"Theo did Challenger baseball…There is a lot of support. There are volunteers who come and help the children."
– Jennifer, mother of teenage son Theo
Finding activities that your child can engage in can be a challenge, but there are adaptive sports programs, like Challenger Division baseball, that exist for children with physical and developmental disabilities. For some patients, a diagnosis of LGS doesn’t have to mean sitting on the sidelines.
Teams are set up according to ability, rather than age, and can include as many as 15 to 20 players. Challenger games can be played as tee-ball games, coach pitch, player pitch, or a combination of the 3. One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of "buddies" for the Challenger players. Buddies assist the Challenger players on the field, encouraging the players to bat and make plays themselves whenever possible. However, the Buddy is always nearby to help when needed.
With more than 250 organizations nationwide, the Miracle League designs and builds baseball complexes exclusively for children with disabilities. The thrill of playing, cheers from the stands, and friendships formed make the Miracle League an oasis away from everyday challenges.
Bounce Out the Stigma Project offers year-round programs in 8 states in the US for children with special needs. If a child falls, has a seizure, or experiences a lack of focus, there is a support person and a ball waiting to get that child right back on the court.
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any child with a mental or physical disability.
The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes gain physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and develop lasting friendships.
While children and teens with LGS may be encouraged to participate in adaptive sports, it’s important to talk with your child’s healthcare team before taking part. Most often, they can help figure out a way to let your loved one participate, be active, and have fun.