Coaches advice on special needs in rec class/anything i should do different?

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jumpingjac5

Coach
Gymnast
I am a girls rec coach and in one of my older kids classes, I have a girl with downs syndrome. She is very high functioning and doesn't cause many problems and her mom has told me she is only in it for the social aspect and to have fun so I usually just let her do her own thing and adjust stations for her as much as I can. I am not certified to deal with kids with special needs but I am currently learning and like i said she hasn't given me any major issues to where i would feel a professional would need to interfere. The other girls in the class also try to help and encourage her but I can tell they get a little frustrated when I have to give a little bit more of my attention towards her.
I teach this class without a helper and usually don't struggle with handling it, my only concern is how I can give an equal amount of attention to both her and the five other girls in the class who are actually there to learn and get better without the girls or the parents thinking I am intentionally favoring one kid over the others.
 
I am a girls rec coach and in one of my older kids classes, I have a girl with downs syndrome. She is very high functioning and doesn't cause many problems and her mom has told me she is only in it for the social aspect and to have fun so I usually just let her do her own thing and adjust stations for her as much as I can. I am not certified to deal with kids with special needs but I am currently learning and like i said she hasn't given me any major issues to where i would feel a professional would need to interfere. The other girls in the class also try to help and encourage her but I can tell they get a little frustrated when I have to give a little bit more of my attention towards her.
I teach this class without a helper and usually don't struggle with handling it, my only concern is how I can give an equal amount of attention to both her and the five other girls in the class who are actually there to learn and get better without the girls or the parents thinking I am intentionally favoring one kid over the others.
I am not a coach, but a parent of a child that is very challenging due to ADHD. They usually have me go out to the class with him. I'm not there to instruct but just to keep him on task at his station after instructions have been provided. I try to sit back and only engage when I see it's necessary. I would think if the gym isn't providing you a helper for the class having the parent near by would be more fair to the other kids.
 
This is a perfect opportunity to take an Equity vs Equality mindset when asking "what is fair?" - striving for equity is focusing on what is needed for each person to succeed rather than the thought that everyone gets equal attention/support, resulting in some succeeding and some not.
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find ways to incorporate as much "teamwork" as possible, where you are utilizing pairings of 2-3 gymnast per group throughout practice - conditioning, counting attempts, cheering, water breaks, etc can go a long way to keeping this girl (and others, frankly) focused, not roaming, etc. Groupings can be switched up weekly (you announce the groups at the beginning of each practice) or finding 2 girls who will work best with this girl and then keep the groupings long term.

What are some specific areas where you are finding the other girls are getting frustrated and where this girl is pulling attention away from them? We may be able to provide more input from there.
 

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