You may not think of physical therapists working with students in school, but they do! In fact, they play a vital role in helping students stay active and increase mobility, especially in special education. However, due to the high caseloads, physical therapists can't work with students daily. Thankfully paraeducators can support them in this important work.
How Physical Therapists Can Help Students Stay Active
Physical therapists are experts in movement and exercise. They can help students stay active and improve their overall health by providing them with exercises that they can do to stay healthy and fit.
Physical therapists know that special needs students can face unique challenges when it comes to mobility. Paraeducators can be a great asset in supporting these students and helping them to stay active.
The Importance of Physical Activity for Students' Overall Health and Well-being
The benefits of increased physical activity for students are numerous. Physical activity can help improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination. It can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Additionally, regular physical activity can help to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of obesity, and improve mental health.
Furthermore, physical activity can help to improve strength and coordination, and can also provide opportunities for social interaction and sensory input.
Sadly, studies show that due to high digital usage’ physical activity is declining in children.
The Benefits of Increased Mobility for Special Need Students
Physical activity is important for all students, but it is especially important for special needs students’ health and well-being. The importance of physical activity for special needs students' health and well-being cannot be overstated. Special needs students can benefit from increased physical activity in many ways, including:
- improved physical health
- improved mental health
- improved social skills
- improved academic performance
Paraeducators can help physical therapists to support special needs students' physical activity by providing assistance and support as needed. They play a vital role in helping special needs students hit their goals, stay active and increase their mobility.
How Paraeducators Help Physical Therapists in Supporting Students
Physical therapists can use paraeducators to support special needs students' mobility in several ways.
1. By helping them with transfers
Paraeducators can help special needs students with transfers from their wheelchair to another surface, or from one piece of equipment to another. This can be a big help in keeping special needs students active and engaged in their therapy.
2. By assisting with ambulation
Ambulation is the ability to walk without the need for any kind of assistance. Paraeducators can help special needs students with ambulation by providing support and assistance as needed. You want to help students stay active and engaged while also increasing their mobility.
3. By helping with range of motion exercises
Range of motion is how far you can move or stretch a part of your body. By providing support and assistance as needed, paraeducators can assist special needs students with range of motion exercises. Helping the students stay active and engaged while increasing their mobility.
4. By helping with stretching exercises
Paraeducators can help special needs students stay active and improve their mobility by assisting them with stretching exercises. By providing support and assistance, paraeducators can help students with special needs increase their activity level and improve their flexibility.
5. By helping with strengthening 💪🏼 exercises
A paraeducator can help special needs students by providing support and assistance to help them move more easily and improve their strength. This can help students with special needs become more active and mobile.
6. By helping with transport
Paraeducators help transport students to and from therapy appointments within the school. This involves ensuring that the students arrive on time and safely, as well as providing any necessary support during the appointments themselves.
7. By carrying equipment.
Paraeducators help with carrying equipment and setting up to create a fun environment for students.
8. By Tracking Data
Paraeducators help to document and track the student's progress while providing feedback. This is important work, as it helps physical therapists adjust their plans and ensure that students are making the most progress possible.
9. By helping students use adaptive equipment
This can include everything from canes and walkers to standers and wheelchairs. This can be a big help in keeping special needs students active and engaged in their therapy. By providing them with the proper tools and equipment, you can help them succeed.
How Paraeducators Help Students Stay Active
When it comes to supporting special needs students' mobility, paraeducators can be a valuable asset. Paraeducators can help special needs students stay active by providing encouragement, support, and assistance with activities. They can also help create an enjoyable and safe environment for physical activity.
Tips & Strategies for Staying Active & Increasing Mobility for Special Needs Students
🤸🏽♀️Here are some tips and tricks for staying active and increasing mobility for special needs students!🧘♀️
- Be creative. There are many ways to get students moving without them even realizing it. For example, you can incorporate movement into learning activities or games.
- Check-in with your students. Make sure to check in with your students regularly to see how they’re doing with staying active and increasing mobility. Doing so will help you adjust your activities and approach as needed.
- Use visual aids. Visual aids, such as charts or picture schedules, can help remind special needs students of the activities they need to do to stay active and engaged.
- Bring the fun! Make sure to incorporate activities that students will enjoy and that will get them moving while having fun!
Paraeducators play an important role in supporting physical therapists to help students stay active and improve their physical health. By providing exercises and other support, paraeducators can help students engage in physical activities and improve their mobility. This is highly important for students' overall health and well-being. Now that you know how paraeducators and physical therapists work together to support students let me know in the comments below which you will use to best support students and physical therapists.