Hi, Posted this in SN Education as well. I realise there are other threads about the new rugby injury research but along with totally disagreeing with secondary school children being forced to play compulsory contact rugby, I have the added quandary about my DS going into year 7 at a new school and having recently been diagnosed with high functioning ASD.
I've spoken to him calmly and in a non-biased way (asking him what he thinks about playing contact rugby at his new school, what does he think the game involves etc) and without him even knowing mine and DHs opinions, he says he is really worried about playing it and says if anybody tries to tackle him, he will kill them or kill himself (saying stuff like that is his very regular way of expressing anxiety) and I explained it's PE and not the Hunger Games!
Whilst I realise that trying to change the whole school approach and trying to make them ban contact rugby until 16/18 doesn't seem very likely, I did wonder whether because of the ASD, and before I go in all guns blazing, they would happily let him swap to the other year half's PE timetable for whichever sport that is. Or should I ask the SENCO when I first meet with her after the Easter holidays? What's the best best way to word it to them?
Has anybody else got a similar issue with contact sports and children with ASD. Have mainstream schools been ok with it? DS cannot stand being grabbed or hugged by other people and prefers sports/exercise where it's non contact (rounders/cricket/football) or a single person sport like running/table tennis/trampolining etc.
Do they set for PE? My ds is also autistic, is in Y8 now, and has done half a term each year of rugby, which in his case means standing around ignoring the ball and the other kids! His PE teacher has been very kind and it's been fine.
What helped was before he started I sent a long list of all the potential problems and how I thought they'd be best addressed, then met with SENCO to come up with a plan.
Thanks poltergoose.....doing a list is a good idea. I'm meeting with the SENCO after Easter to enable as smooth a transition as possible so I'll do that and hopefully that will work in the same way. If they do contact rugby, I think I will stall have an issue because so many of the kids round here have done it since about age 8 (contact) and so the rest will be at a disadvantage. Found out today that the school got funding for some rugby coaches but might not have that same funding next year. Crossing my fingers that's the case.