If the children under your supervision have a particular need that means they cannot participate in the exercises as they are presented, please consider the points in this document so they are able to make the most out of this resource.
It is not possible to produce a resource that addresses every single participants’ individual needs however, inclusion is very important to The Brownlee Foundation and it is hoped that all children, regardless of their individual needs will, with the assistance of those who know them best and whilst under their supervision, be able to participate safely and within their capabilities. Therefore, please adhere to the principles that follow for safe, enjoyable, inclusive and appropriate participation.
Children with disabilities or impairments face additional challenges to being physically active, for example; they may require transportation to facilities, despite best efforts there may be challenges with accessibility or constant skilled supervision may be needed resulting in less frequent opportunities to be physically active.
It is important that all efforts are made to ensure children with disabilities and impairments can participate in the activities they wish in a safe and appropriate manner.
Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercising
Like adults, children will benefit from regular physical activity, such as:
- Reduced resting heart rate
- Reduced resting breathing rate
- Controlled body fat percentage
- Controlled/age-expected body mass index score
- Improvements to cognitive function, strength and muscle tension
- Improved movement capabilities such as co-ordination
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved mental health
- Ensure the movements being performed by your child are performed in a safe manner
- Modify the activities as appropriate and listen for the differentiated teaching points provided by the instructors (NB. If you are the carer for a particular child, you will know their likes/dislikes and movement capabilities better than anyone else; please help them to perform at an appropriate level)
- Help to make it enjoyable
- Be a role model and join in the activities with your child
- Develop a ‘can-do’ attitude with your child
Inclusive practice advice and the common challenges children face:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism, Asperger
- Dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorders (DCD)
- Hearing impairment
- Learning disabilities
- Physical impairment
- Visual impairment
- (Please note that it could be argued that children who may have fitness levels greater than their peers, also have additional needs. However, in order not to add too much strain to a developing child’s muscles and bones, these children should be encouraged to do more (reps) of the same exercise)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- It is hoped that the exercises are short enough to maintain concentration for most children with ADHD (however, allow children to stop when they have had enough). Regular physical exercise and perhaps accessing these videos more frequently for children with ADHD may help with concentration and control of anxiety.
- Be flexible, allowing children to repeat a movement or change an exercise (in relation to the ‘live’ exercise being presented on the screen), if safe.
- Keep the sound to a minimum (and address any other sensory challenges at the time)
- Presume competence: allow the child to try the whole movement before adapting and set realistic goals to give the student a powerful sense of achievement
- Allow the child to have lots of space; or try the supervised activities by themselves
- Explain the structure of what is going to happen so the child knows what is coming next
- Allow the child to interpret the movement in their own way as long as they are safe
- Offer basic teaching points (clear and brief) as they are offered on the video
- Allow the child to have a break whenever they need it
- Try to develop a ‘can-do’ environment
- Look out for any literal interpretations of instructions that may translate to movements that are unsafe
- Celebrate any achievement/progress, despite how minor it may be (e.g. Pay special attention to the first time a child achieves a complete exercise). Develop your own rewards system that is appropriate to your child’s progress.
Dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorders (DCD)
- Use the differentiated teaching points offered by the instructor – “to make it easier, move like this”
- If a child is not performing an exercise exactly the same as instructed, allow them to continue if they are moving safely – their progress or technique may take more time to develop
- Celebrate small successes
- Allow the child to follow the movement visually displayed by participants and instructor and children
- Add subtitles to YouTube video, if appropriate
- If an interpreter is available, share teaching points from the instructor (or correct your child’s movements if necessary)
- The purpose of this resource is for children to enjoy a workout and develop their fitness. If a child is moving and using muscles/increasing their breathing or heartrate safely, this is an acceptable movement
- If the child struggles to perform a whole-body movement, suggest/demonstrate to them to just move legs or just move upper-body.
- Celebrate a progress, no matter how minor it may be. Also celebrate completing a working/exercise.
- Allow children to interpret the exercises as their abilities allow
- Where an impairment makes it difficult to perform an exercise offer, an alternative that might work other muscle groups
- Continue to describe the movements on the video, especially if your child/pupil has mis-interpreted the spoken instructions
- Ensure they are performing in a safe space, free of obstacles
- Allow to perform at the front of the group for the best view of the screen
Wheelchair user alternatives
(Safety: participant should use a chest belt to aid stability if required)
Examples of upper-body exercises:
- Arms circles to aid mobility
- Alternate straight arm swings
- Alternate punching (front jabs, side jabs, speedball, upper-cuts, punch above head)
- Lateral deltoid raise
- Straight arm push backs
- Shoulder shrugs
- Jogging arms
- Bicep curls
- Rowing movements
- Breaststroke arms
- ‘Bounce basketball’ with both hands
- Reach down to side (right, then left)
- If strong enough, raise self off the chair pad by pushing up on chair or wheels (brakes on)
Pressure point release (if possible and safe to do so):
- Turn hips so one glute raises off the chair, stretch upper body with a twist (repeat on both sides)