HI, my daughter is eight and has been participating in Catalyst Sports for three years.
We actually got into Catalyst Sports as a way to circumvent medical insurance limits. Although my daughter’s therapists would love to be able to work with her more frequently, our insurance caps the number of sessions allowed annually (and financing further therapy appointments out of pocket is not feasible). However, my daughter’s issues are neurologically based, and there is a clock ticking for maximizing neuroplasticity gains. So, we thought about other ways to work on physical and occupational therapy goals, and Catalyst Sports’s rock climbing program fit the bill: free annual climbs (and only $10/climbing session otherwise), ability to address both gross motor (legs, arms, core) as well as fine motor (fingers) strength and coordination issues, and access to qualified individuals experienced with working with folks who have disabilities (as well as are frequently already physical or occupational therapists during their day jobs).
Since working with Catalyst Sports, our daughter’s strength and coordination have shot up and propelled forward her progress in therapy sessions, such as stronger and steadier fingers have dramatically improved the achievable legibility of her handwriting. In a non-clinical setting, Catalyst Sports has also helped generalize her therapeutic gains to academics, other sports, and very importantly, socialization. For an early-elementary child, playgrounds are everything when it comes to interacting with peers. However, as someone with cerebral palsy, playgrounds are a nightmare. Participating in Catalyst Sports’s rock climbing events has helped our daughter’s gait, speed, and climbing ability so that she can keep up with her peers and actually participate in social activities instead of resigning herself to being an observer in her life.
Additionally, besides providing direct therapeutic benefit (via a non-therapeutic setting), Catalyst Sports has helped my daughter challenge herself and face her fears (eg, heights). She’s able to receive feedback and encouragement from others besides her parents, and that allows her freedom to be able to prove to herself (and us) that she can accomplish things independently. Frankly, it also removes strain from the parent-child relationship by allowing us to step back, just be her parents, and not necessarily blur the boundaries by taking on the role of teacher/instructor/therapist (which is an all-too-common struggle among parents of children with disabilities). (There is a reason that the divorce rate is higher in the disability community.)
Each and EVERY one of the individuals we’ve encountered with Catalyst Sports has gone above and beyond to help our daughter (and us) feel heard, at ease, comfortable, supported, and loved. They bring the heart so very much needed to our lives barraged with serious medical threats and stress. Thank you Catalyst Sports!