Children and adults with SMA can engage in many of the same recreational activities that their peers can. Toys and games can be modified to suit an individual’s abilities, and adaptive sports are one of the fastest growing leisure activities in the U.S.
Infants and Toddlers
Infants and toddlers with SMA can play with many toys on the general market—some as-is, others with adjustments. Cure SMA’s care packages include toys that other families affected by SMA have recommended based on their personal experience.
Your child’s physical or occupational therapist can recommend toys that will be appropriate for your child, perhaps even incorporating them into a therapy session.
Children and Teens
Adaptive sports are competitive sports or recreational activities that are adapted for those with physical limitations. Adaptive sports may use specialized equipment so that individuals can participate in a modified version of the activity, or have specific rules that allow for differing physical abilities—or, in many cases, both.
Many communities have adaptive sports organizations. These organizations provide programs for individuals, or connect you with a league or team in your area.
Many communities also have accessible playgrounds with equipment that can be used by a child in a wheelchair. Some communities and organizations offer summer camps and day camps specifically for children with physical limitations, or provide one-on-one assistance as part of their traditional camp program.
Many of the adaptive sports organizations that have programs for children and teens also have programs for adults. In addition, accessible travel websites often have information on vacations like adaptive skiing, fishing, rafting, or adventure travel. Many of these vacations are family-friendly and are appropriate for all ages and abilities.
Looking to find the best recreation options in your area? Your local Cure SMA chapter, parks and recreation department, community association, or adaptive sports organization are all great places to start.
- Adapting Toys for Children with SMA by Shannon Kuester
- How to Assemble a 1/8" Plug for Toy Adaptations by Shannon Kuester
- Samantha's Swing and Toy Ideas
- Simple Toy Adaptations from the National Lekotek Center
- Tools for Adapting Toys- Recommendations by Shannon Kuester
- Toy Recommendations by Age