Program OverviewThe Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® programwas developed in 1996. This program is designed tohelp Special Olympics athletes improve their healthand fitness, leading to enhanced sports experienceand improved well-being. Its ultimate aim is toimprove each athletes ability to train and compete inSpecial Olympics as well as succeed in life!
Special Olympics Healthy Athlete s initiative consists ofSeven disciplines: Fit Feet (currently offered by SOSD) FUNfitness (currently offered by SOSD) Healthy Hearing (currently offered by SOSD) Special Smiles (currently offered by SOSD) Health Promotion Medfest Opening Eyes
Many Special Olympics athletes suffer from foot andankle pain or deformities that impair their performance.Also, athletes are not always fitted with the best shoesand socks for their particular sport. During a Fit Feetassessment, volunteer health care professionals screenathletes feet and ankles for deformities, and also checkfor proper shoes and socks.Clinician Requirements: Doctor of Pediatric Medicine
FUNfitness is the comprehensive physicaltherapy component of the SpecialOlympics Healthy Athletes initiative.FUNfitness is designed to Assess andimprove flexibility, functional strength andbalance; to educate participants, familiesand coaches about the importance offlexibility, strength and balance; and toprovide a hands-on opportunity forparticipants to learn aboutphysical therapy.Clinician Requirements: Licensed PhysicalTherapist
The purpose of Healthy Hearing is to screen thehearing of athletes and notify athletes and theircoaches if follow-up care is needed. Healthy Hearingvenues may also provide corrective (hearing aids)and preventative (custom swim earplugs) serviceswhere possible, and study the prevalence of hearingloss in athletes competing in Special Olympics events.Clinician Requirements: Audiologist or SpeechLanguage Pathologist.
Special Olympics Special Smiles is oneof the core components of the SpecialOlympics Healthy Athletes initiative,created to focus attention on the overallhealth issues facing Special Olympicsathletes. The mission of Special Smiles isto increase access to dental care forSpecial Olympics athletes, as well as allpeople with intellectual disabilities. Theathletes are provided with hygieneeducation to help ensure they are doingan adequate job of brushing and flossing,as well as nutritional education tounderstand how their diet affects theirtotal health.Clinician Requirements: Licensed Dentistor Dental Hygienist
Perhaps the basis of all components of Special OlympicsHealthy Athletes, Health Promotion seeks to find the best waysto convey and reinforce key concepts and information to peoplewith intellectual disabilities. Health Promotion venues empowerand motivate athletes to make healthy lifestyle choices that willimprove their long-term health by using interactive educationalgames and literature. Athletes are offered guides for healthyeating, sun safety, smoking cessation, lifestyle choices and funways to increase physical fitness.Clinician Requirements: Dietician, Physician, Nurse, PT, HealthEducator
MedFest is a screening program that facilitates theRequired standard sports physical examination forcurrent and prospective Special Olympics athletes.Clinician Requirements: Medical Doctor, Physician
The mission of Special Olympics - Lions Clubs International OpeningEyes is to improve the quality of life for the millions of individualsdiagnosed with intellectual disabilities by optimizing their vision, eyehealth and visual skills through quality eye care.Under the Opening Eyes program, extensive vision screenings areconducted. Athletes are then provided with free prescription eyeglasses, sport wear glasses and sunglasses as warranted.Clinician Requirements: Vision Care Professional, LicensedOptometrist or Ophthalmologist
Summary of State Summer Games Recommendations for follow- (May, 2012) Assessments up care range from low cardiac # of athletes # of referrals tolerance to suspected hearing Discipline assessed for aftercare loss.FUNfitness 95 10Healthy Hearing 97 11Special Smiles 88 1
If you, or you know of anyone who fits these requirements and isinterested in becoming a Healthy Athlete clinician, please contact us! Fit Feet - Clinician Requirements: Doctor of Pediatric Medicine FUNfitness - Clinician Requirements: Licensed Physical Therapist Healthy Hearing - Clinician Requirements: Audiologist or Speech Language Pathologist. Special Smiles - Clinician Requirements: Licensed Dentist or Dental Hygienist Health Promotion - Clinician Requirements: Dietician, Physician, Nurse, PT, Health Educator MedFest - Clinician Requirements: Medical Doctor, Physician Opening Eyes - Clinician Requirements: Vision Care Professional, Licensed Optometrist or Ophthalmologist
Contact Us:Attn: Johna Thum800 E. I-90 LaneSioux Falls, SD 57104