New Delta Gymnastics program empowers youngsters with disabilities

A special one-to-one movement therapy program for people living with various disabilities is being introduced at Delta Gymnastics this fall.

The Empowering Steps Movement Therapy Program (ESMT) is an innovative, gymnastics motor intervention program for children and youth living with neurodevelopmental disabilities, says Vivien Symington, the developer of the program in Coquitlam who is now partnering with Delta Gymnastics.

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The program works with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and children who are unable to walk, to name a few.


Empowering Steps Movement Therapy has been operating at Club Aviva Gymnastics in Coquitlam since 2002. - submitted


“The goal of the ESMT program is to provide a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment which allows children to achieve their fullest potential,” says Symington. “The program is designed not only to improve children’s motor abilities but to foster trust, relationship building, social interaction and a sense of belonging to a community.”

Empowering Steps Movement Therapy has been operating at Club Aviva Gymnastics in Coquitlam since 2002 and Ana Arciniega, executive director at Delta Gymnastics, is excited to begin offering the program.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to use our gym and our skilled coaches to effect positive change in those living with neurodevelopment challenges,” Arciniega says.

The curriculum is tailored to each child’s individual needs. Equipment such as balance beams, trampolines and bars are used to teach a variety of skills promoting balance, coordination and strength.The one-to-one nature of the program allows for the development of a trusting relationship which helps the child build confidence to overcome fears and learn to take safe and calculated risks.

For more information about the program or to schedule an assessment, call 604-544-1201 or email

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