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Special Olympics Texas. Who do we serve?. The Spirit of Special Olympics. “ Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” --Athlete Oath. Special Olympics Mission.

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Special olympics texas

Special Olympics Texas

Who do we serve?

The spirit of special olympics

The Spirit of Special Olympics

“Let me win,

but if I cannot win,

let me be brave in the attempt.”

--Athlete Oath

Special olympics mission
Special Olympics Mission

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes and the community.

Special olympics texas vision
Special Olympics Texas Vision:

To become the premier provider of Special Olympics training and competition in the world. We approach each endeavor with a single intent – to improve the quality of life for our athletes. The challenges of the future are embraced with enthusiasm and commitment, ensuring that the changing face and needs of our athletes are met.

How do the athletes qualify
How do the Athletes qualify?

  • Eligibility is limited to people who have closely related developmental disabilities such as those who have functional limitations, both in general learning and in adaptive skills such as recreation, work, independent living, self direction or self care or…

  • Down Syndrome, or….

  • Mental Retardation, or….

  • Developmental Delay, or…

  • Cerebral Palsy, or….

  • Autism, PDD, or…..

  • Many other types of syndromes, the bond with all of the athletes is the closely related developmental disability or intellectual disability.

What is down syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is the most common and readily

identifiable chromosomal condition associated with mental retardation. Caused by a chromosomal abnormality: for some unexplained reason, an accident in cell development results in 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46 chromosomes.

Down syndrome
Down Syndrome


  • Approximately 4, 000 children with Down syndrome are born in the U.S. each year or about 1 in every 800 to 1,000 births.

  • Parents of any age may have a child with Down syndrome, the incidence is higher for women over 35.

  • Most common forms of Down syndrome do not usually occur more than once in a family.

Down syndrome1
Down Syndrome


  • Over 50 clinical signs of Down Syndrome

  • Most Common characteristics include:

    • Poor muscle tone

    • Slanting eyes

    • Hyperflexibility

    • Short, broad hands with a single crease across the palm in one or both hands.

    • Broad feet with short toes.

    • Short, low set-set ears;

    • Small head

Down syndrome2
Down Syndrome

Individuals with Down syndrome are usually smaller than their nondisabled peers, and their physical as well as intellectual development is slower.

Some also may have a condition know as Atlantoaxial Instability, a misalignment of the top two vertebrae of the neck. This condition makes these individuals more prone to injury if they participate in activities which overextend or flex the neck.

Individuals with Down Syndrome may have a tendency to become obese as they grow older.

Mental retardation
Mental Retardation

  • Mental retardation is a term used when a person has certain limitation in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of themselves, and social skills.

  • Individuals with Mental retardation may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating.

  • They are more likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer.

  • There may be some things they cannot learn.

Mental retardation what are the causes
Mental Retardation –What are the causes?

  • Most Common are:

  • Genetic conditions. Abnormal genes inherited from parents, errors when genes combine, or other reasons.

  • Problems during pregnancy. Baby does not develop properly.

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or mother gets an infection during pregnancy e.g.. Rubella.

Mental retardation what causes continues
Mental Retardation – What Causes continues.

  • Problems at birth, getting enough oxygen

  • Diseases, extreme malnutrition, lack of prenatal care, exposure to poisons.

  • Mental retardation is not a disease, One cannot catch mental retardation. It is not a type of mental illness, like depression. There is no cure for mental retardation, however most individuals can learn to do many things, it just takes them more time and effort that other children.

Mental retardation how diagnosed
Mental Retardation – How diagnosed?

Mental retardation is diagnosed by looking at two main things. There are:

  • The ability of a person’s brain to learn, think, solve problems, and make sense of the work – IQ or intellectual functioning

  • Whether the person has the skills he or she needs to live independently

  • called adaptive behavior

  • or adaptive functioning.

Mental retardation how diagnosed1
Mental Retardation – How diagnosed?

Intellectual functioning:

  • TEA standards measure IQ’s of 70 and below has having some form of mental retardation.

    Adaptive functioning:

  • daily living skills, such as getting dressed, going to the restroom, feeding one’s self.

  • Communication skills, such as understanding

    what is said and being able to answer.

  • Social skills with peers, family

    members adults and others.

How common is mental retardation
How Common is Mental Retardation?

  • As many as 3 out of every 100 people in the country have mental retardation.

  • Nearly 613,000 children ages 6 to 21 have some level of mental retardation and special education needs.

What are the signs
What are the signs?

There are many signs, for example, children with mental retardation may:

  • Sit up, crawl, or walk later than other children

  • Learn to talk later, or have trouble speaking.

  • Find it hard to remember things.

  • Have trouble understanding social rules.

  • Have trouble seeing consequences of their actions.

  • Have trouble thinking logically.

Autism pervasive developmental disorder
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder

What is Autism/PDD?

Is a neurological disorder that affects a child’ ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others.

The different diagnostic terms that fall within the broad meaning of PDD include:

  • Autistic Disorder

  • Asperger's Disorder

  • Rett’s Disorder

  • Childhood disintegrative disorder

  • Perasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specificed.

Autism pervasive developmental disorder1
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Autism is one of the disabilities specifically defined in the

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

Autism pervasive developmental disorder how common
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder – How common?

  • Information from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Center for Disease Control Prevention indicates that between 1 in 150 individuals have some form of Autism.

  • They are four times more common in boys

  • Rett’s Disorder has only been reported and diagnosed in girls.

Autism pervasive developmental disorder cause
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Cause

The causes of Autism or PDD are unknown.

Currently researchers are investing areas such as brain development, structure, genetic factors and biochemical imbalance in the brain as possible causes.

These disorders are not caused by psychological factors.

Autism pervasive developmental disorder signs of
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Signs of…

Some or all of the following characteristics may be observed in mild to severe forms:

Communication problems (e.g. using and understanding language).

  • Difficulty relating to people, objects, and events

  • Unusual play with toys and other objects

  • Difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings; and

  • Repetitive body movements or behavior patterns

Autism pervasive developmental disorder2
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder

  • Individuals with Autism\PDD vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviors. Some individuals do not speak; others have language that often includes repeated phrases or conversations.

  • Individuals with more advanced language skills tend to use a small range of topics and have difficulty with abstract concepts.

  • Repetitive play skills, a limited range of interests, and impaired social skills are

    generally evident as well.

Autism pervasive developmental disorder3
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder

  • Unusual responses to sensory information—for example, loud noises, lights, certain textures of food or fabrics—are also common.

How can i make a difference
How can I make a difference…..

The vast majority of citizens with intellectual

disabilities can live productive and independent lives,

having the same needs, wants and aspirations as you

and me. A disability is just a small part of a human being's life and the person with intellectual disabilities has the potential to be successful in all aspects of life.

Guidelines to assist you in being successful
Guidelines to assist you in being successful

The following brief suggestions are meant to help you and the athletes

you meet feel more comfortable in your interactions.

  • Remember, people with special needs and people without special needs are more alike than different. If you are unsure how to respond to a person with special needs, ask yourself how you would want someone to treat you. If you follow through, you can’t go wrong.

  • Be yourself. Use your normal voice and give support but try not to over praise.

  • Both children and adults compete in Special Olympics events. Remember that an adult Special Olympics athlete is an adult.

  • Enjoy your interactions with the athletes as you go about your volunteer duties but don't be afraid to ask coaches or another volunteer for help if you see a problem occurring.

More success
More Success….

  • Encouraging pats on the back or handshakes are often the preferred way of praising athletes for their accomplishments.

  • Get to know the athletes.

  • Appropriate behavior and sportsmanship are two skills emphasized in Special Olympics training.

  • As a volunteer, you will want to do everything you can to respect the dignity of the athletes that you will meet.

  • Remember the Athletes could not have their “moment in the spotlight” without YOU!

Special olympics texas athlete numbers

Special Olympics Texas Athlete Numbers

  • At the end of 2004 - 23,885

  • At the end of 2005 - 24,675

  • At the end of 2007 – 27,610

  • At the end of 2008 – 32,240

Who can participate in special olympics

Who Can Participate In Special Olympics?

Athletes must

Athletes Must: Special Olympics?

Be 8 years or older to compete in local/area competition. 12 years or older to compete in a chapter competition. *

Have been identified as having an intellectual disability or a closely related developmental disability.

(*may begin to train from 2-7 years of age via the

Young Athletes™ Program)

A place for everyone

A Special Olympics?PlaceFor EVERYONE!

  • Foundational Skills

  • Walking & Running

  • Balance & Jumping

  • Trapping & Catching

  • Throwing

  • Striking

  • Kicking

  • Advanced Skills

Motor activities training program

Motor Activities Training Program Special Olympics?

  • Motor Activities Training Program

  • (MATP)

  • Comprehensive motor activities and recreation


  • for individuals with severe disabilities.

Special olympics benefits the athletes
Special Olympics Benefits The Athletes Special Olympics?

  • Perform better in school, enjoy stronger family relationships, make more friends and are more prepared to live and work in their communities than their peers who are not involved in Special Olympics (according to a Yale University study.)

  • Fifty-two percent of Special Olympics athletes become employed, compared to only ten percent of individuals with intellectual disabilities who do not participate in Special Olympics


Volunteerism Special Olympics?

Special olympics
Special Olympics… Special Olympics?

  • Provides life changing experiences for EVERYONE involved.

  • Brings together a wide range of people.

  • Empowers children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

  • Helps create a better society.

2009 bowling
2009 Bowling Special Olympics?

December 4 - 5, 2009

Copperfield Bowling Center

15615 Glen Chase Drive

Houston, TX 77095

  • 615 Athletes Competing

  • 75 Coaches

  • 250 Family Members

  • 750 Spectators

  • 750 Event Volunteers

Special olympics texas

Be A Part of the Movement that is Changing Lives! Special Olympics?

Additional information can be found at www.nichcy.org

800.876.JOIN (5646)