activities are an integral part of developing positive habits. For those with special needs, sports and recreational activities may serve as a powerful way of improving muscle strength, coordination, flexibility, increased endurance and motor skills. In addition, sports programs are great activities to help build both self-confidence and friendships that last a lifetime. Participating in sports allows athletes with special needs the opportunity to be a part of a team, develop an understanding of sportsmanship, and gain personal satisfaction by viewing their own progress.

While participating in sports and recreational activities, children and adults with special needs are developing and strengthening their motor, cognitive and social abilities. When searching for a program, look for one that offers the opportunity to learn the basics of each sport. These programs will allow the athlete to learn at their own rate beginning at the most basic level, and expand upon their skill set as they progress.

It is also very important to find programs that not only facilitate the building of sport skills, but also focus on building confidence, self-esteem, and sportsmanship while meeting the needs of each individual. Finding a program that prioritizes a balance of fun and structure is of utmost importance.

Participants will learn new skills that can be transferred from the field to the classroom, and right back to their home environment. Children or adults who participate in sports activities have shown to exhibit better behaviors at home and in the classroom.

Parents of those with special needs who enroll their children in athletic activities often witness their son/daughter having an increase in appetite, exhibiting an improvement in sleeping habits, while also displaying more energy; a natural coping strategy for stress and/or anxiety.

Overall, sports and exercise play an integral role in the development of any child or adult, and skills are most certainly transferable across all aspects of life.

Source: Parent Guide News