Most people with developmental delays, such as Cerebral Palsy, want to be seen and treated like anyone else. Many of their biggest insecurities are how people see them in their wheelchairs. They do not want to be a burden on anyone more than they feel they already are.
So in an effort to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I help my ladies lift weights to maintain independence as long as they can in most areas of their life AND I help them learn how to lift weights, aka barbells, like the other people they see at the gym or in class, to feel included.
My favorite way to introduce barbell lifting is using PVC pipes. I fill PVC pipes with various amounts of beans to add weights to them as progressions in lifting. We sometimes add the assistance of hand grips (mutesportequipment.com is my favorite go-to resource for equipment for exercising with people with developmental delays) to help with grip on the PVC pipes. We complete various reps/sets with a background timer to help clients stay on task in a large-group setting.
For example, I set the timer for :30 seconds with :15 sec rest. In those :30 seconds, we are to complete 5 reps of the lift. Common lifts we do: barbell press, barbell cleans, barbell rows, PVC pipe pull ups, barbell curls, etc.