US Paralympics and Special Olympics are two great organizations that have a huge impact in the lives of the individuals with whom their programs work. There are differences in their target populations as well as in their primary missions.
Adaptive Sports (governed at the national level through bodies associated with the United States Olympic Committee/US Paralympics) are for individuals of all ages with a primary physical disability. The focus is on skill and performance development, starting at a beginner level and working to as high as international competition. Synergy Adaptive Athletics works hand-in-hand with many of our national programs and even has athletes who represent our country in competitions abroad – including the Paralympic Games. Diagnoses may include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, visual impairment, spina bifida, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, amputations, limb length discrepancy, dwarfism, Traumatic Brain Injury and many other less defined orthopedic conditions.
Special Olympics is for individuals of all ages, primarily with intellectual disabilities. In fact, Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. The focus of Special Olympics is 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. Common diagnoses include: Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Apert Syndrome and others.
If you or your child have a dual diagnosis and are unsure of which programs might be the best fit, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss how we might best serve you.