Here are some of the simple tips for coaches to ensure that children who have challenges with social skills can play NAB AFL Auskick.
Always have full participation. Avoid games where players and children get eliminated.
Assign teams rather than allowing their peers to select their team members. This will reduce the chance of a child feeling excluded.
Let parents and siblings help the children. They know them the best. They may help them settle, feel included, and enjoy the experience.
Teach children social skills by explaining exactly what you want the child to do. For example, don’t say: ‘Be nice’. Ask them to say: ‘hello’.
A social story might be needed to help some children understand Auskick and better interact with each other. Footy stories are available on the AllPlay website.
Remember, every child has the right to be involved in sport, especially a sport like Australian Rules Football. It’s not hard to include children with disabilities – it just takes patience and understanding.