Libby Bishop has been a licensed Occupational Therapist for 15 years and recently attended a BIG FUN certification course in California.
Old Pueblo Gymnastics offers adaptive gymnastics classes for children with a range of special needs, including autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome. This program is directed by a certified and licensed occupational therapist, Libby Bishop, and classes focus on basic sensorimotor and gross motor skills in a fun, gymnastics setting. Our small class size encourages safe participation and individualized instruction. Classes are taught by certified instructors. Any child with a diagnosed social, emotional or physical disability from ages 3-17 may participate.
FitnAZtics is a program we developed at Old Pueblo Gymnastics Academy that welcomes children with special needs into a gymnastics environment. Led by an occupational therapist, our method encourages children with special needs to participate in physical activity by using gymnastics apparatuses, such as, bars trampolines beams, etc. We use gymnastics equipment to create an environment that will challenge kids and help transition them into a regular gymnastics class.
What is the Big Fun Method?
The BIG FUN method was created by Gene Hurwin, M.A.OTR/L in Orange County, CA as a way to assist therapists and gymnastics coaches throughout the country in developing programs for children with special needs in a gymnastics setting. The BIG FUN philosophy as well as, here at FitnAZtics, is to give each child the opportunity to experience what all children are entitled to: an active life that is filled with excitement, self-confidence, discovery, and fun. Coaches build personal, nurturing bonds with their students, which allow the children to excel far beyond their limits. Sessions at FitnAZtics empower children to maintain the strength and endurance demands of peer play when at a playground. The BIG FUN sensory diet teaches self-regulation and modulation of behaviors which, in turn, helps children be more alert and organized at school and relaxed at restaurants, the shopping mall, and family outings and gatherings.
The BIG FUN approach facilitates sensory play through:
Developing upper extremity strength
Increasing knowledge of location in space
Problem solving and creativity
Developing lower extremity strength
Coordination, balance, and focus
This approach provides the structure necessary for all children to excel in gymnastics: waiting, taking turns, sharing equipment, and maintaining appropriate behavior.
OPGA Adaptive Gymnastics in the news!
Physicians permission to participate
If your child has a physical disability, then a doctor’s note clearing your child to participate is required. Children with cognitive and emotional disabilities are not required to have a doctor’s note.
PRICES AND SCHEDULE
Because there are limited opportunities for kids with developmental challenges to participate in gymnastics, Old Pueblo is offering classes led by our occupational therapist at a reasonable rate in hopes that families will be able to participate without having to opt out for financial reasons. The price for small group classes is $160 for the 8-wk session. Private lessons are also available.
Please contact the gym directly to inquire about the time frames during which the FitnAZtics classes are available.
A thirty minute screening interview conducted by Libby Bishop, the occupational therapist, is required to participate in the Adaptive Gymnastics Program and costs $35.
Screening interviews are scheduled directly through the front desk by filling out the Adaptive Gymnastics Interest Form (below). Please be sure to indicate the time blocks you are available as Libby is only able to conduct the screenings during the screening times listed during her Available Screening Times (below)
In order for a child to participate in any of our programs at OPGA an annual registration fee is due and the cost is $35 per calendar year for one child. Your $35 screening interview fee will be put toward your child’s required annual registration fee if you decide to participate. It will be activated upon enrollment into a class or upon scheduling a private lesson.