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The Benefits of Ice Skating for Kids With Special Needs

Season 1, Ep. 8

In this week’s episode of The UpBeat Podcast powered by CoachArt, our co-hosts Greg and Roxanne are joined by Denise, an ice skating instructor who’s been giving lessons to children with special needs for 22 years at the Oakland Ice Center in Oakland, California. 


A competitive figure skater growing up, when Denise was 16 she saw Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill conduct a skating program for children with blindness and immediately knew her life had changed. Denise started the adaptive skating program in Oakland and has gone on to help children with special needs in many ways — she’s now even an official school inclusion assistant and a certified autism movement therapist. 


In Denise's interview, she shares her many experiences helping the lives of kids and adults on and off the ice, including the wonderful story of an autistic child’s 5-year journey to learn to skate. She has a unique perspective on the benefits of ice skating for special needs children, which we found instructive here at CoachArt, as we strive to provide a range of athletics programs for children in the same situations. 


For the full blog post and additional resources to find adaptive sporting programs near you, visit our website.


The UpBeat podcast is powered by CoachArt, a nonprofit organization that provides FREE art and athletic activities to families impacted by any childhood chronic illness – such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, cerebral palsy and more.


If you have a child that may qualify for CoachArt programs, visit: CoachArt.org.

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