"We're a lot closer, we talk more": Family experiences and relationships following child's participation in an adapted physical activity camp

Purpose: Children and adolescents with developmental challenges may rely on their parents for assistance with everyday tasks to a greater extent than typically developing children. The objective of this study was to examine family members’ perspectives regarding family relationships related to participation in an adapted summer camp for children and adolescents living with a disability. Materials and Methods: A collective case study was conducted with eleven families who had a child living with a disability who participated in an adapted physical activity (PA) summer camp. A focus group was conducted with each family and thematically analyzed. Results: Families experienced changes in perspectives and pride surrounding adapted PA, more family conversations about disability, less parental worry, more independence of the child living with a disability, and enhanced family bonds through PA. The children who participated in the camp saw impacts on their self-confidence and independence. COVID-19-related program suspension was associated with frustration, worry, and strained family relationships. Conclusions: These findings elucidate how participation in adapted PA for children and youth with disabilities can impact family relationships. Future interventions allow for space for family interactions and create opportunity for children and adolescents with disabilities to be independent.
adapted physical activity, adolescents, children, disability, family, qualitative relationships
Youngblood, J., McDonough, M. H., Condliffe, E. G., Legg, D., & Emery, C. A. (2023). “We’re a lot closer, we talk more”: Family experiences and relationships following child’s participation in an adapted physical activity camp. Disability and Rehabilitation, 0(0), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2023.2226407