Small boy with glasses and a thought bubble

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Did you know that the family dog could help boost physical activity for kids with disabilities?1 According to a recent case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family's dog, a wide range of improvements for the child, including physical activity as well as motor skills, quality of life and human-animal interactions were reported. Although this is a report on one child, the potential for increased physical activity through interaction with animals is promising.


Recent research suggests ‘moving with thought’ as opposed to random physical activity is beneficial to development of executive functioning, a necessary component of effective decision making. In a recent article by Chloe Bedard and colleagues, an intervention with three and four year old children showed that regular programmed instruction with involvement of parents resulted in higher levels of physical literacy.2


When older adults practice Tai Chi in class and at home, they can improve their sense of ankle joint movement which could help them walk more safely and fall less often.3 This awareness, which often becomes less acute as we age, is called proprioception.


Inclusion is important but becoming more inclusive takes knowledge and time. Did you know you can take a webinar on inclusion from the Inclusion Club? The most recent is called – Where research meets practice – case studies from around the world.


If you want to share interesting new findings with us, please send the information to Thank you!



  1. Tepfer, Ross, MacDonald, Udell, Ruaux, & Baltzer, Animals, 2017, 7, 5, 35.
  2. Bedard, Bremer, Campbell, & Cairney, Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2017, doi:10.3389/fped.2017.00094
  3. Jain, Taylor, Zerpa & Sanzo, 2017, 7, 6, American Journal of Medicine & Medical Sciences.