When Regina Gudzinskas first enrolled her son, Dante, in swimming lessons, it was as a safety precaution. As it turns out, swimming not only taught Dante a life-saving skill, it has helped him cope with his ADHD. Gudzinskas has watched Dante's confidence soar, not to mention he's become more organized and his grades have improved since becoming involved with the sport.
Still, for kids with differing abilities to thrive on an athletic team there are adjustments that coaches need to make. In honor of October's ADHD Awareness Month, USA Swimming has released tips for effectively coaching athletes affected by auditory processing disorder (APD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD), in order to help children with differing abilities to succeed in the pool (or on the field, in the gym, etc.).
Tips for parents:
While joining the local team is a great way to get your kid some exercise, the values and life skills that are instilled through sports—dedication, perseverance, goal-setting—are the true prize that anyone can take home. Olympic champion and mom Kerri Strug shared in a recent Parents interview, "Not everyone can be an Olympian, but everyone can take part and learn and become a better person." USA Swimming is spreading that message of inclusivity.
Ruthie Fierberg is an editorial assistant at Parents. Though she does not have children of her own, she's practically been raising kids since her first babysitting job at age 11. She is also our resident theater aficionado and has interviewed tons of celeb parents. Follow her on Twitter: @RuthiesATrain.