Tag Archive for 'disabilità intellettiva'

Autism and football

Yesterday simple twitter had 2353 views. It’s a photo of a meeting of our staff discussing the new training program for children with intellectual disabilities and largely autistic, to improve their motor learning and teach football.

The interest it has aroused shows how the theme of sports practice for these children (6-13 years) is topical, there are few who are regularly involved in sport, we do not really know how many of them, how often and what activities they do. Research data shows these children practice individual sports, mainly running and swimming. Programs involving them in football schools are extremely rare, as they require competent coaches and psychologists. Often football is not recommended for these children because they are placed in groups with young people with typical development and coaches who do not have time and skills to teach them.

Roma Cares, AS Roma and the Integrated Football Academy have been designing and implementing the “Calcio Insieme” project for 5 years, which currently involves 70 children with intellectual disabilities. It involves a staff of 10 coaches, 5 sports psychologists, 1 speech therapist, 1 doctor, 1 manager of relations with families and schools, 1 technical manager and 1 scientific manager. It is a complex project that involves children from October to June twice a week. The results obtained and published in scientific journals have shown significant improvements in the motor and psychosocial areas.

Quality must be the most relevant key point of the sport programs with people with intellectual disabilties

The idea that sport is a fundamental activity to develop the motor and psychosocial skills of people with intellectual disabilities is becoming increasingly widespread and it is important to start practicing it since childhood.

Furthermore, sport involvement should permit the integration between young people with intellectual disabilities and peers with typical development, improve people’s overall well-being and allow families to live positive experiences and feel part of a community, the sports community, which values ​​their children regardless of their difficulties.

Realizing these goals requires:

  • A sports club that commits itself to defining a specific and documentable sports program
  • The involvement of the local schools and the ASLs of the national health system in the recruitment of the participants in these programs, and in providing the service of the visit to sports fitness
  • The presentation to the families of the sports program and its aims
  • The choice of professionals working in the field in the realization of the project, who are graduates in motor sciences, sport psychologists, speech therapists and sports doctors and who in turn are trained to work with young people with intellectual disabilities
  • The preparation and implementation of motor tests, interviews with families and psychological assessment systems of the behavior of young people in training which identifies and shows the improvements produced by sport activity during the sports season
  • The organization of public moments with parents and schools to illustrate the progress achieved and the methods used to obtain them

In short, we need to get out of the concept of “doing good” and get in the mentality of “doing it well”. We must be aware that attributing to external problems the difficulty of “doing good” (poor economic resources, poor preparation of the operators, taking as a basic idea that doing something is better than doing nothing) is just an excuse to hide our difficulties to achieve an effective service.

On the contrary, some rules direct the quality of a project:

  • Do well from the beginning
  • Everyone must be aware the quality of the service depends on him/her, regardless of the role
  • Prevent problems before they arise
  • We are a team, we work in groups
  • Measure, evaluate and let everyone know it
  • Identify each year new goals, pursuing a process of continuous improvement

Conference: soccer and mental disabilities

 

 

Mental disabilities & sports: IJSP special issue

International Journal of Sport Psychology  first special issue totally devoted to the persons with intellectual disabilities.

Football Integrated for children with mental disabilities

Roma Cares Foundation and the Integrated Football Academy continue even this year the project “Football Together” directed to children of 6-13 years with intellectual disabilities. The project aims to use football to promote the sports, social and psychological development of young people. The program is meant to be a sport training adapted to the needs of each individual, with specific motor and psychosocial assessments (beginning, during and year-end) permitting anyone to learn if followed by competent professionals (football instructors, sports psychologists, speech therapist and doctors) with training sessions organized into units of 60 minutes twice a week from October to June.

For further information: segreteria@accademiacalciointegrato.org

Soccer and autism: it starts a new season

It starts the third season of the project “Football Together”, devoted to children, 6-12 years old, with intellectual disabilities who want to play football with AS Roma and Accademia di Calcio Integrato.

Video: Integrated soccer – first match