I have some wonderful friends who parent children with special needs. They are strong, brave moms who leave no stone unturned for their children. They are also very opinionated but maybe our parenting experiences mold us into women who tell it like it is. So when we get together or exchange messages, it’s bound to be interesting.

I asked my friends about the activities they do with their children. Do they sign up for handicap or special needs specific activities or do they join an activity with children of all abilities and then adapt the activity to suit their needs?

It was interesting to read everyone’s responses and how they do things.

One of my friends said she would only take her children to activities that are designed for children with special needs. They have done adaptive swimming, adaptive baseball and horseback riding. Being with kids who are typically developing is hard for her daughter and she often feels left out. In adaptive classes, she finds friends and my friend also finds camaraderie with other parents experiencing similar things.

Another friend chimed in and said they would NEVER do adaptive activities. There is always a way to join in with the things they like to do. Her son has done boy scouts, summer camps and skiing with typically developing peers. He enjoys that setting and he would not like being only with children who have special needs.

I think our family will fall in the middle somewhere. We see a benefit in doing adaptive activities and also love when we feel included in more typical activities. My daughter lives with 4 neurotypical siblings and she is used to that interaction. At school, she is in a special education classroom and enjoys her friends there. I am glad we have both option and we can keep trying things until something feel right.

What does your family do? I’d like to hear your experiences with inclusion and adaptive activities.

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