April 7, 2018 9:01 pm

Physical activity for children with disabilities highlighted at Halifax parasport expo

WATCH ABOVE: Adaptive sports and activities were highlighted at the Parasport and Recreation expo in Bedford, N.S. on Saturday. Alexa MacLean reports.


12-year-old Brayden Cream may have a disability, but he refuses to allow his genetic disorder stop him from pursuing the activities he loves.

“It’s called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, so it’s progressive. I used to be able to walk, but then my muscles got weaker, so I’m in a wheelchair now,” Cream explained.

The preteen enjoys a wide variety of sports that he’s been introduced to since adapting to using a wheelchair.

“I like wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey, and I like to try different wheelchair sports as well,” he said.

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Showcasing Nova Scotia’s wide variety of adaptive activities and programs was the goal of the Parasport and Recreation Expo, hosted by IWK Recreation Therapy and Parasport Nova Scotia at the BMO Centre in Halifax on Saturday.

“One of the biggest barriers to leisure with families, especially with families with a disability, is just knowing what there is [out there] to participate in,” said recreation therapist Claire Lederman.

From adaptive bicycles to parasailing, Lederman says the opportunities for families to embrace physical activity are vast.

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“Often in families with children who have disabilities, leisure in the family comes down to the least able individual. So it can really stop the family from participating in lots of things,” Lederman said.

Families of children in recreation therapy at the IWK Health Centre can apply for grants to help ease the financial strain of accessing adaptive activities.

IWK Recreation Therapy has also partnered with Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program, Lederman noted.

“We can apply for kids that are in IWK services for funding, so families are able to receive $300 twice a year towards community participation,” she said.


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