Treddy Chen

Here are my views on sports and kids with special needs. I'm competitive, but I feel everyone has a place or their own thing where they will excel. If your child struggles socially, you may want to register them for soccer or baseball with the other kids.
You know your child, be sure you're setting them up for a positive experience instead of a negative one.

The things Coaches have said about kids on their team would make you cringe or flip your lid.

“Oh, he's an awful player; something wrong with him.”

“I hope they don't sign-up next season.”

Team parents are just as bad.

“What is wrong with that kid?!”

“Bench her. We are trying to win.”

These comments are all heard about kids in 3rd – 6th grade. I know, as a special education teacher and foster parent, it made me sick, too.

I'm not at all saying that you should avoid team sports. Check to see who will be coaching your child. Most coaches are volunteers. Please make sure they are someone you want in charge of your child's self-esteem for the next few months.

Of course, there are outstanding coaches. Coaches understand their impact on children and create a positive experience for them. In addition, there are specialized camps and organizations with coaches trained in encouraging and teaching special needs children.

Team sports may not be your child's strength. If they get stressed or look “lost” while playing, there are some alternatives to team sports:

Bike Riding
Family Camping
Long Walks
Playing at the Park

These activities give your child physical activity and the benefits of self-confidence.

All children need to be active, but not at the cost of their mental health. So don't feel pressured into forcing your child into a team sport that may do more harm than good. However, give it a try because you never know if they will excel.

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