The Sports Excellence Center that operates under the scientific supervision of the 1st Orthopaedic Surgical Department of Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), operating with an exclusive donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), introduces, as part of its Therapeutic Exercise Program, its initiative “Action for Kids with Disabilities | AKD”.
Main goal of this initiative, resulting from a combination of our collaboration with the CanChild Research Center in Canada and the Beitestolen Health Center in Norway with the standards suggested by international literature, is to promote personalized physical activity in the lives of children with disabilities, aiming to enhance their physical and cognitive abilities and to facilitate their inclusion in the social context.
The comprehensive approach of the program sets the appropriate framework for cultivating teamwork and communication while providing children with the opportunity to boost their self-confidence and recognize the range of their capabilities.
The program is implemented across three axes:
- Planned visits to special education schools designed by our scientific team (physical therapist, Professor of Special Physical Education, occupational therapist, psychologist), with the aim of assessing children’s motor skills and supporting the mental health of children, parents, and educators.
- Creation of a structured and targeted program for summer creative and sports activities that fully meet children’s needs. | AKD Summer Camp. | AKD Summer Camp
- Establishment of Adapted Physical Education Academy, aiming to introduce children to sports and engage them in athletic activities through the evaluation of their fundamental motor skills, thereby helping them develop personalized sports activities based on their disabilities.
Sports Excellence Center that operates under the scientific supervision of the 1st Orthopaedic Surgical Department of Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), operating with an exclusive donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), announces the beginning of a weekly program of summer creative and sports activities, the ‘AKD Summer Days Camp‘, fully adapted to children’s needs. The camp will take place at the facilities of each participating special education school (within the Attica region) and the camp participants will be selected only among the students of the given school. Camp program includes also children’s transportation to the activity venue.
The program has a holistic approach and is structured around 6 F-Words that focus on 6 points of child development: Fitness, Functioning, Friends, Family, Fun, and Future!
The scientific team supporting this initiative consists of Adapted Physical Education Teachers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, and Psychologists.
The scientific coordinators of the program are Associate Professor Panagiotis Koulouvaris and Professor Charilaos Tsolakis.
The goal of the AKD Summer Day Camp program is to introduce children to adapted sports (such as basketball, fencing, track and field events, volleyball, athletic games, martial arts, etc.) and creative activities (educational games, creative storytelling, theater workshops, snack preparation, painting, gardening, etc.) in order to order to educate them experientially and holistically n topics related to their body movement, nutrition, lifelong exercise plans, learning functional skills and autonomy. Additionally, the program will include educational activities and visits from various organizations related to exercise, health, and autonomy that will aim to encourage children’s participation in the activities.
Panagiotis S. Koulouvaris MD, PhD
Associate Professor A’ Orthopedic Clinic
University General Hospital “ATTIKON”
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
President of Regeneration & Progress
Director of Mobile Medical Units, Sports Excellence
Professor at the School of Physical Education and Sport Science (SEFAA)
Sports Excellence Director
The program involves exercise and health experts, including special physical education teachers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and a psychologist.
Manolis Skordilis, Professor at the School of Physical Education and Sport Science (SEFAA)
Vasilis Skoutelis, Pediatric Physiotherapist
Children, through their engagement in adapted sports (Basketball, Volleyball, track and field events, Athletic games, Martial arts, etc.) and creative activities (theater workshop, educational games, creative storytelling, preparing their own snack, painting, gardening, etc.), will be experientially and holistically educated on the following topics:
Body Movement | Fitnes
Activities that improve motor skills:
- Customized activities based on children’s functionality and preferences
- Development/Improvement of Physical Condition
Functional Skills | Functioning
Activities that enhance autonomy:
- Safe ways of movement in space, how to overcome an obstacle, etc.
- Learning to make my own snack
- Learning to plant
- Learning about my emotions
Collaborative activities with others | Friends
Activities that encourage the development of friendships:
- Unified activities (e.g. Colpball, Goalball etc.)
- Team sports (Basketball, Volleyball etc.)
Collaborative activities with family members | Family
Shared activities that strengthen the relationships among family members:
- Athletic games
- Play Therapy
- Movement activities
- Team games
Entertainment | Fun
Entertaining activities that include:
- Music Therapy
- Phychomotor intervention
- Games with scenarios – playing workshops
- Dancing games
- Movie screening
- Active video games
The above weekly program is indicative of the included activities and their implementation order, and it may be subject to modifications for better serving the students according to their needs.
- AKD Summer Day Camp T-shirt
- AKD Summer Day Camp cap
- Electronic medical profile
- Practical autonomy tips
What items should the children carry with them daily?
- Comfortable clothing
- Spare shirt
- AKD Summer Day Camp cap
- Sunscreen lotion
- Snack (optional)
- Medication (if needed)
The Sports Excellence Center that operates under the scientific supervision of the 1st Orthopaedic Surgical Department of Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), operating with an exclusive donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), introduces the operation of a series of Programmed Visits to Special Education Schools.
The program consists of the evaluation of student’s medical profile, the assessment of the children’s motor skills, the design, and implementation of personalized intervention programs, as well as the counseling support for children’s, parents’, and educators’ mental health through our scheduled visits by the scientific team. (medical doctor, physical therapist, adapted physical education teacher, psychologist)
Additionally, the program can significantly contribute to improving children’s cognitive and motor abilities, enhancing their physical condition, engaging parents and children in creative and recreational motor activities (family-centered approach).
Programs specific goals include:
- Providing positive exercise experiences.
- Include every child
- Every child to feel capable
- Every child to draw satisfaction from the activities
- Making every child feel supported and motivated by their teachers to reach their potential.
- Making families feel that targeted actions are taken to include their children in society and improve their quality of life, helping them to alleviate anxiety and harmoniously connect with others.
The proposed program aims to assess children’s fundamental motor skills and to design Educational Intervention Programs (EIP) based rather on students’ abilities and typical performance, than their deficits and weaknesses
Developing tailored intervention programs based on children’s individual needs involves an array of benefits for all the parties involved.
Estimated benefits include:
- Developing children with disabilities’ motor skills based on their functionality
- Enhancing children with disabilities’ cognitive functions depending on their functionality level
- Improving children with disabilities’ physical condition based on their functionality
- Creating an intervention program involving exercise plans adapted to children’s cognitive and motor profiles (based on their assessment).
- Designing physical activity intervention programs for all family members.
- Promoting the psychological well-being of educators, students, parents, and guardians through their participation in psychoeducational programs and provision of counseling support from a professional (psychologist).
- Supporting special education teachers’ career development by attending courses on the creation and adaptation of educational intervention programs that match children’s needs. Considerations are made based on disorder’s severity level, their functional level, and the involvement of children in early intervention programs The differences taken into account concern the severity of the disorders, their functional level, but also whether or not the children participate in early intervention programs.
Participation in physical activity programs that create feelings of joy, pride, self-confidence, and stimulate children’s imagination and creativity positively impacts their perception of their abilities (motor competence) and lays the foundation for lifelong engagement in physical activity.
The innovative element of this holistic-intervention program lies in the combination of cognitive functions and motor skills, which aims to support children’s development and problem-solving skills.
Implementation of the program:
The program titled “By School Physiotherapy for Children with Disabilities – Action for Kids with Disabilities | AKD” will be implemented as follows:
- Record the medical history and create a disability-functional participation card.
- Motor evaluation and creation of a personalized intervention program
- Re-evaluation, every 3 or 4 months, following the same procedures
The storage of the medical history record will be through the electronic application “MyKIM”, that will serve as a disability-functional participation card, and meets the rules of ethics and safety of users, in accordance with what is provided for in the current legislation for the protection of personal data (Law 4624/2019, General Regulation 2016/679 on Data Protection-GDPR).
At the Academy of Adapted Physical Activity, our goal is to engage children in sports and involve them in athletic activities.
The program includes the assessment of children’s fundamental motor skills in order to make suggestions about sports that the child can take up based on each child’s individual needs and functionality.
The program also includes personal interviews with the children, their parents and their close environment aiming to record the child’s quality of life and preferences for physical activities.