Rare diseases unfairly rob those impacted of far too much. Oftentimes, families are caught completely off guard at a diagnosis that can be life-changing. One of the most difficult aspects to come to terms with as a either a caregiver or individual impacted by rare disease is the challenge of mobility. Oftentimes, children impacted by a rare disease require a wheelchair to enhance mobility and it can be a difficult adjustment —especially for parents who dreamed of their child being the star of their high school football team or MVP of little league. Regardless, if rare disease teaches us nothing else, it teaches us to come together and to adapt to make the most of every day regardless of the circumstances. Most importantly, while living with a rare disease is incredibly challenging, there are so many activities that families can do. Here are eight activities everyone can participate in regardless of their ambulatory status:
1. Robotics Team
Joining a competitive robotics team can be a great way for kids to learn how to work with a team in a competitive setting and how to be a good sport win or lose.
3. Music Lessons
Whether it’s piano, guitar or drums, learning to play a musical instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. Playing an instrument strengthens your brain by making you exercise both sides of your it.
4. Art Classes
Art classes of any kind are a great creative and emotional outlet for kids. Art classes can help your child grow and develop their creativity, fine motor skills, problem-solving ability, communication skills, self-esteem, and socio-emotional abilities.
Writing at first may seem like a less exciting activity to occupy a child, but kids love telling stories, and there’s nothing better than letting their imaginations run wild on pages. Kids can have a great time writing books or creative graphic novels (comic books) while also improving their vocabulary and writing skills!
6. Power Soccer
Adapted sports are abundant in most cities across the US. From basketball to soccer, even hockey, kids in wheelchairs and powerchairs can still have the experience of playing a traditional sport. You can find a power soccer team of varying levels of competitiveness here. Info on wheelchair basketball here.
Participating in plays can be another great option for wheelchair users. Theatre can be a great way to expose your children to culture, and teach creativity, hard work, new ways of communicating and so much more in a tight-knit, inclusive community.
8. Photography & Videography Shooting & Editing
Photography is a way for children to speak, see and even identify the things that they see with their families, friends, and teachers. By taking pictures kids can see things in a new way using different poses and using different angles. Creating videos with friends can also be a fun way to exercise their imagination and creativity.
These are just a few of the many activities that families and people who use wheelchairs can do. If you have other inclusive ideas, share them with us on social media to @cureraredisease!