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Lori:  I transferred my son out of private HS to our local HS. He is a basketball player and has a 504 in place. His doctor advised that we get him in a basketball program that wasn’t as intense due to his low immune system due to his arthritis. He was denied to play at his new school by the CIF to participate because they said it was athletic motivation. I also wanted to transfer because I feel this is where my son would be able to thrive given his disability of Juvenile Arthritis. Could the CIF deny to play even tho doctor wrote a letter to signify importance that he be allowed to participate?

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I eventually found the definiction of CIF: California Interscholastic Federation. Your letter is confusing to me. I don’t understand what the objection to his participation is. Is there a concern for his safety? Are we talking Junior Varsity or Varsity, where there is intense competition for a small number of spots on a team?

(I wonder if there is an intramural or community program that would be a good fit for him — perhaps offering the less intense level you are looking for.)


My friends and I (all with kids with a range of special needs) never would have realized how sports (also recreational programs) greatly benefitted our kids. OT and PT were not fully working for our kids. Sports resulted in our kids physically and mentally developing in ways beyond what educators and doctors could imagine. Even their doctors were amazed with gait and posture improvements, social skills and mainly self confidence. For our kids, sports (some compete at the varsity level) provided an outlet away from school life and academic demands. I also advocate participation in art and theater. All kids need some form out outlet beyond the walls of a classroom. I do hope your son is allowed to play. Stay strong.