You are here

sports and pffd

My son is now 6 yrs old. He has pffd and fibula hemmumilia. Both of his feet were amputated. He is now in school and would like to play sports like the other kids. I try not to treat him different, but i worry about him playing sprots and breaking something. I am wondering if anyone has any opion about this or suggestions.

My son is 6 y.o. with bilateral PFFD, born with just one leg with fibular hemimelia and has been actively involved in sports since 4 y.o. In Virginia Beach, our local parks and recreation centers partner with BLAZESPORTS of America and are offering wheelchair tennis, quad rugby, swimming, as well as wheelchair basketball. Handcycling is also another sport that BJ enjoys in the summer. He wears his prosthetics all the time he is doing sports for safety reasons. The prosthetics add weight to stabilize his body when on wheelchair or handcycle and also allow him to be harnessed/strapped snugly. However, when in school, his PE instructor lets him dribble the ball on standing position with his reverse walker behind him. He also plays soccer with a buddy in PE. He did a couple of baseball games in the past, one of which was the Challenger League. He loves to bat the ball but didn't like the part when somebody has to push his manual wheelchair to get to the base. We don't hold him back when he says he wants to try something he really likes to do. Our motto is to let him find out for himself what he can't do rather than us telling him he can't do it even if reality tells us that he may not be able to do it. I hope this helps.

I was raised in a rural area with few specialized services so I took regular PE and was expected to complete most activities. I participated in afterschool basketball and long jump in track and field. I was given some options to not run the bases in kickball and baseball and have friends do this, especially right after my amputation. I finally escaped regular PE in 5th grade as it was just too rigorous and I was having a string of surgeries. However, when I got to JR & SR High, I actually wanted to be in PE again and was not allowed. (By the way...if my parents had known more about IDEA, then this could have been resolved in an afternoon.) I think the biggest problem with not being in sports and PE with the other kids was that I never knew how to score games like bowling, tennis and even football. It took a long time to learn to appreciate watching some sports because I had no real concept of the rules. Also as a college student, it took me almost two years to get comfortable with using the student center fitness center because I did not know how. Plus in college I was required to take adapted PE. I took Wellness (a general PE), Yoga, Swimming, and Weight Conditioning.

I would suggest letting your child do whatever sports wanted as long as s/he is developing a good understanding of their limitations are/should be and understand that pain is a warning not to be ignored. Injuries will happen (I fell out of a tree at age 6....the hospital did not believe my parents!:) and if they happen the experience will make great stories and give your child even more in common with the neighbor kid.