Occupational Therapy

The Importance of Physical Activity for Children with Disabilities

 

 

The physical, cognitive and social benefits of physical activity extend to all children, including those with disabilities. Participation in physical activity is vital in improving motor performance, minimizing physical de-conditioning, and increasing self-esteem and social abilities. Although participation in sports and recreational activities is crucial, many children with disabilities experience limited opportunities due to their social, physical, behavioral and cognitive impairments. 

 

Obesity and mental health issues are becoming increasingly prevalent among children and even more prominent among children with disabilities. The combination of the health risks associated with physical inactivity and obesity presents a serious health concern.  Providing opportunities for physical activity can help foster independence and contribute to improved cognitive performance, decision making, coping abilities, and teamwork. Children who are active demonstrate better planning, organization and self regulation skills than those who are inactive and physical activity can help support mental health and wellness. 

 

Active kids who stay active grow stronger. The cycle of deconditioning is the same – for children who are inactive, the less they do, the less they are able to do. 

 

Gymnastics is a sport focused on the whole body, filled with opportunities to stimulate the brain, provide social interaction, improve motor skills, increase endurance and core, upper and lower body strength, while providing children with a novel and alternative method for learning new skills. Children are able to run, jump, crash, roll, and climb while learning new motor sequences and manipulating props such as hula hoops, sticks and balls. Occupational Therapists are experts at breaking down skills into their smallest parts and individualizing sessions for children of all abilities to ensure they meet your child where they are and provide the “just right” challenge. 

 

Gymnastics helps children become stronger physically and mentally and discover new things they are capable of, leading to increased confidence, inside and outside of the gym. Moving therapy to the gym can provide vast opportunities for children with disabilities from a physical and cognitive standpoint and can help to promote generalization of skills to other daily environments, such as home and school. 

 

If you’re in or around the Nashville area, please contact us today to set up your free session! If you have any questions or would like more information regarding gymnastics and children with disabilities, please email me at chasity@flipforfunction.com.

How Flip for Function Began

A quick video giving you the short version of how Flip for Function, a Nashville based gymnastics and Occupational Therapy program began!

A short intro video about how Flip for Function, an Occupational Therapy program that offers gymnastics for kids with special needs as well as therapy, came to be!

Flip for What?

Welcome! We are so glad you’re here!

Flip for Function was created to serve children with special needs by using gymnastics in a fun and therapeutic way. We are a team of dedicated, licensed and registered Occupational Therapists who have devoted years to serving children and their families in various capacities. 

We aim for therapy to be a collaborative process, keeping your goals and your child’s strengths at the center of all decisions. Our sessions are meant to be fun and therapeutic, with the goal of increasing your child’s self confidence and independence and allowing them a chance to participate in a sensory rich sport. 

We currently serve families out of Nashville Gymnastics Training Center, with access to their entire brand new facility. They have been so gracious in welcoming us into their community. This means all our clients will be exposed to all basic gymnastics events, such as balance beam, vault, bars and the floor exercise. We adhere to USA Gymnastics safety procedures as well as take extra caution as needed based on the individual child in our care. 

In addition to her Occupational Therapy Credentials, our Owner, Chasity McMillan, has 20 years of experience coaching gymnastics, working with children of all ages and all backgrounds. She has known for over 10 years that her career would always involve gymnastics and after being led to Occupational Therapy, she was thrilled to see how her worlds would collide to create something to special. 

We are incredibly grateful to be a part of the Nashville community and we look forward to serving you in any way we can fit. 

For questions, please reach out to chasity@flipforfunction.com!