Ensuring Fair Play and Success for Young People with SEND: How Changing Game Rules Can Undermine Confidence and Engagement

As human beings, we all crave consistency and predictability in our lives. We want to know what to expect and how to prepare for it. This is especially true for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), who often rely on routine and structure to help them navigate the world around them. That’s why changing the parameters of a game halfway through can be particularly problematic for these individuals, especially those with certain diagnoses.

For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), unexpected changes can cause significant distress and anxiety. Individuals with ASD often rely on routines and predictability to help them feel safe and secure. Changes to the rules or parameters of a game may be confusing and overwhelming for them, leading to feelings of frustration, anger, or even panic.

Similarly, individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may struggle with sudden changes to the rules of a game. They may have difficulty processing new information quickly or adjusting their behavior accordingly. This can lead to feelings of frustration or confusion, and may even result in impulsive or disruptive behavior.

Individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) may also find it difficult to adjust to sudden changes in a game’s parameters. SPD affects how the brain processes sensory information, such as touch, sound, and movement. Changes to the rules of a game may involve new sensory experiences that can be overwhelming or uncomfortable for individuals with SPD.

Ultimately, changing the parameters of a game halfway through can be particularly challenging for young people with SEND. It disrupts their sense of routine and predictability, and can cause feelings of anxiety, frustration, and confusion. it can also create a sense of injustice and unfairness. These individuals may feel that they were not given a fair chance to succeed or that the rules were arbitrarily changed to disadvantage them. This can lead to feelings of resentment and disengagement from the game or activity, and may even erode their trust in the adults or peers involved. It’s important for parents, educators, and caregivers to be mindful of the impact that changes to game rules can have on individuals with ASD, ADHD, SPD, and other SEND diagnoses. By providing clear communication, advanced warning, and support, we can help everyone feel more comfortable and confident in their environment.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: