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Community Impact

A Father's Encouragement and a Son's Determination

Father and son facing one another and balancing on one foot

Mohammed bin Abul Aziz was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder four years ago, and today his condition is ever-evolving due to his father’s continual efforts to encourage him to go through regular health assessments and be a part of Special Olympics Oman.

Mohammed has developed an interest and strong passion for cycling, swimming and bowling. Although he hasn’t participated in any competitions in these sports just yet, he is enthusiastic and ready to showcase his talents in upcoming games, competitions and tournaments.

The beauty of this story lies in Mr. Abul Aziz’s, Mohammed’s father’s, unwavering enthusiasm as he encouraged his son to participate in physical fitness assessments. Mohammed was hesitant at the beginning as he was not used to interacting with people without intellectual disabilities, outside his family. Through his father’s support, he bravely took the steps to start his Special Olympics health journey.

The assessments began with the FUNfitness discipline, followed by a Fit Feet screening. Upon the completion of the screening, Mr. Abul was immensely proud of his son’s participation and stepping outside his comfort zone to better his health. The event's significance lies in providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to engage in physical activities and receive essential healthcare services.

Special Olympics shares the importance of inclusive healthcare:

Father and son on bikes

“Inclusive health means people with ID are able to take full advantage of the same health programs and services available to people who do not have ID. Currently, people with ID face significant challenges in accessing quality health care and obtaining opportunities that promote fitness and wellness, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy. Special Olympics’ health programming focuses on improving the physical and social-emotional well-being of people with ID by increasing inclusion in health care, wellness and health systems for Special Olympics athletes and others with ID.”

This story serves as a testament to the power of parental support and the determination of individuals with disabilities to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. It highlights the importance of creating inclusive spaces that foster participation and promote well-being for all.

Mohammed and his father are always looking forward to participating in the next screenings as it not only provides a fun bonding time with father-son, but they also witness the improvements of Mohammed health during the assessments.

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