logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Special Education Site

BellaOnline's Special Education Editor

g

A Great Sport for Children with Special Needs

Guest Author - Vicki McCarthy

Very often parents of children with special needs find that there aren’t many sporting, leisure or afterschool activities available to them.

There are many reasons why this can happen.

• The classes are too large

• Coaches/instructors feel unable or ill-equipped to have children with special needs in their class

• The nature of the sport/activity itself cannot accommodate children with special needs

• The child finds it difficult to participate in sports or activities due to the competitiveness or social difficulties/anxieties

I know as my daughter was growing up I tried a variety of classes for her including swimming, yoga, dance, ice- skating, afterschool clubs, to name but a few and for various reasons she was unable to continue with them. Having spoken with many other parents they also experienced the same difficulties.

Even so, as a parent it can be difficult to watch your child sit on the sidelines or stay at home knowing that other children their age are enjoying interacting with their peer group and developing their skills through sport and play. You want to see them being involved in something, anything, and feel that you’re letting them down if you are unable to find something suitable that will meet their needs.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Kirkpatrick an incredible woman who has cut through all the would-be barriers and with her colleague, Duncan Hewitson, has developed Scotland’s first Judo class dedicated to children and adults with special needs. Not only do the students participate in local competition but they have also competed in the British Championships and Special Olympics, bringing home gold medals in individual and team events.

The class ranges in age from 8 – 50 years and comprises students with a range of difficulties including physical disability, autistic spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and learning difficulties.

The benefits of Judo classes for the students can be:

• Learning self-discipline
• Letting go of fears
• Increased self-esteem and confidence
• Building friendships
• Improving social skills
• Increased independence
• Providing a sense of (physical) balance
• Increased motivation

The benefits of judo classes for parents can be:

• Much needed respite
• Opportunity to celebrate their child’s successes
• Socialising opportunities with other parents
• Watching their child grow in confidence
• An opportunity to become actively involved at tournaments (timekeeping etc)

What’s amazing is that students can ‘fight’ from any position including from the knees and if they are unable to do that they ‘fight’ from the stomach. Hard to believe that’s possible. However it is.

In fact many of the students who would likely find it difficult to achieve growth in mainstream classes are now going on to achieve black belt status within the special needs class.

As with anything however, funding is an issue and Susan would like to see more funding being made available to accommodate more students with differences. But she truly believes that anyone who has any type of special need can be and should be accomodated in a judo class.

When Susan talks about her students you can sense her passion and belief in them and you know that she is a woman who can truly make a difference to the lives of people who have special needs.

In her own words:

“It’s amazing to see the sport of Judo come together. We just have to adapt and think on our feet. .......And it’s not going to work perfectly all the time. We’re all human – we all have moods and the kids are just the same. But I can honestly say I’ve never had to turn any child away due to behaviour or disability..... In fact I’m very protective of my students and watching them achieve something is so rewarding and just fantastic!”

There are some people who say that all children with special needs have gifts and talents. There are other people like Susan who actually take the time to find and nurture that talent and allow the child the opportunity to achieve greatness.


Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Twitter Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Facebook Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to MySpace Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Del.icio.us Digg A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Yahoo My Web Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Google Bookmarks Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Stumbleupon Add A+Great+Sport+for+Children+with+Special+Needs to Reddit




Scottish Special Needs Judo
European Special Needs Judo
Special Needs Summer Activities
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Special Education Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Vicki McCarthy. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Vicki McCarthy. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Celestine A. Jones for details.

g


g features
Motivating with Rewards

How to Motivate Your Child

Adaptive Behavior

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor