It is important that children and youth with disabilities keep an active life. In El Paso, there are several ways they can play sports and socialize.
The group that has the most available opportunities is Special Olympics.
Special Olympics is one of the longest running organizations in the country. They offer baseball, basketball, bowling, golf, gymnastics, and many other activities. They have sports and activities for everyone all year long.
Sometimes, parents and children are afraid that their child will not want, or be able, to participate. Most of the time, this fear is because the child does not understand what they are supposed to do. The folks at Special Olympics deal with this fear all the time and can help both you and your child feel at ease. Once your child knows what to do, they grow comfortable and enjoy it.
The Special Olympics also offers many volunteer opportunities for people in the community who want to help.
Another great resource is the Miracle League of El Paso. This is a special league where everyone, regardless of their ability, is able to play baseball. They have their own custom-made baseball field that allows wheelchairs to roll comfortably. They have teams that play during the two seasons per year. Any child or adult can play regardless of their age. It is wonderful to watch them get so excited when they play!
The St. Pius Special Needs Group provides another opportunity for children and adults to socialize and play sports.
They have a basketball team that participated in the National Special Olympics games this summer in California. This is a very competitive team that was able to demonstrate their outstanding skills. They meet every Saturday and it has developed into a group of very close friends and family.
Besides the basketball team, they also have dances for teenagers, adults, and their families! It is a very fun event. The kids dance the night away.
Some churches also offer recreational opportunities.
Mother Cabrini has a monthly gathering where they have dinners or cookie exchange events. This group also meets twice a month to go bowling at a bowling alley that is on the eastside of town.
St. Luke’s Catholic Church has a group called St. Luke’s Heroes and they offer dances, dinners, and arts & crafts nights.
Regardless of what you like to do or where you want to go, children and youth with disabilities need to be connected to other children. They need to have friends and they need a healthy social life just like anyone else.
You can find other activities on this website under Find Services, Groups, and Events.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to protect my son from bullying, but the older he gets, the more I must relinquish control of his activities. Here are some ideas to help our kids protect themselves as they become more independent.
All parents play an important role as their child’s advocate. For parents of children with disabilities, this role may last a lifetime. Yet it is also about giving your child the support they need to make their own choices.
I love my twin brother James more than I can put into words. Being a sibling to someone with a disability has been so incredibly eye-opening. It’s been a roller coaster sometimes. I know I am just as important to him as he is to me, and our relationship supports us both.