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one1ai
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28 May 2010, 8:57 am

Tomorrow I'll travel to Athens, Greece by train to play Bocce in Special Olympics of Greece(it is a national Special Olympics game).
I had my doubts I would be accepted as an aspie in those games as part of my team of 4 players. I was very surprised my application was not rejected. (If it was rejected I wouldn't be disappointed at all because I'm not much of a traveler really)

Now I was accepted here, but I again doubt I would be accepted in an international special olympics game as aspie(Asperger's). Not that I see ourselves as having any chances. We only had one month of training, we all being new to the game and all our trainings except one have been done on cement(if done for real our balls would be tens of meters away from our goal).


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JerryHatake
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28 May 2010, 10:14 pm

one1ai wrote:
Tomorrow I'll travel to Athens, Greece by train to play Bocce in Special Olympics of Greece(it is a national Special Olympics game).
I had my doubts I would be accepted as an aspie in those games as part of my team of 4 players. I was very surprised my application was not rejected. (If it was rejected I wouldn't be disappointed at all because I'm not much of a traveler really)

Now I was accepted here, but I again doubt I would be accepted in an international special olympics game as aspie(Asperger's). Not that I see ourselves as having any chances. We only had one month of training, we all being new to the game and all our trainings except one have been done on cement(if done for real our balls would be tens of meters away from our goal).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Speci ... mmer_Games

^Ironic twist that Athens will host the Summer World Games^

World Games (the international level) are like hold every four years but the year before the Summer and Winter Olympics. Also its very hard to be chose to compete for World Games. I have been in Special Olympics Virginia for 12 years and have only reach the state level of competition which I am fine with though I believe I deserve a chance to compete on a higher level. At least with my internship with SOI and Project UNIFY get to see the US SO Nationals in Nebraska.

Good Luck to you and your team!


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one1ai
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03 Jun 2010, 11:43 am

We were participating in the Special Olympics Test Games. (I was not aware of that before I departed to the games)

We got gold in Bocce(4 players) and I and another one got silver(2 players) when we played as pairs. The other 2 of our team got gold in the category below us when they played as pairs.


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Thundaeagle
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09 Jun 2010, 12:57 am

I'm an aspie and I swim in both Special Olympics and mainstream competitions. I work really hard and went to the Special Olympics NZ National Summer Games in Palmerston North after only about over a year. 8O An official from Swimming NZ (the national governing body in NZ for swimming) said I had talent. That's why mum got me involved in mainstream swimming. I did really well and mamaged to keep up with the males. (I was the only female in most of my races)



JerryHatake
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27 Aug 2010, 8:05 am

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p ... 289ADDC3F6

My playlist of Special Olympics videos made by Special Olympics


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JerryHatake
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25 Jun 2011, 6:09 am

one1ai wrote:
We were participating in the Special Olympics Test Games. (I was not aware of that before I departed to the games)

We got gold in Bocce(4 players) and I and another one got silver(2 players) when we played as pairs. The other 2 of our team got gold in the category below us when they played as pairs.


Cool


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kx250rider
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26 Jun 2011, 11:00 am

I think it depends on what type of school you attend. I was in the Special Olympics in the late 1970s, because I was enrolled at a school which participated. The school had various special-needs kids, including a few like me with (yet-unnamed) Asperger's or High Functioning Autism. I honestly felt out-of-place, and at that time, I wasn't interested. It was part of the school curriculum, so there I was. I remember most of the others participating as being more disabled overall than an Aspie would be. Many were totally non-verbal, or with Down's Syndrome, etc. In the past 35 years, I'm sure things have changed a lot, so I may be way off on my thoughts that Aspies would not fit in... Not sure.

Charles



railfunny
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17 Mar 2012, 1:03 am

My mom didn't let me participate in Special Olympics as a kid because she thought it would be stigmatizing, and I just began participating as an adult, and I really like it so far. To add to what others have said, it's not really about winning and losing as much as traditional sports, although our coaches do expect us to show up for practice and work hard.

I like Special Olympics because it gives me a chance to socialize and to get some "free OT", as my motor planning skills are lagging (I still don't drive), and insurance hasn't paid for OT since I was a kid. You can still participate even if motor planning skills are good. One of our most killed players, who is mentoring me, drives a car, and I can't seem to notice a outwardly noticeable disability other than slightly hard to understand speech. I want to ask about his disability, but I have a hard time regulating myself, and often end up asking too many or invasive questions, so it's better that I don't ask, and wait for him to tell me what his disability is.

Most of the people on our team have been playing for years, and are much better at soccer than I am, although I probably appear to be less disabled to outside observers, especially since about one third of our team has Down Syndrome or some other type of outwardly visible developmental disability. This would have bothered me when I was a kid and I wanted to fit in, but as an adult, I don't really care, and neither does my team or our coaches. I really enjoy playing on a very diverse team, and also laughing about funny jokes or dance moves after practice.

My mom was worried that my participation would give my team an unfair advantage if I turn out to be a skilled player, but it won't, because Special Olympics is different. Teams compete based on ability rather than just randomly competing with nearby schools/teams, so if our team is very skilled, they will play another team that is very skilled, or if their skills are entry level, they will play another team who's skills are entry level, so that victory is always within reach for a team.

Has anyone else from the USA with Asperger's participated in Special Olympics? If so, what did you like and/or not like about it?

Thanks.



1000Knives
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17 Mar 2012, 1:36 am

I know for my sport I'm "into" now, figure skating, there's Special Olympic events for that sometimes, but I would NOT participate in it, simply because I don't feel I'm handicapped enough by my NVLD (which has spatial issues) and/or Aspergers to do it. I feel like I'd be slapping people much more handicapped than me in the face if I were to compete like that. Part of the reason I say this is, I have a sister with spinabifida, so she has pretty severe physical disabilities, and brain damage, and she competed in the "special" baseball leagues and whatnot as a kid, and I got to help out with those leagues and stuff, so I know firsthand how unfair it'd be if I played in them, having played in regular Little League at the time.

Besides, in this sport, and many others I pursue, my NVLD/Aspergers really I think works to my advantage, it gives me some nice divergent thinking and makes any research about the sport totally natural.

That said, I'd like to point out two Aspergers/HFA figure skaters, one competes in the special Olympics, and one competes/performs in the regular venues. Sometimes things might take a little longer for me to learn or whatever, but overall, not a big deal.

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/mal ... _hall.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/0 ... ite=sydney



railfunny
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18 Mar 2012, 2:18 pm

I guess whether or not Special Olympics is a good fit or not depends on the particular person on the spectrum and his or her preferences, needs, and abilities.

Here in the USA, person's with a disability which is primarily physical, such as CP or spinal bifida, usually doesn't participate in Special Olympics, but in the Paralympics instead.

Besides Special Olympics, there's private non-profit programs. The adaptive ski program I'm learning to ski from works with people with all types of disabilities, not only developmental and physical, but also sensory (deaf and blind).

My personal opinion is that trying to determine who is more disabled or has a harder life is a false dichotomy, as is trying to label autistics as low or high functioning. While my IQ is above average, and I understand social rules from an academic standpoint, my psychologist rates my social-emotional functioning at the level of a 7 to 10-year-old, which isn't apparent to strangers, but is something that co-workers and others are aware of. This might be part of why I don't feel out of place in Special Olympics, because I have more fun talking to others about TV shows on Disney Channel than new cars or whether or not someone "scored" with a date. It's not something "wrong" with me, it's just where I am developmentally, and I'm moving forward, even if it's at a slow pace compared to typical peers.

I'm also not supposed to drink alcohol because of all the meds I take, and this was hard when I bowled with co-workers who offered to buy me drinks, but with Special Olympics, most of the other Athletes aren't supposed to drink either, so this isn't a problem. Transportation also isn't a problem (I don't drive), as practices are scheduled at a location accessible by city bus, and our coach helps to arrange carpools to competitions.

I don't feel out of place in Special Olympics, although I thought I might before I started. I did feel some hesitation about receiving "assistance" when I'm gainfully employed (a couple of other athletes on my team are also employed), but I alleviated my concerns by asking what the approximate cost per athlete was and fund raising approximately that amount. That's just a personal decision though, and I'm not suggesting that others should or should not do the same.

Special Olympics isn't just for people who can't participate in "typical sports", although perhaps it might be inappropriate for those who have already completed a typical sports program such as Little League. A couple of our athletes have been playing for many years and could likely do well in our typical parks and recreation teams, and are employed as Special Education Paraeducators, but enjoy being athletes on our Special Olympics teams as athletes, and mentors to new athletes. I'm thankful that where I live, individuals are allowed to exercise their right to self determination to decide where they they feel they best fit rather than having a bureaucracy tell them where they are supposed to fit.

Thanks for the links to the videos of figure skating. This is something that I also want to do, and was only recently added to the list of sports offered by Special Olympics in the USA.



MacGyverAspie
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06 Jan 2013, 5:34 pm

I am a coach in the Special Olympics, I coach athletes with all sorts of disabilities, I am not aware of any aspie athletes but I'm an aspie coach. I used to compete back in the late 90's as an athlete but stopped doing it. In 2008, I started coaching and I'm well liked on my team here in CT.



itzybitzyspyder
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14 Feb 2013, 1:57 am

I may come off as cocky, but I feel that my being AS makes me better than NTs. I'm fit and active as well as intellectually superior. Socializing isn't as important to me as gaining skillsets and accumulating knowledge or more important than my being physically fit. I could beat the average NT in ANY arena...except speed-dating! Unless you count getting dumped in record time as speed dating.



Mukherjee80
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23 Feb 2013, 7:12 am

Intellectually disabled athletes were briefly banned from the Paralympics after the Spanish basketball team controversy.

According to the BBC:

Quote:
It was only in 2009 that a rigorous new system for verifying intellectually disability was approved, allowing this category of Paralympians to be reinstated in time for 2012.

In London they will be competing in three sports:

Athletics - long jump, shot put, 1500m (sport class T/F 20)
Swimming - 200m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke (sport class 14)
Table tennis (sport class 11)
All competitors in these sport classes have to fulfil the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of intellectual disability:

An IQ below 75
Impairment in adaptive functioning - for example, social, domestic and communication skills
The disability must have occurred before the age of 18

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19371031



Also, I have heard that Asperger's Syndrome can hinder a person's motor co-ordination, regardless of their IQ.

Even so, I think the inclusion of athletes with Asperger's Syndrome in the Paralympics will remain a bit controversial.



Z35TYL3M0N
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26 Mar 2013, 1:31 am

We're welcome at the regular Olympics if we qualify... Set your sights a bit higher guys.



TheRedPedant93
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01 May 2013, 5:40 pm

I understand the stereotypical notion that only individuals with intellectual disabilities are obligated to participate (including those who are physically handicapped), but I'm a bit ambivalent over the fact that several individuals with Asperger's syndrome and HFA are deemed eligible to apply for training as an athlete in the Special Olympics, even though it clearly states on several of the Special Olympics websites that they're not because they don't generally fulfill the criterion for having intellectual disabilities, or to be more precisional, an IQ less than 75 (Borderline mental retardation). Borderline intellectual impairment is not a requisite for a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, although their level of adaptive skills may be of tremendous variance.

What if I am not eligible to become a Special Olympics athlete?
"If your IQ is above 75 and/or you have an intellectual (learning) difficulty (i.e. dyslexia or Asperger's Syndrome) you can still be part of the Special Olympics Movement. You can become a Unified Partner of Sport or a volunteer for your local club."

http://www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk/faq/

My son has Asperger's Syndrome - is he eligible to participate in Special Olympics?

Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome generally do not qualify for Special Olympics for two reasons:

There is no intellectual delay associated with Asperger's Syndrome

"While individuals with Asperger's Syndrome may lack social and practical intelligence, they typically do not lack the conceptual intelligence associated with academic learning and general life functioning. In order to qualify for Special Olympics, an individual must have substantial deficits in conceptual, practical and social intelligence."

http://www.specialolympicswisconsin.org ... e_faq.html

I find it very contradictory, misleading, and ambiguous to me, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some aspies felt "out of place" while competing with the intellectually and developmentally disabled, many of whom are non-verbal and whose developmental disabilities are outwardly conspicuous like Down's, Angelman's, and Fragile X syndrome. As some intellectually disabled people are mute, they rely on nonverbal communication to signify wordless messages to others, and individuals with Asperger's syndrome are often devoid of the ability to interpret these cues. The participation of someone with AS may actually give their intellectually disabled opponents an unfair advantage, especially if he/she was a highly proficient and skillful player, unless the structure of the teams competing were based on sports ability rather than randomly distributing athletes regardless of one's physical ability.

Some with Asperger's syndrome or HFA may be actually content with playing against them, as their level of social comprehension may be near equivalent to their developmentally disabled opponents, which is why they'd find it easier to interact and verbally communicate with in comparison with normal people, especially if they worked for a developmental disability proponency group, for example. People who have severe physical disabilities such as brain injuries, cerebral palsy or spina bifida who are not classified as mentally handicapped would usually participate in the Paralympics, rather than the Special Olympics. Not all individuals with developmental disabilities fit the conventional, intellectually disabled stereotype; nonetheless, a person with Asperger's syndrome + a physical disability may qualify for both events supposedly.
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Diagnosed with "Classical" Asperger's syndrome in 1998 (Clinical psychologist).
Alexithymia Questionnaire Score: 158/185
Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R): 231/240
Aspie score: 186 out of 200
Neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 12 out of 200
AQ: 48/50 EQ: 9/80