With baseball season upon us, therapists can play a role in assisting PE teachers, coaches, after care and recess staff with modifying the game of baseball to include all children. Here are some suggestions:
1. When teaching the basics of baseball, you may need to provide simple, step by step directions regarding throwing, catching and hitting. For teaching the rules, you may want to provide written instructions with picture prompts if necessary. Pre teach skills if possible.
2. Change up the rules if necessary. Instead of three strikes you are out how about 10 pitches? Or perhaps you are at bat until you make contact with the ball? Maybe instead of three outs per inning you can play that everyone bats is one inning.
3. Modify the equipment. Try a larger bat, lighter bat, hit off of a tee or different sized ball. Do the bases need to be larger (i.e. Circle around base for wheelchair users)? For visually impaired children use a beeping ball.
4. Change the environment if necessary. Make sure the lines are clearly marked. Do the bases need to be closer together? Can the pitching mound be moved forward?
5. Be flexible. Remember to have fun and don't always worry about winning or losing.