Value of Sport for Disabled Children
Media Contact: Mary Colliver
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 05, 2010) −Dr. Thomas W.
Miller, professor emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, along with
residents Dr. Rebecca S. Timme, departments of Psychiatry and
Pediatrics, and Dr. Lindsay Burns and Dr. John Ragsdale, Department of
Pediatrics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
recently published a chapter in the Handbook of Sports Psychology on
the therapeutic value of sport for children with disabilities. The
residents are also on staff at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
The focus of the work is to provide health care professionals with
models that may be beneficial in the care and treatment of children
with a spectrum of disabilities.
Miller says the opportunity for sports participation among
individuals with disabilities has grown dramatically in recent decades. A
thorough understanding of the issues involved as well as how to address
concerns is paramount for anyone who works with disabled individuals.
Nationally, rates of obesity in the general population are increasing,
and the disabled tend to have lower levels of fitness and higher rates
of obesity than their nondisabled peers.
"There is a growing body of literature demonstrating improved
outcomes in multiple health measures with fitness programs and sports
participation," said Miller. "In addition, sports participation helps
develop a healthy self-concept, builds confidence, and improves overall
quality of life. Sports also provide children with special needs with
valuable social interactions, both with other disabled individuals, as
well as their nondisabled peers."
Miller mentors faculty, particularly those who are in the earlier
stages of their academic careers, and residents in the UK College of
Medicine. "Mentoring residents and faculty who want to publish and learn
more about academic medicine is part of my life today," said Miller.
"The co-authors provided the detail in addressing readiness for children
with special needs wanting to participate in sports and some have been
regular 'buddies' for these children participating in the Toyota
Bluegrass Miracle League at Shillito Park, home of the Miracle League in
For more information about the therapeutic value of sport for children with disabilities, contact Miller by email or at 859- 224-8563.
Handbook of Sports Psychology