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May 20, 2014 | North America: Washington

Let's Get Involved

By Rori Roddick

I am very thankful for Special Olympics. My son Christopher, who has autism and does Special Olympics sports, had to take five years off due to a surgery on his hip. 

This year, 2014, is the first year he has gotten back into this program. He was offered a place in the high school soccer team with the kids with special needs or the Special Olympics unified soccer team from his school. He did not think twice. He said, "I need a challenge," and took the unified team. 

Man, it has been fun all the games we have done. I am sorry to see it end. He's shy and doesn't talk to people, but he feels like people on his Unified Team get him. He has made friendships he would not have made before because the unified team is made up of Special Olympics athletes and other kids from his high school. 

Over the years, Christopher has participated in Special Olympics bowling, basketball,soccer, and softball. We got back into Special Olympics due to a good friend of mine whom also had kids with the same diagnosis as my son. I wish I knew about this when i was in school. I would have done Special Olympics myself. When I left school, though, I did volunteer for a while with the older adults in Special Olympics. I used to take my son when I had him to all the practices I could till he got older. I just want to say this is such a great community and support. Thank you.

About Rori Roddick: I am a mother of a child with a diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder. I also myself have disabilities. All I can say is this is such a great program. I feel that people with disabilities or not should check into Special Olympics Unified Sports.
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