Archived Story

5 reasons to have a special-needs playground

Published 2:47pm Monday, March 18, 2013

1. Gross motor development

Exercise and fitness are key for growing children. It is good for the minds and bodies. The climbing wall helps with muscle coordination. The school at times uses the playground for physical education class.


2. Safety

The special needs playground is fenced in not just to keep the students from getting away from supervisors but to keep mainstream students separate. Some mainstream students do not grasp the challenges special needs kids face and can spoil valuable playtime.


3. Social skills

Having their own playground allows special needs children to have a place to be able to interact with each other in a less-structured setting.


4. Different environment

Special needs students deserve recess just the same as mainstream students. Without a special needs playground, they likely won’t receive the sensory break time cherished by all kids.


5. Language development

Different words get used in a more casual setting than in a classroom, whether it is students talking to each other or even teachers giving directions. Understanding language is one of the core deficit areas in autistic children.


Source: Stacie Stensrud, Success Room teacher at Lakeview Elementary School