When a student with disabilities finds it difficult to communicate with others, which as mentioned earlier is commonly an experience with ASD, he or she most often takes what is said ‘literally’. To him everything said seems as if it is in a black and white context. Metaphors, sarcasm, and or body language all are difficult or nearly impossible to comprehend. Communication skills such as recognizing a tone of voice or a facial expression, are often misinterpreted at best, or completely undistinguishable at worse. Being aware of these behavioral characteristics and traits according to Dieringer & Porretta (2013), are all the more reason why there is tremendous importance regarding proper use of socially appropriate language and terminology, which coaches and physical educators must know to use when discussing disabilities. Physical education class must be provided to all children with disabilities as part of their free and appropriate public education. Outside-of-school sports participation, and the coaching received, serve-to-a-goalwhich makes it certain that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to try out for, and if successful at an appropriate level, participate on regular interscholastic sport teams. Of course, appropriate accommodations if needed must be provided for the student to participate. An essential question which asks what are some physical activity and or team sports related barriers to increasing confidence and self-esteem levels in students with disabilities, is answered with this data. Certainly, appropriate verbal and body language, and modeling by coaches and special educators, can help change attitudes and behaviors of others, thus breaking down some of the barriers, however large or small they may be. And thereby provide positive results. The best of the best ultimately serve as advocates for those students with disabilities. And it becomes their credo!
Input from Israel et al., (2013) also provides helpful insight into coaching. They point out, among other things, that because of geographic constraints, often times a limit on some of the ‘quality’ mentoring and coaching can provide is due to time. Mobility of the coach, and mobility of the student and or his parents, are all part of the equation. Further, Israel et al notes coaching is a widely-accepted practice supported by the other special educators. They are similar to those most intricate to each student with special needs while using evidence-based practices to build on academic and functional skills, but with overall plans to excel in activities outside-of-school, such as with athletic activities. Continued next page>>
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