Monday, May 2, 2016

Special Needs Programming Boosts Sadie's Skill Set and Self Esteem

Meet sweet and sassy Sadie. Sadie is a nine year old, second grader at Rochester Elementary school that has Down syndrome. Her disability doesn't hold her back from doing ANYTHING! This girl is absolutely amazing!

Sadie and her family have been members of the YMCA for about five years. When her parents joined the YMCA, they enrolled Sadie in swim classes. Her parents felt it was imperative for her to learn how to swim. Sadie didn't just learn how to swim, she has mastered this sport. Her mother recalls her being invited to a school friend's swim party last year. Sadie was one of the only children at the party that could swim on her own. Sadie looks forward to her once a week swim lesson. She is a strong, confident swimmer thanks in part to the Special Needs Adaptive Program, (SNAP) at the YMCA.

In addition to swimming, Sadie also participates in the YMCA' s Bowling Program, Saturday Strikers. This program is geared towards individuals with physical or mental disabilities and is financially underwritten from funds raised for the YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign. She enjoys her time at the bowling alley and it is yet another sports she can play.

Sadie is also active in a wide range of Special Olympics competitions. She has participated in the soccer and basketball programs as well as softball, track and gymnastics. She loves dancing and takes tap, ballet and hip hop in addition to being a participant in the Special Needs Cheerleading Program.

Additionally, Sadie has competed in the "Miss You Can Do It" pageant and "Miss Amazing" pageant. These are both pageants that are specifically designed for girls with disabilities to help build confidence and self-esteem.  She is also involved in the United Cerebral Palsy's Horseback Riding program. There really isn't anything this kid has not done.

Staying active and busy has helped Sadie stay physically fit as well as increase her socialness and mental capabilities. All of these things help boost her self-esteem and determination. Her mom says she likes to keep Sadie busy! Yes, Sadie is busy, but I don't think Sadie would want it any other way!

Learn more about the Springfield Y's special needs programming

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