On Wednesday 27 January 2021 our team officials attended 2 hour ADHD/Autism workshop which was delivered by Colin Foley, National Director of Training from the ADHD Foundation. We aspire to follow the FA motto and be a ‘for all’ club and this workshop will help our coaches to meet the needs of players diagnosed with ADHD or autism.
We are seeing more and more players being diagnosed with ADHD/Autism and our Club arranged this workshop to give our coaches insight into what is ADHD and Autism and how we can support players who have such a diagnosis.
This very informative course dispelled myths around these two conditions. It was also highlighted that girls and boys can be diagnosed with ADHD. We learnt what ADHD is and how it can impact on a player, including impulsivity and working memory. We learnt that Autism is a lifelong, neuro developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, non-verbal cues, body awareness. We were provided with key coping strategies for both these conditions and how we can modify our training and the way we interact with players with these conditions to best meet their needs. It was pleasing to see that we already implement many of these strategies. The key to this is planning.
We also looked at certain symptoms associated with ADHD and/or ASC, including Rejection Sensitive dysphoria which includes symptoms such as not handling rejection well, being very sensitive to what other people think or say about them, becoming upset if they think someone has shunned or criticised them, even if that’s not the case.
We recognise that key to supporting our players is communication with our parents and we will look to enhance this further.
We cannot wait to return to training and matches and implement the strategies we learnt during this workshop.
We would like to thank Colin Foley for his excellent presentation.