One in five Australian children have a developmental challenge. Our goal is to ensure all children, regardless of ability, can participate in NAB AFL Auskick.
As a parent of a child without a disability, you might have some questions about what including kids with disabilities in AFL Auskick means for you and your family. Here are some ways that parents of children without disabilities can help build an inclusive football community.
Well, firstly, you might want to know how you can help.
It can be really beneficial if parents are understanding, accepting and careful not to judge other parents and their children. Try to think how it might feel for them. Simply ask the parent if they’d like your child to say hi. A friendly face could be all the difference. You could also ask parents and coaches if there is anything else you can do to assist.
Some parents might be concerned that kids with disabilities take up all the coach’s time.
But within any group, including classrooms, there are always a wide range of abilities and behaviours. With a little planning coaches can usually make simple adaptations to activities which don’t take up too much time. Coaches are encouraged to pay equal attention to every child, regardless of their ability.
Some parents may also be concerned about misbehaviour.
The NAB AFL Auskick code of behaviour is always established in the first session. And this code is the same for all children with the emphasis simply on having fun. Most problems can be avoided if the sessions are well planned and a clear code of behaviour is established from the outset.
You might also want to know how having kids with disabilities playing NAB AFL Auskick might impact on your child.
Well, in a positive way, they may be able to help. For example, they could become a buddy, provide support, assistance, confidence or simply a welcoming experience. At the same time they can learn to take on responsibility and learn what it is like for children with different abilities. This allows positive social experiences and relationships to develop, creating a real sense of community.
The AllPlay website has lots of resources to support parents, coaches and kids of all abilities to participate in AFL Auskick. We look forward to seeing you and your child at a NAB AFL Auskick centre near you!