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Is DS being excluded because of his disability ?

(503 Posts)
youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:30:36

I hope not.

So my DS has language difficulties and Autism. He is 7. I joined him into our local football training, I was a bit apprehensive because DS hasn't played football ! (Has an odd kick of the ball) and I didn't know how the team would take to him. But anyway I went along with it.

To my surprise, when I took DS to football, he was engaged in the game. He was playing around, kicking the ball or tying to get hold of the ball to kick it. Though, when the coach was giving out instructions he found it hard to follow, didn't really join in the warm-up as he has slow language processing...so when the coach was shouting at exercises.. DS would process the information and do the instruction but the coach and the others kids have moved on to the next exercises instruction. Ifyswim.

But other than that, I was amazed how DS did in the match...he was throwing the ball appropriately, kicking it, stopping when the players stop it. I was proud as before he would of found these difficult.

But after the session, the coach told me that maybe it would be better for DS to go to a specialist football team (there's hardly any) as its due to his understanding of language or processing of language is slow. Also, he cannot provide the attention DS needs and he has to attend to all the other kids.

I do understand but I felt a bit deflated. DS in my eyes, did excellent as he has never played footie ever ! Plus his social skills difficulties etc... he seemed he did ok. But I don't know, should we look elsewhere ? Should I give up on DS doing football ? I told a friend this and she was shocked and thinks DS was excluded because of his disability ? But I've heard that football is quite competitive so the coaches naturally are ?? Idk.

What do you mumsnetters think ?

LouKout Sat 25-Feb-17 16:31:55

Yes, sadly he is. The coach feels winning is more important than being inclusive.

youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:32:36

Really lout I hoped not. sigh

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 16:34:20

I would contact the FA and even your biggest nearest team and tell them what has happened to your DS. They may have information regarding teams and training which would welcome your DS. I'm pretty certain there's a Paralympic category in football for people with learning difficulties. That could be an option. You must be feeling pretty low, and I believe your DS has been very badly treated.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 25-Feb-17 16:34:35

There are some teams who are super competitive. Only play the best players, shout at the kids, berate them for trying something that doesn't work, take kids to a match then not play them at all etc. There are other teams who are inclusive and will give players equal game time regardless of ability. You might want to try a different team but it doesn't necessarily have to be a specialist team.

LouKout Sat 25-Feb-17 16:35:32

I hope he can find a team which appreciates what he can give thanks

PollyHampton Sat 25-Feb-17 16:35:42

I disagree. He may just feel he doesn't have the time or the training to give your son the attention he needs. As a football coach myself (purely voluntarily) I have to organise up to 12 10 year olds and I need them to be attentive and do as they are told. I would cut the coach a bit of slack tbh. People expect us to be miracle workers with the 1-2 hours we can spare a week.

UnbornMortificado Sat 25-Feb-17 16:36:42

Oh you that's horrible. DD is on a mixed team there is a little boy with an Asperger's diagnosis (I haven't diagnosed him, his mam told me) he gets on really well.

The coaches are just local secondary school boys and it's lovely to see them being so fab with all the younger children.

I can pm if your in the NE, I am sorry I'd be upset aswell flowers

Chaotica Sat 25-Feb-17 16:36:54

Why not ask the coach to let DS attend some more sessions to see if he settles in. He'll probably learn the different exercises and so the language processing problems might not be so much of a problem after the first week. You should be able to give it a fair chance.

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 16:38:12

I could be wrong about the Paralympic football team. I think that the only team at the moment is for people with CP or an acquired brain injury. The rules may change in the future though. Athletics, swimming and table-tennis have a learning disability category though.

youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:38:18

Cahoita that's what I thought. But I assumed the coach would of suggested that as it was DS first time ever playing football. But he didn't, he sad DS can join in one more final game, but that's it.

ZombieApocalips Sat 25-Feb-17 16:38:27

He is being excluded but I've heard that the competitive nature of the game ramps up in ks2.
I'd try and find out which local teams are strongest and weakest and try and find a team that has more gentle coaching.

youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:39:27

Polly I thought the same thing too. But I hoped he would understand as it was DS first time. But I think they are playing to win ?? So don't really have the time for him ? Idk

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 25-Feb-17 16:41:49

I wouldnt try getting this coach to change his mind as he obviously is a win at all costs type coach or as above simply doesn't have the time or inclination to take time out to help your DS. My DS has no disabilities but was turned away from a couple of clubs on the basis he 'wasn't up to speed' they wanted players who could play at a high standard already they didn't want to train anyone up (this was when he was 9!). We found a low division team who are focused on fun and learning and it's mean great for DS.

bigearsthethird Sat 25-Feb-17 16:42:56

It's really sad fir your ds but a lot of coaches are volunteers and so if he feels he can't give the right kind of training or attention to one child it might really just be that unfortunately. He does have the rest of the team to consider.

I really feel for you, you must be so deflated. Are you able to find out about clubs he can play in where the coach has experience of children with additional needs and would be able to engage with him better? Plus is this coach saying he can't play anymore or just suggesting this option in the best interest of your son?

UnbornMortificado Sat 25-Feb-17 16:45:20

youcan the mixed group DD is in is quite relaxed, the onus is on more the taking part.

The girls team she plays is a different story, she got appendicitis a few weeks back and when I told the coach I was worried she might actually cry or shout at me she's terrifying confused

Would a more laid back one suit him better?

lalalalyra Sat 25-Feb-17 16:46:24

Are there no other teams in your area? There are two very different types of kids football teams in my experience - the ones where the kids go, play games and have fun and the ones who think they are Manchester United or Chelsea and need to be of Champions League standard.

We have one of those locally and they basically only want kids who have a chance of playing professionally when they are older. The one DS goes too is a run by a Dad who loves football for kids who love football and is a much better experience imo.

youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:47:07

ineed I would love to find a club like that ! I think the coach expects the players to be on mark (first time) and don't have time to train them up ? I don't really want to persuade the coach to give him a try as if he doesn't want him why force it ?

The coach did mention that the kids may be a bit..:aggressive with him as they are there to win it. But I didn't see that today. But maybe I would of done if DS attended there for a long period of time.

CurlyCallie Sat 25-Feb-17 16:48:51

2 of my young nephews play in a football team and when I've been to see them train and play I'm astounded by how well these young children take tough training and harsh criticism. Their older brother is autistic and honestly I think I'd struggle to cope on a team emotionally never mind him. Maybe it's for the best now that you know he is interested to move him to a team that is better suited for him? I really really hope you don't decide to knock it on the head completely after this as it sounds like he's doing amazingly well grin and with the right sort of training it will do him the absolute world of good to do something like this!
The coach may have been more tactful in approaching you and maybe could have researched a local team that would be more suited to him before he approached you but like others have said these coaches take it very seriously so he's probably thinking more about his team than of your feelings and needs. Really hope you and your son find what you're looking for smileflowers

youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:50:16

lalala I need to have a proper look. At first it seemed like having a good old kick about for fun. But they hold matches (like the proper ones) every other week ? So maybe it is one of the competitive ones ?

There's not really a lot of specialist football teams unless I travel far out but that would be no good.

SaorAlbaGuBrath Sat 25-Feb-17 16:52:30

Where are you based OP? Roughly like, I'm not asking for details obviously. Because I asked DS1s favourite Premiership team if they'd accept him in the youth programme with him having autism, and they arranged a tour of the facilities first so he could get used to it, and sent us a load of information on what to expect at training so he could feel prepared. I'm still waiting for his start because I'm learning to drive and can't get to Lennoxtown on the bus but I was really impressed with their inclusion policy.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 25-Feb-17 16:52:52

If you find out the name of the league the teams in your area play in then you can ask them for a list of contacts for low division teams. Or there is a Facebook page called Grassroots Football they have pages for different geographic areas they can put a post on asking for teams looking for players that would be able to accommodate your son. Our local page put a post up asking for teams who would be able to take a child with several complex needs and there were loads of responses.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 25-Feb-17 16:52:57

How about some skills training at a soccer school? The kids are just there to learn, although they may play a little game for the last 10 minutes or so. The coaches tend to be better trained too and will be more skilled at helping your boy to enjoy himself.

youcantgettome Sat 25-Feb-17 16:53:35

Thanks Curly I won't give up. I'll try to see if I can find a football team which is mainly for fun and relaxed. I'm sure there's one. But I'm happy that I've found something for DS that he could potentially enjoy. I won't give up smile

Aeroflotgirl Sat 25-Feb-17 16:53:51

Awww bless him, your son did awsome, he really did, that team was the wrong one for him. Do contact other teams and explain his disability, mabey look at a FC for children with disabilities. We have one here in Milton Keynes, called Special Dons, part of the MK football team, called MK Dons. Have you got one in your area.

The same thing happened with my daughter when she was 6, she has ASD, learning difficulties, dev delay, SPD. She was excluded from a dance show that her dance class were doing. I was so upset, but we found a really lovely and inclusive dance school, that she has been since she was six, she is 10 now. My son is 5, and has a developmental delay of about a year and speech and language delay, I can see this happening with him. But he is not keen on football, he does swimming lessons which he really loves.

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