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Parenting a Child with Special Needs outside of School

How to keep your Kids busy with extra Curricular Activities in Collin County

Whether you are a stay-at-home or a career mom, it is a hassle to keep our kids busy especially when you have special needs kids. We have to take into account sensory processing disorders and all children can benefit from the exercise, energy release, and pure enjoyment of playing sports. This includes children and students with special needs. You also want to be thinking about how they can do well in the School environment

About 9 in 50 children in the U.S. have a disability or chronic health problem. Special needs children are sometimes not encouraged to exercise. Their parents or guardians may fear they’ll get hurt. But physical activity is as important for special needs children as it is for any child.

Participating in sports can help boost self-confidence. It can also improve skills in relationship building and working as part of a team. And it can help in managing weight. This is a common problem among today’s kids.

Special Needs Kids in Collin County

Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.

Many children with sensory processing disorder start out as fussy babies who become anxious as they grow older. These kids often don’t handle change well. They may frequently throw tantrums or have meltdowns.

There is need to stress yourself! So you can imagine how challenging it is to find an activity that both child and parent will enjoy. Let’s be honest, if your child is not having fun and they feel they are being forced to participate in any type of activity the child is the one who suffers. Some may think that the parent may be stressed out because they’re paying for these classes and activities.

Different Types of Sensory Disorders

Let’s try to explore the different types of sensory processing disorder and from there look into different classes and activities offered in the North Dallas area.

Hypersensitive kids are extremely reactive to sensory stimulation, and can find it overwhelming. 

They may:

  • Be unable to tolerate bright lights and loud noises like ambulance sirens
  • Refuse to wear clothing because it feels scratchy or
  • irritating—even after cutting out all the tags and labels-or shoes
  • because they feel “too tight.”
  • Be distracted by background noises that others don’t seem to hear
  • Be fearful of surprise touch, avoid hugs and cuddling even with familiar adults
  • Be overly fearful of swings and playground equipment
  • Often have trouble understanding where their body is in relation to other objects or people
  • Bump into things and appear clumsy
  • Have trouble sensing the amount of force they’re applying; so for
  • example, they may rip the paper when erasing, pinch too hard or slam
  • objects down.
  • Hyposensitive kids are under-sensitive, which makes them want to seek out more sensory stimulation. 

They may:

  • Have a constant need to touch people or textures, even when it’s not socially acceptable
  • Not understand personal space even when kids the same age are old enough to understand it
  • Have an extremely high tolerance for pain
  • Not understand their own strength
  • Be very fidgety and unable to sit still
  • Love jumping, bumping and crashing activities
  • Enjoy deep pressure like tight bear hugs
  • Crave fast, spinning and/or intense movement
  • Love being tossed in the air and jumping on furniture and trampolines.

Things to consider

Is it a tantrum or sensory overload? Why do kids with sensory issues have tantrums?

Kids with sensory issues sometimes exhibit extreme behaviors: screaming if their faces get wet, throwing violent tantrums when you try to get them dressed, because the physical sensations involved are overwhelming to them.

They may have surprisingly wild mood swings as a reaction to a change in the environment. For instance, a first-grader might be fine in a quiet setting with a calm adult. But place her in a grocery store filled with an overload of visual and auditory stimulation and she might melt down, i.e. have a severe tantrum that seems to be of her control, and isn’t likely to stop, whatever a caregiver might do, until she is exhausted.

basketball team


Just about any sport or activity can be altered to give special needs children the cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength-training benefits that allow kids to stay healthy and fit. Children in a wheelchair, for instance, can play basketball or tennis. Children without the use of limbs or those with mental disabilities can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding.

Parents of special needs children should encourage participation in sports and physical activity in general. Don’t approach sports as something they can’t do. Rather, guide them toward taking part in sports in which they can succeed and have fun doing so.

Socializing and Parallel play

Recreation can be particularly important for people with autism and those with neurological difficulties. They are drawing on opportunities to practice social skills, physical aptitude and increase motivation. These activities can provide the basis for increased self-confidence for your child.

Participation in recreation and leisure activities allows individuals with autism to learn skills specific to a particular sport or activity. But more importantly, participation in these programs also helps improve more general skills that can be applied in settings like school and work. So progress can be seen not just in the specific programs, but in other areas of life as well.

See to it that your child gets a complete physical exam. It helps make sure your child is healthy enough to play the desired sport. Also make sure that the coach understands your child’s disability. He or she needs to know how it might affect the way your child plays or takes instruction. The coach needs to know how to properly talk and work with your child to make sports participation the positive, safe, and healthy experience it should be.

Local Activities for Special Needs Kids

Beyond Karate

Classes offered throughout the week

Buddy League: T-Ball


Adaptive Recreation: Plano

Gymmie Kids: ASI Gymnastics

Equest Horseback Riding Therapy

ManeGait Horseback Riding Therapy

Let us know what you like to do and if we’ve missed any activities here! We hope this post has been useful to you. 


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