Navigating Extracurricular Ideas with Cerebral Palsy

  • By CP Dad Springible Contributor
  • Reading Time About 2 minutes
  • PostedMay 13, 2019
  • Category

As we look ahead to autumn activities for our son, once summer camps are done and school begins, my wife suggested something that hadn’t occurred to me. It’s always enjoyable when your spouse gives you a new perspective, no matter how many years you’ve been together. She suggested we put him into an acting class to see how he likes it. The idea is a bit novel for me and I had to let it marinate.

In my household growing up, there were a lot of sports, and, broadly speaking, it seemed every boy I knew was into one sport or another. Sometimes several sports. But my wife did a lot of junior theatre in her childhood and she’s explained that performing helped her gain confidence growing up. She had fun being part of the theatre community, contributing to the productions. She also said it has paid dividends, even as an adult, in terms of public speaking and presentation confidence.

Almost instinctively, I focus on which sports might be most accessible for my son, given his mobility challenges. Maybe he’ll be good at golf, which doesn’t require any track-and-field type physical prowess. If he does a team sport, how will I handle the coaches and the possibility that he won’t keep up with his teammates. As I’ve acknowledged before in previous posts, I just want him to have fun and try out what interests him while I harbor some fears about him getting frustrated and losing confidence.

But maybe I need to broaden my perspective on what activities he might try and what groups he might join, beyond sports. Outside of, perhaps ballet, and the more physically demanding physical arts, most arts – say, music, acting, painting – don’t require sports-oriented physical prowess. And even some that do have taken an accommodative approach to their artistic groups, like the one Jerron Herman joined. It might just be the ticket, and I’m excited to explore this option for him later this year. And I must add that, even by five-year-old standards, he might just have a real talent for drama!

~ CP Dad

Missed the previous post in this series? Read it here!

Summer Camps And Special Needs