The impact of exercise on the development and self-perception of the pupil

There are many reasons why pupils with spina bifida or hydrocephalus should be included in PE lessons, but below are at least a few:

1.         The clearly demonstrated impact of physical activities on pupils’ overall wellbeing – both physical and mental health.

2.         Learning new skills affects the pupil’s perception of their own body, its capabilities, limits and consequently impacts on their self-perception.

3.         Exercise, develop and improve muscle function, overall fitness can and can thanks to the support of an assistant – every pupil, child. Otherwise there would be no worldwide Paralympic movement. It is not for the healthy. Everyone benefits from blood circulation to parts of the body and targeted engagement of those muscle groups that perhaps the pupil does not use routinely.

4.         In school, it is a subject during which cooperation and team spirit is developed, where emotions are often expressed and one can practice regulating and expressing them to a socially acceptable degree. In addition, sport and the emotions associated with it simply bring the athletes closer together. Sport and non-competitive sporting activities bring pupils closer together and influence the group-class dynamic.

5.         The experience of schools that involve pupils with spina bifida or hydrocephalus in mainstream PE lessons is that these pupils are able to exercise, have the drive and motivation to overcome their limitations. Several pupils with physical disabilities even have a talent and genetic predisposition for sport. In addition, each pupil can improve his/her physical condition, relax, stretch stiff muscles and explore the possibilities of his/her body.

6.         When exercising, coordination training is often realized, the cooperation of the hemispheres of the brain is practiced, and the brain is also significantly blooded, which is fundamentally beneficial to the psycho-hygiene of the pupil.

7.         Exercise is a prevention of many secondary consequences of spina bifida in pupils – such as decubitus, obesity, osteoporosis.

8.         Good physical fitness throughout life for children and young people with disabilities has been shown to improve and speed up recovery from surgery, interventions and illness, and thus has a major impact on their quality of life and that of their whole families.

Source: MANUAL for teachers in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools on multidisciplinary care and inclusive education for pupils with spina bifida and hydrocephalus