At DEWA we believe that ,Extracurricular activities like sports, performing and fine arts classes, computer clubs and youth groups can do wonders for children’s self-esteem, social lives and skills development. Children with special needs can benefit from activities geared toward their strengths, talents and interests. Recreational, arts-based and socialization programs are adapted for children so that they can develop further and overcome their weaknesses.
Often, parents undervalue after-school activities for their special needs children. They may be more focused on their child’s academics or therapies or feel that there just isn’t time or money to bother with extra-curricula’s. While this attitude is understandable, there’s a good chance you’ll be robbing your child of opportunities that could make a major positive difference in their life. Here’s why many kids with special needs also have great ideas and impressive talents, regardless of learning disabilities, social issues, or speech delays they may be dealing with. But that doesn’t mean they can’t run like the wind, draw like Picasso, or be a successful Scout. It’s important to recognize and build these talents, especially when your child’s challenges are so often the focus of discussion.
Extracurricular activities can increase your child’s opportunities to make friends and find a social niche. Many kids with special needs have social communication challenges. And let’s face it. It’s hard to make friends while you’re in class, on the bus, or navigating the cafeteria. After-school activities are an opportunity to connect with other kids in a completely different way. Choose the right organization, and your child will suddenly have a built-in set of social connections.
The skills your child learns after school can be as important (or more important) than the skills he learns in school. In school, your child is working on handwriting, standing in line, academic skills, and appropriate classroom behavior. After school, your child may be learning to be part of a team, to support and encourage others, or to try new things. He may also be learning the rules of well-known games, earning respect, and building friendships. These are skills that will last a lifetime.
After-school successes build confidence and respect. When your child hits a home run, doing physical activities or earns a higher level belt in martial arts, both you and he get to see that he can succeed and even excel.