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Teaching kids with special needs

Author Topic: Teaching kids with special needs  (Read 7547 times)

Offline Mellody Kaiser (Formally Porter)

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Teaching kids with special needs
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:19:53 PM »
Does anyone have knowledge to web sites or schools that deal with teaching martial arts to disabled kids?

I have one autistic student that I can not allow to punch and grab for other students for safety reasons.   He becomes frustrated as he knows he is singled out but at the same time, I have a responsibility to other students and parents.   

We will start a new class on basic point fighting skills next month and I am facing a situation of telling a parent I can not allow her son to particiate or only allowing him to fight with myself and other instructors. 


Offline Danjo

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 02:54:11 PM »
I would just explain to the parents that this is a necessary modification to the normal curriculum given the student's needs. It's sort of like the Least Restrictive Environment Appropriate clause in IDEA what we use when teaching special ed kids in public school. If the student can only participate by sparring with the instructors, then that's all there is to it. You're still creating the access to the martial arts for him by providing this accomodation.
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Offline Hook

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 05:10:32 PM »
Hello, I used to teach an autistic student, so believe me I understand where you are coming from. Special needs children have to have certain accomidations. That being said, you need to find out from the parent what exactly the child can handle. At first I would not let Sara spar, and I would pair her with one of the older students that understood her condition. After a few talks with her mother, (also a student) I found out that she could handle way more than I thought at first. I also understand that all autistics are different and that she had very mild autism. I do not know the situation with your student, so I would suggest asking the parent. If the parent doesn't know for sure, write out a list of excercises and the basics of what each mean. Have the parent take it to the childs physician for confirmation on what they can and cannot do.
Sibak Raymond Hook

Offline Mellody Kaiser (Formally Porter)

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2009, 12:35:00 PM »
Thank you both.  The parent is a friend of mine.  I had not considered clearance from his physician.  He is doing better now than when we started, I just don't want to push to fast and have him or someone else hurt.  This student has issues with focusing on a task and not being able to let it go.  If we are working on punching drills and move to kicking drills, he has a difficult time with switching gears so to speak.   Sometimes I have him sit down for two minutes to try to refocus him.  That seems to work, but I don't want him feeling like he is beign singled out which is does struggles with already.    (hmmm can't find the spell checking feature on this thing - hopefully it isn't too bad.....) 

Offline kajukine2

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 11:39:00 AM »
I currently have 4 autistic children training with me, (amazing what one little review can do)
and have had several others in the past, the best advice I can give is DO have them work one on one with a trusted assistant instructor, a peer if possible, this accomplishes three things, the special needs child gets that special attention, the assist. instructor learns their art better, as well as learning empathy and leadership skills, its a win win win....BTW one of my blind kids is now one of my trusted BB. instructors.
Another source of info would be GM Wolf Hillsheim in El Sobrante Ca.  he has had a special needs program longer than anybody I know, and could probably be of great help.
Good luck God Bless
Ron Estller
Ron Esteller Life long student of GM James Juarez...1968-Present

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Board of Advisors, Pacific Jujitsu Alliance. DZR JJ
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GM Melcor Chavez
Black Belt instructor in CQC, Knife/Counter Knife, Impact Weapon Combatives  under Hock W. Hockheeim

Offline Mellody Kaiser (Formally Porter)

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 04:25:29 PM »
How do you get parents to understand that it is important to let me know if they have recently changed their childs medication?  I shouldn't find out after I talk to the parent and question a new behavior in class to find out that it started when they changed his medication two days ago.  I want to give this child the best possible training opportunity but feel the parent needs to be a bit more pro active in helping me help her son.

(Seriously - does anyone know where the spell checker on this site is? I'm embarrassed by my poor command of English Grammer)

Offline Danjo

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 04:32:37 PM »
You can tell the parent that you will keep any information confidential, but that you will need to know what medication the student is on. It's a prety straight forward and normal requirement.
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Dan Weston
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FMAA
Don't tell me how much you honor Sijo, if you don't respect his wishes.

Offline Hook

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 01:04:13 PM »
I myself didn't ask what medication the child was on, I asked what the  effects of her medication would be.
Sibak Raymond Hook

Offline Danjo

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 01:36:10 PM »
I myself didn't ask what medication the child was on, I asked what the  effects of her medication would be.

Yep that would work too.
"Rank Without Honor is Nothing."
Dan Weston
3rd Degree Black Belt under Prof. Bishop
FMAA
Don't tell me how much you honor Sijo, if you don't respect his wishes.

Offline Native Warrior

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2009, 08:54:20 PM »
Ms. Porter,

I am a friend and student of Kajukine2, and my son is one of the SN (Special Needs) students that he speaks of.  First off, let me just say that I could not have brought my son to a better instructor or dojo.  Sifu ALWAYS makes sure that my son is respected and cared for while training at his dojo, and that the other students are aware of his situation.  I strongly suggest that you follow his advice on how to pair up you SN students with others and how to best acclimate you student to main stream training.  There is much to write on this subject...actually to much.  If you'd like, I would be more than happy to talk with you in more detail about my take on this as subject, both a parent and student of Kajukenbo.  We can talk on the tele or in person if you wish.  Just let me know if you'd like to do this, and I'll send you my info.  Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck, and God Bless you for taking on this very challenging role.  Our Creator is smiling on you! 

Bidding you Blessings....Alo'ha nui loa.
-Native Warrior
"Train Hard To Fight Hard, But Live Gently"
Dennis Duarte
Student of;
Prof. Ron Esteller - Kajukenbo
Sensei Chris Nichols - Danzan Ryu Jujitsu

Offline SifuCathy

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Re: Teaching kids with special needs
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2009, 10:06:07 PM »
 My son is Autistic as well and he's been training with me in class for a few years now .I would be happy to help with any questions or concerns regarding training teaching kids with special needs.

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Sifu Cathy Owens (Navalta)
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Affiliated with Abad's Kajukenbo Marial Arts International