Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Group Activities; Dance for Fitness, Dance for Fun

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Group Activities; Dance for Fitness, Dance for Fun

Article excerpt

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Group activities, such as aerobic and square dancing, provide youngsters with severe disabilities opportunities to participate in age-appropriate and culturally popular activities with their peers. Participation can improve how the youngsters view themselves as well as how others view them.

Most youngsters will need a tremendous amount of assistance to take part in these activities. However, with some minor modifications and utilization of the "principle of partial participation," all youngsters can participate in a variety of group activities. In aerobic and square dancing, each youngster performs whatever movements he/she can, then the leader provides assistance as needed to help the participant complete the task.

Through participation in aerobic and square dancing, youngsters can reap the many benefits that recreational activities offer. These include: interaction with peers; exposure to different types of equipment, environments and sounds; the excitement of group activities; and the satisfaction of feeling part of a group.

AEROBIC DANCING

(1) Have the youngsters spread out facing the leader.

(2) Explain to the group that they will be doing "aerobic dancing," in which they will be moving different parts of their bodies to music. …

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