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Complex learning disabities. As a coach how much do you know about learning disabilities. | Inclusive Coaching

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Posted in: Other topics relating to Inclusive Coaching

Complex learning disabities. As a coach how much do you know about learning disabilities.

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  • Evening all !  Like most coaches I'm always up for increasing my knowledge CPD .  Today I have spent the day learning about different learning disabilities how I'm able to help both my residents and athletes.  Having this knowledge has helped me to identify the differences between a physical disability and learning disability how I can adapt sessions for those with learning difficulties.  What types of learning disabilities there are,  how to deal with them.  I feel all coaches should make time to take courses like this to give them a better understanding of learning disabilities,  how to adapt session within a club or school environment.  

    Over the past few years I have worked with athletes and school children with learning disabilities and have found it a challenge however I have always made sure I have adapted sessions for those with learning difficulties.  

    1. Have you coached athlete's with learning disabilities
    2. Do you think there is enough information for coaches who work with children / adults with learning disabilities 
     · Rob Maaye and Colin Bennett like this.
     
  • Hi Emma

    Thank you for posing the questions which I hope provokes a debate. I write in my personal capacity not as an employee.

    My answers are

    1. Yes, I have and do 'coach' people with 'learning disabilities' and

    2. No, there is not enough information unless one spends a substantial amount of time researching online or through chance meet someone with experience to shadow or understudy.

    The L/D spectrum group's needs is, quite rightly, part of the UK government's complex needs service provisions but because the L/D label covers a spectrum the coach must tailor each new group session to individuals without knowing where on the spectrum a person lies!

    I will usually only be with a group for a couple of hours a week.

    I have found that, both on the water and in nature, that a visiting group will know each others needs far better than I so use a few high functioning guests to guide the team. This approach might make the first few minutes in, say, canoes challenging and exciting but the session will be a fun, safe, way of learning and progressing.

    Care must be taken of course but I have found this approach works with groups from schools, academies and childrens residential homes, youth groups and adults in high level support homes. 

    The most succesful courses I have been on have been practical such as the Sainsbury's one though online ones are useful.

    Cheers, JK, RYA & BCU on the water, JMT & AWT in nature

     · Colin Bennett and Emma Tomlinson like this.
     
  • Thank you for you comment,  yes I really hope other coaches give there views and feedback along with personnal experiences.  

    I feel more information should be made available for all coaches and not just teachers. Most coaches are not aware of either students or childrens learning disabilities which can make pe sessions stressful for both the coach and children.    I have found this out for myself both in schools,  club and in my current job.

     · JK Kennington likes this.
     
  • Good subject Emma. Like disability the L/D spectrum has a vast range of different levels and abilities. For a coach this makes it very difficult to have enough knowledge on everyone that they may see in front of them.

    I have coached children who exhibit L/D but when the parents have filled out the forms under "medical conditions we should be aware of" they haven't put anything. This means they either don't think L/D is a medical condition (I'm not clever enough to enter that debate!) or they don't consider their child to have anything that the coach should be aware of.

    So as coaches we need to be aware of L/D, be aware of different disabilities, be aware of different abilities - at least to be able to spot the signs and then to know some of the adjustments we will need to make in our delivery.

    An example I have is a child I coached with Asperger’s. They did not like giving eye contact. To anyone it could be seen as disrespectful but as I knew the child I was able to NOT go down the route of "Look at me when I'm talking to you.....you will look at me when I'm talking to you....." A small thing but so important to know.

    Coach the participant in front of you is easy to say but harder to achieve - that's why good coaches are worth their weight in gold!

     · Emma Tomlinson, JK Kennington and 1 other like this.
     
  • On 19/04/16 5:33 PM, Emma Tomlinson said:

    Do you think there is enough information for coaches who work with children / adults with learning disabilities

    Hi Emma. These are great questions! Just in relation to question 2 for you (and anyone reading this thread in the future) Sarah Milner posted a blog sharing some tips for including people with learning disabilities in your coaching sessions that might be helpful: https://www.connectedcoaches.org/spaces/6/inclusive-coaching/blog/smilner/101/including-people-with-learning-disability-in-your-coaching-sessions   

    Hopefully others will share their experiences with you and the rest of the community smile

     · Emma Tomlinson likes this.
     
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