"Special Olympics gives opportunities to everyone, it brings families together and it is not about what a child with intellectual disabilities can’t do but about what he or she can do"
Family Member


Families with members who have an intellectual (learning) disability are like other families; however, having a family member with special needs can sometimes introduce new and different challenges for families. Getting involved with Special Olympics gives families a chance to meet other families who have undergone similar challenges.

A large amount of people with intellectual disabilities live in care homes or do not have any relatives closer, so we welcome also the closest friends of our athletes to meet and forge relationship with families.

A network of Support and Welcome

Our 150 clubs around the country offer a network that connects experienced or “veteran” Special Olympics family members and friends with families and friends new to Special Olympics, so they can provide support and information in a critical time of need.

Our Family and Friends Network create opportunities to

  • Match with families to share ideas, issues and common interests
  • Volunteer in their loved one's sport training sessions and competitions
  • Encourage new families and friends of people with intellectual disabilities to join Special Olympics, and
  • Become advocates for the Special Olympics movement