Identifying the Disabilities
Familiarize yourself with the different disabilities and the possible limitations. Many children with less severe disabilities can be included in the conventional youth soccer programs with success.
- The inability to acquire or retain specific skills due to deficiencies in attention, memory or reasoning.
- A disease, disorder, birth defect or accident that my cause a physical disability.
The following disabilities may affect both learning and physical abilities:
IT IS MANDATORY THAT YOU MEET WITH THE PARENT or GUARDIAN TO BECOME MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE CHILD AND HIS or HER DISABILITY
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- The child may have a hard time staying on task and maintaining focus.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- a condition that can make it hard for a person to sit still, control behavior, and pay attention.
Suggestions for children with ADD and ADHD:
- change the activity frequently
- keep busy and repeat directions
- keep activities simple
- physical demonstrations rather than verbal instructions
- may require a ‘soccer buddy’
- a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
- a child has difficulty in talking, playing with other children, and relating to others; including their family.
Suggestions for children with Autism and PDD:
- do not use a loud whistle – it may hurt their ears
- keep surroundings familiar
- arrange equipment in a consistent, organized manner
- concentrate on verbal communication skills
- may require a ‘soccer buddy’
Tourette’s Syndrome (TS)
- A neurological disorder characterized by tics -- involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way.
- you may have to disallow the child from play if their behavior compromises their safety or the safety of others.
Emotionally Disturbed (ED)
- inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings displayed under normal circumstances.
- hearing impairment" is often used generically to describe a wide range of hearing losses, including deafness.
Visual Impairment (including blindness)
- the consequence of a functional loss of vision
Vision eye disorder causing visual impairment.
Suggestions for children with visual impairments:
- use large brightly colored balls or sound activated balls
- use brightly colored goals, cones or pinnies
- ensure that sight aides are safely worn to prevent injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by the head being hit by something or shaken violently.
- may require the use of a helmet.
- Asthma is a chronic condition in which breathing problems, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are caused by allergens or other environmental triggers.
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- a muscle control disability caused by perinatal or postnatal brain or head injury in which they have difficulty controlling the use of their body or parts of their body.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
- Those affected have high levels of sodium and chloride (salt) in their sweat. More importantly, a thick, sticky mucous in the lungs causes persistent coughing, wheezing and frequent lung infections, including pneumonia.
- caused by a chromosomal abnormality: an accident in cell development results in 47 instead of the usual 46 chromosomes. This extra chromosome changes the orderly development of the body and brain.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS/Crack Babies)
- combination of birth defects caused by the mother’s consumption of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.
Mental Retardation (MR)
- certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, daily living skills, and social skills.
Missing or Deformed Appendages
- impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.) and/or impairments caused by disease, amputations, and fractures or burns.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- disease of the central nervous system. Typically, the symptoms include weakness in coordination, digression, speech disturbances, and visual complaints.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD)
- Generalized muscle weakness with possible joint deformities. Disease progresses very slowly.
- a physical condition that occurs when there is a sudden, brief change in how the brain works. Consciousness, movement, or actions may be altered for a short time.
- means cleft spine, which is an incomplete closure in the spinal column. Depending on the severity, the child may not be ambulatory.
Designing a Special Needs Program
- Develop the program to meet the needs of the children in your group.
- The special needs program is unique. The governing soccer authority in the United States (US Soccer Federation, USSF) grants liberty to special program administrators to modify laws for increased player safety and enjoyment.
- a suitable volunteer to work directly with a child with special needs.
- It is recommended by US Youth Soccer Association that the TOPSoccer program does not allow children to be in goal.
- is the most important part of the game.