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Teens and college students are the future leaders of Special Olympics.
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Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
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Newsletter: Sign up and get inspiring stories!
Make A Gift, Change A Life
By Lillian Chaparro
People from this very day do not realize that using the r-word is very hurtful to us.
I got a second place here in Rochester, NY at the bowling tournament and I thought that was great.
Special Olympics is excited to announce our partnership with the Jr. NBA. The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour is the league’s youth basketball participation program that teaches the fundamentals and values of the game at the grassroots level to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for all.
Thrown to the Ground
I have a deformed face, as people say. I was not born like that, but my face became like that when I was 11. I am now 14. I also have a leg disorder. Bullies pick me up, throw me to the ground, take my money.
Neal J. Johnson
Play Unified, a 2-year-old filly owned by Bona Venture Stables won her first start ever going wire to wire in the sixth race this past Sunday at the famed Saratoga Race Course. There's a great horse-racing back story:
I have autism. I repeat myself a lot and I don't look at people when I'm upset and not talk to them. I get upset when people use the r-word.
Carol H. Jewell
My sister-in-law, Heidi, has Down Syndrome. And she also has a fabulous, quick, sense of humor, can "run" the tv themesongs category in "Jeopardy," and loves the Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I love her very much.
I want to thank everyone who taking the pledge and supporting this movement. Remember: Be the difference that makes the difference.
I have no patience with the ignorant people. I raised my children to love my nephew and be patient with him and people like him. If only everyone felt that way.
The mother of Cameron and Connor
Today I took the boys to the park, and on my way I saw a bunch of kids, possibly 100. They were talking loudly, laughing, and walking to the park. As Connor pushed Cameron's wheelchair, I walked by them.
When he was born the doctor told my grandmother that they should not see the baby. It would be better for her to just think of him as if he had died. My great grandmother pushed the doctor on his butt and told him he better get us that baby right NOW!!
Being secretly autistic and being called the r word is extremely hard and scaring. But having someone to support you and have your back through it can help so much.
I work at an ARC home and started a small basketball game for a few of the houses before I found out about special olympics in our area. I got a few of the guys from my house interested and one of the women just went to watch.
As an athlete of Special Olympics I've learned that moms everywhere are a blessing to all of us. They're role models and make sacrifices for us every day.
I am 13 years old and in 1st grade, I had a kid in my class with Down syndrome and ever since I have been volunteering in the special education classes at my school...the r-word is horrible and to me it is considered a curse word
I am getting ready for the regional tournament on Saturday for swimming, and I know if I put my mind to it, I can do what I want to do. I compete in the water here in Rochester, NY, and the swimming tournament is this Saturday. It's also where I live, OK.
I grew up with my uncle who had Down syndrome & my brother Jon who developed cerebral palsy shortly after birth. This was the 1960's, so Jon ended up in an institution at age 4.
I remember I use to be a peer mediator who helps children and your classmates who are sad, crying or not being their usual. So one day this girl was crying and she said she was getting bullied.
Okay, this isn't a story. But if you are having a hard day or if someone you know is, read this.
Look, lots of people don't understand why the r word is wrong, and say that America is a free country and blah blah blah. I understand what they are saying. I get that.
I stopped using the 'r' word 2 years ago, when my two little brothers were diagnosed with Autism. The 'r' word actually has a meaning, it's not something that should be used to make fun of others.
I am blind, I have challenges...I have heard the R-word before. I told them not to use it. There was a staff before who used the word. I told his mother that her son used that word. The word is not appropriate. Don't pick up that word from other people. It's frustrating. It's a bad curse word.
I would like to go to Summer State Games, and next year I want to go to World Games. I have never been there at all. Now also, OK, and this is something I really want there right now. By the way, this is important too for my coaches.
I can't bend my legs. I am blessed to still be able to walk (but hardly), but I have to take the elevator at my school as I cannot climb stairs. At my school, only students with medical needs and all adults may take the elevator.
it was a wonderful time we had time to spend with your family and you helping make awareness of down syndrome and you got to meet new people and make new friends that will last a lifetime.
The other day I was walking home from physical therapy, when I saw these teenagers leaning against a wall, smoking and drinking. I kept walking past. They all started cracking up and chanting, "Retardo!!"
I admired Special Olympics because the athletes learn how to be themselves and have fun with other people around them .I may have autism and I am not ashamed to admit it!
Our son has autism and it hasnt been easy for him in school with making friends or being understood i hate the R word and my other children aren't allowed to say it.
Hi. My name is Jill ... I was born at 24 weeks and I weighed 1 pound and 10 ounces. I died for a second and I had heart surgery and they were able to bring me back.
I have participated in Special Olympics since age 8. I was born in 1979 and my parents thought they had a healthy beautiful girl which was the case until I started school. That is when they discovered that I was different but they didn't love me any less.
Dennis L. Page
When I had my first date with my wife I brought her flowers. Her brother who had Down syndrome answered the door excitedly. Little did I know it was his birthday and how much he loved flowers.
Whenever I hear someone use the R-word I show that person a picture of my son and tell them how proud I am of him, and how well he's doing at school, and how words affect how people perceive my son.
I would like to go to Brockport for swimming and then sometime to the World Games. I am working really hard and no one is giving me the credit to be able to do this. Also, OK, and I would like to get to the national Games. I am a strong swimmer and I have some great trainers that are working with me in the gym.
Mrs. Fanning's class in NY
We don't like the R word because it offends us. We have people we know that are mentally challenged. A girlfriend's brother has learning disabilities. They pick on her brother and call him the R word. It offends my teacher Mrs. Fanning because of her older sister was mentally challenged.
The news stations in Rochester, NY are doing their part to Spread the Word to End the Word.
I am a disabled person and whenever someone calls me the r word it hurts my feelings very badly i get tired of being called that word just because i am disabled doesn't mean i am the word i am still very smart
Okay, I admit it. I have beaten someone up because of the r word. After this person said it, I simply said, "Please use a different word. That is not a very nice word."
I am a player of clash of clans. One day I was bored, waiting for something to finish upgrading. I decided to join a bunch of clans called the r word. I joined them, and sent two messages.
I have Osgood Schlatter Disease. This isn't a disability, it just means that I can't bend my knees. The people in my grade are very good about it; they have known me for a long time and do not mind. The only thing they do is call me "stick leg".
I do not know anyone who has disabilities, yet I get upset when I hear the r word or when someone jokes about having a twisted brain. I do not know why I feel this way.
Doris Priest/ Gregory
I gave birth to an awesome son fourteen yrs ago with Downs!! He is a smart young man!! He has been a blessing to our family!! The most loving person you will ever meet!! He just wants to be like any other teen in this world!! As we treat him as such!!! We couldnt love him more!!
When I was 11 years old, I had been told by my parents that I had PDD-NOS. After learning about that, I got thinking about the many things I did and said that made me be considered autistic.
I want to say thank you very much for everything for Special Olympics and I love to traverl all over the state in New York, and I am always happy to be part of Special Olypmpics summer games and winter games. I have done Special Olympics for 24 years. I am happy for that.