Special Olympics--Not just for those in wheelchairs or who are "slow"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This has been AWESOME for my son. He not only has to work hard at a sport, but they make such a big deal out of the events and, if the kids make the finals, they get to stay overnight at a hotel and perform in front of a big stadium full of people. For an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kid this has been awesome.

    Different types of k ids are in the program. You don't have to be in a wheelchair (that's seperate) or have a low IQ. You can have cognitive deficits, such as Aspergers or any sort of disorder)--you just need to have a disability in some school setting. My son has met many Aspies in his travels and he usually ends up talking to the other kids, which is good for him.

    Just wanted to bring up this as an option for those who want their kids in sports, but can't imagine them being able to do it. My son is currently doing Cross Country. Next week he competes and gets to stay overnight at a hotel. The cost is FREE, even the hotel room.

    I can not tell you what it has done for my kid for him to be performing in front of an audience, meeting new kids, and working at a sport. They are very affirmative and most kids do well. Although there are kids with Downs Syndrome, there are kids like my son too. My son is equally comfortable and compassionate toward kids with challenges and with sympathetic NT kids.

    I wanted to let people know about this. My son is so proud of his ribbons and plaques. And he has gained a lot socially and it has helped with his anxiety over performing in front of people. We all have fun at his meets.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    This is cool MWM. I'm really glad your son has benefited from this program. You rock warrior mom!
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    MWM, I think it's great for your son. The kids who participate seem to love it and it gives them a feeling of being connected to a community. Good for your difficult child. Every step forward propels him further along.

    My difficult child won't participate. We have tried. He just isn't interested. : ( It's one of my disappointments but his choice.
  4. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    My difficult child has enjoyed the soccer program for the past 2 years & will participate in the bowling program this year too. I think she is still too young for the track, but we'll go for that one too! Wonderful programs for our children!
  5. lillians

    lillians lillians

    our daughter participated in swimming,, she won in grade 8 2 nd prize in ontario swims,, then didnt want it again and woudnt participate again very sad,, as she is so sedentary,,,
  6. compassion

    compassion Member

    That is great!!! My son helped with this through his Boy Scout troop. A boy in his troop has Downs. My son although he is about on age 7 level, he complkies more than many mmore typical kids! Compassion
  7. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    I always had thoughts of signing difficult child up for some sort of event but we don't have a diagnosis yet. Plus, I wouldn't even know where to get her into the program around here. I get NISRA stuff but that costs money

    Glad he's having a fantastic time competing!
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Nancy, check it out because you still might be ale to access this without a diagnosis. All you would need (from what we've been told) is documentation of various function issues in a relevant area.

    We've been told about this in our area but difficult child 3 isn't really eligible, we've been told, because he's too bright. He's also not sporty in any way, although he likes to go for bushwalks. He's currently trying to teach himself to use a skim board, but I don't think it's a Special Olympics sport! At one stage I was interested in table tennis for the disabled; even though I walk with crutches I can still wipe the floor with many able-bodied players. I learnt in my able-bodied days playing against the many Chinese students we had enrolled at our university. You could get badly bruised just WATCHING those guys play! (An Aussie bush ballad, "The Geebung Polo Club" by Banjo Patterson, describes how "a spectator's leg was broken - just from merely looking on!")

    We got told about this by the mother of one of difficult child 3's drama classmates (and fellow "Black Balloon" cast member) - that boy plays soccer with the Special Olympics crowd.

    I endorse MWM, people - if you can remotely find some eligibility for your child, these groups can do wonders for your child's self-esteem and social skills.

  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How great that your difficult child participates and is getting so much out of it! What a great program!!
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I had no idea!

    This might be something I'll look at for difficult child 2. He is playing basketball right now and his coach is a total jerk. difficult child 2 has been in tears sometimes because he knows the coach favors some of the better players, and he has a win-at-all-costs attitude. difficult child 2 is not fast, and does not have all the skills some of the other boys have. But he wants to play and he wants to have fun. In fact, he scored tonight, made two rebounds and had some great blocks. But all the coach can do is criticize the boys for what they didn't do. No praise for what they did right.

    Anyway, difficult child said he's open to the special needs division that the league has and said he'd rather have fun and be able to play than be on a team like the one he's on now. I hate it when adults act like idiots with kids.
  11. compassion

    compassion Member

    gvcmom, My son has had much, much better luck with individual sports. We did soccer for 9 years. He currently is in martial arts, which is a much better fit for him. Fencing was also great for him. He also enjoys target shooting, scenario games . Compassion
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The Special Olympics coaches are really kind. Some sports are individualized (my son is now doing cross country) and some are team sports. For the most part, at least in our chapter, most are individual sports and you get treated like royalty during the tournaments. The kids have a blast. All skill levels are welcome, but the winners do move on to the finals. My son made the finals last year in bowling and it was tons of fun. This weekend, he's competing in Cross Country and gets to stay in a hotel and they're having a pizza party there. It doesn't cost the parents anything at all for the hotel.