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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Teaching special needs Reply with quote

Does anyone have any tips for teaching speciall needs students?

I have 2 students I have in mind that I'd like to adapt things for. The first has autism but is high functioning. His parents haven't highlighted any specific adaptions I need to make and he seems to cope with the classes really well. I'm wondering if there is anything extra I should be doing with him?

Then there's one of my other students... His parents haven't brought up that he has additional needs, however it is very clear that there's something going on. It's not my place to diagnose but this child does seem to have additional requirements in that I struggle to get him to respond or react when I call his name and even have gone so far to pair up with him personally when doing exercises but it's 50/50 whether he will engage. He also struggles to understand what's being asked of him or even acknowledge my direction ls
For instance when I did some relay races last week, he really didn't get what he had to do when the rest of my 5 year olds had no issues.

Any suggestions for strategies to make training easier for these students? At the moment I try to pair them with more advanced students or myself but it can take focus away from the rest of the students. Just wondering if there is anything else I should be doing or if there are ways to modify the training or my teaching to accommodate.
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding autism...
During my graduate physical education training, we had to take an adapted physical education class. The teacher was an expert in autism. Her wisdom imparted to us: ďif you know 100 people with autism, you know 100 autistic people with different needsĒ or something like that. Autism is all over the place, and as such thereís no universal way of teaching autistic students. Itís pretty much all trial and error. Sorry to give such a generic answer, but itís definitely what Iíve found in the many autistic children Iíve taught, academically and physical education.

I can only say a few things that Iíve seen in just about all of them...
1. They donít like being out of their comfort zone at all. Many people donít, but autistic people shut down in a unique way. Finding that comfort zone is trial and error, and itís typically easy to tell once youíve crossed it. Physical contact is a common thing they donít like, but itís definitely not universal.

2. Once youíve earned their trust, youíll be able to get them further out of their comfort zone. Not as far as non-autistic people by any means, but youíll be able to challenge them an appreciable amount.

3. They most often donít understand social cues. They have a very difficult time relating to people and donít understand relationships very well. They know roles, but beyond that is a mystery to them. I they take things far more negatively than most people.

4. They are extremely logical rather than emotional, bringing us back to number 3. Explain things to them like an adult rather than like a child. Donít end up unintentionally talking over their head, but definitely donít talk to them like a little kid. Show positive and happy emotion, but definitely donít over do it. When theyíre going into a fit (the more you know the kid, the easier itíll be to tell when itís starting), be very matter of fact and show no emotion. I have one kid with autism in particular in my science class from 3rd-5th grade (presently), who has severe anxiety over what he perceives as failure; if he gets a question wrong, verbally in class, a test, homework, etc., heíll immediately start with ďIím a failure. Iím so stupid. Iím going to end up washing dishes in a restaurant my whole life.Ē I just look at him with zero emotion on my face and in my voice and say ďJohn, you know youíre smart. You know getting one question wrong isnít going to change your whole life. Take a few deep breaths and relax. When youíre ready, you can rejoin class.Ē It works. Other teachers have coddled him, gotten upset with him, ignored him, etc. None of it worked. The key is to know when theyíre on the verge of a meltdown and use logic and show no emotion before it goes too far. Once itís gone past a certain point, thereís pretty much o coming back for quite some time. The more they trust you, the easier it is to get them back to where they need to be.

Another example, the same student refused to leave the room during a fire drill one day. He ran around the room screaming he wasnít going to leave because he didnít finish the question he was working on. I looked him right in the eyes and said ďJohn, thereís no way youíre staying in this room. You can walk out like everyone else, or I can carry you out, kicking and screaming like a baby. Which one is it going to be?Ē He looked at me, and I said ďwhich one, John, Iím not going to ask you again.Ē It was so hard for me to do, but I showed zero emotion, and didnít raise my voice beyond a level he could hear it over the fire alarm. He walked out like he was supposed to. Had I coddled him or showed him I was upset, I definitely wouldíve had to chase him down and drag him out. For the record, I wouldíve had to carry him out if he didnít leave willingly.

Just some things to think about. The best thing you can do is speak with the parents and ask them what typically works and what doesnít. Focus more on what doesnít work and avoid that stuff at first. As you gain trust, youíll be walking on eggshells less and less often.
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tallgeese
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Joined: 04 May 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Teaching special needs Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Does anyone have any tips for teaching speciall needs students?

I have 2 students I have in mind that I'd like to adapt things for. The first has autism but is high functioning. His parents haven't highlighted any specific adaptions I need to make and he seems to cope with the classes really well. I'm wondering if there is anything extra I should be doing with him?

Then there's one of my other students... His parents haven't brought up that he has additional needs, however it is very clear that there's something going on. It's not my place to diagnose but this child does seem to have additional requirements in that I struggle to get him to respond or react when I call his name and even have gone so far to pair up with him personally when doing exercises but it's 50/50 whether he will engage. He also struggles to understand what's being asked of him or even acknowledge my direction ls
For instance when I did some relay races last week, he really didn't get what he had to do when the rest of my 5 year olds had no issues.

Any suggestions for strategies to make training easier for these students? At the moment I try to pair them with more advanced students or myself but it can take focus away from the rest of the students. Just wondering if there is anything else I should be doing or if there are ways to modify the training or my teaching to accommodate.


Let me bounce it off my kids instructor. He's dealt with this before.
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Bulltahr
Purple Belt
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Joined: 08 Mar 2015
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Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a mild autistic boy in our club, took him a while, but now he's like family to all of us and us to him. He definitely doesn't handle surprises well, loves using the Japanese words. He enjoys being accepted and the comaradare. Push him too hard tho and he shuts down. Very rewarding to have him as part of the club tho......
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulltahr wrote:
We have a mild autistic boy in our club, took him a while, but now he's like family to all of us and us to him. He definitely doesn't handle surprises well, loves using the Japanese words. He enjoys being accepted and the comaradare. Push him too hard tho and he shuts down. Very rewarding to have him as part of the club tho......


Surprises are typically a very big no-no with them. Change the schedule or routine a bit, and it can be very hard to keep them on task.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you've got lots of good advice in regards to your autistic student. As for the other student, you might look into doing some private, one-on-one classes with the child. He could get nervous in the group setting, and shut down.

I'd also get one-on-one with the parent(s) and ask them about it. It could be that they didn't want to say anything initially, and just see if the child would participate.

Lastly, and I don't want to say this and make it sound like giving up, but not all five year olds are the same, and it may be that this particular five year old might need to wait another year or two before giving the MA world a go. Try all other options first, but don't rule this one out.
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singularity6
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
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Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the US and the UK have different laws around how this should be handled. The US can be particularly litigious, so my gut says you should find out:

Are you allowed to ask? Or does the student have to self-identify as special needs?
What are you obligated to do?
When are you obligated to do it?
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DWx
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Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
I think the US and the UK have different laws around how this should be handled. The US can be particularly litigious, so my gut says you should find out:

Are you allowed to ask? Or does the student have to self-identify as special needs?
What are you obligated to do?
When are you obligated to do it?

That's a good point. The general rule is that you should make reasonable provisions to accommodate everyone. What "reasonable" means is hard to define.

I can't ask if he has additional needs but I can get around it by asking the parents if there is anything I can do to help him.
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JR 137
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
I think the US and the UK have different laws around how this should be handled. The US can be particularly litigious, so my gut says you should find out:

Are you allowed to ask? Or does the student have to self-identify as special needs?
What are you obligated to do?
When are you obligated to do it?


A public institution, ie one receiving government money, or a business that has some sort of certification process, then yes there can be rules against this kind of stuff.

A private small business? Iím pretty sure thereís no litigation. If I run a dojo and deny a student membership for whatever reason, Iím quite sure they have no legal ground to stand on if they sue. Iím sure youíre allowed to ask whatever you want. And the prospective customer is allowed to walk out the door without answering anything.

If I opened a white men only dojo, I donít think anyone can legally do anything about it. Itís not like government can withhold funding theyíre not giving me; thereís no clauses in small business licenses that I know of that explicitly forbid it. They canít seize my assets and close down my dojo because Iím a racist and sexist. Social justice has a great way of taking care of this stuff though - expose them, and people donít come. No one training nor paying to train takes care of the problem nicely. A small non-essential business owner should be able to pick and choose whoever they do business with for whatever reasons they see fit; for good reasons, and it pains me to say it, but for not good reasons. Theyíre investing the time and money to run it, and they should be allowed to run it as they see fit, good or bad.
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singularity6
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Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:

A private small business? Iím pretty sure thereís no litigation. If I run a dojo and deny a student membership for whatever reason, Iím quite sure they have no legal ground to stand on if they sue. Iím sure youíre allowed to ask whatever you want. And the prospective customer is allowed to walk out the door without answering anything.

If I opened a white men only dojo, I donít think anyone can legally do anything about it. Itís not like government can withhold funding theyíre not giving me; thereís no clauses in small business licenses that I know of that explicitly forbid it. They canít seize my assets and close down my dojo because Iím a racist and sexist. Social justice has a great way of taking care of this stuff though - expose them, and people donít come. No one training nor paying to train takes care of the problem nicely. A small non-essential business owner should be able to pick and choose whoever they do business with for whatever reasons they see fit; for good reasons, and it pains me to say it, but for not good reasons. Theyíre investing the time and money to run it, and they should be allowed to run it as they see fit, good or bad.


I'm fairly certain that "protected class" laws at both the federal and state level apply to all businesses, regardless of size.
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