When expanding the physical literacy department, PISE gave special consideration to those who wouldn’t traditionally have access to physical activity programs in the community. This year, due to high need, PISE has begun working with the disability community to organize physical literacy programs for children & youth with physical and cognitive disabilities.
Adapted Physical Literacy
PISE offers four unique programs for children and youth with disabilities:
1. I CAN Have Physical Literacy – a partnership with the Canucks Autism Network
2. Teen Community Connections – a partnership with Community Living Victoria
3. Power Play – a partnership with Community Living Victoria
4. Early Childhood Intervention – a partnership with the Queen Alexandra Centre for
When children with disabilities are young, physical literacy is often deprioritized as physical and social deficits are addressed. Because children with disabilities can face communication, social, cognitive and physical barriers, traditional sport or recreational activities many not meet their needs. This can lead to families feeling like they can’t find a program where their child belongs. On Vancouver Island this has led to a generation of children & youth who did not learn fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills when they were young, which decreases the likelihood of being active for life.
These programs will bring together the Physical Literacy expertise from PISE and the disability expertise from the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children Health, Community Living Victoria and the Canucks Autism Network to provide a high quality service for families. Providing a positive first contact environment for the participants will be an essential element to the success and sustainability of each program. Participants will learn multi-disciplinary skills such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, kicking, striking and balance before being introduced to foundational sport skills.
Two programs will be offered; one for 4-6 year olds and one for 7-11 year olds. Each group will meet once per week at a recreation centre in Saanich for a one hour physical literacy class. During the class children with autism will learn fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills in a supportive, safe, fun, caring environment. Canucks Autism Network staff will assist PISE staff in delivering this program so that participants will have a staff to child ratio of almost one-to-one.
Teen Community Connections (age 13-18)
Teens will meet at PISE once per week to engage in games and play that teach fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills. The program will offer teens with physical and cognitive disabilities a place to go to practice these basic skills in a welcoming fun environment with the goal of increased participation on sport and recreation activities in the community.
Power Play (age 6-18)
Youth with autism will meet once per week for a one hour physical literacy lesson at a gym in a local school. Afterwards they will meet with Community Living Victoria Behaviour Interventionists to work on social skill development for the second hour of the program.
Active Development (age 3-5)
The Active Development program provides services for children with developmental delays. Physical literacy is taught through imaginative games, play and movement to music. Many volunteers that assist with this program are from Camosun’s education, health and sport programs. The children registered for the PISE program have an incredibly wide range of disabilities. Some include:
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Delayed fine and gross motor skills
Fire Syndrome Epilepsy