A Network of Support and Welcome

Families with members who have intellectual disabilities are like other families; however, having a family member with special needs can sometimes introduce new and different challenges for families in their everyday lives.


Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver (center) with Family Leaders

Creating Opportunities

The Family Support Network connects Special Olympics families with new families of an individual with intellectual disabilities and provides support and information in a critical time of need.

The Family Support Network creates opportunities for family members to:

  •  Become advocates for the Special Olympics movement; 
  •  Match families to share ideas, issues and common interests; 
  •  Volunteer in their loved one's athletic training; and 
  •  Encourage new families to join Special Olympics. 

Thanks to the support of Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation, Special Olympics is able to offer grants to support the development of Family Support Networks and Family Support Network events.

Family Support Network Resources

If you are interested in starting a Family Support Network, contact your local Special Olympics Program for information on available grants. The Program will then work with you and Special Olympics regional staff to complete and submit a Family Support Network Grant Application to Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, DC (USA).

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Special Olympics Blog

Suneedhi: a Girl, a Clinic, a Dream

For a dental surgeon such as myself, screening was just the first step! i felt we needed to go beyond examinations to ensuring people with intellectual disability got any treatment that they needed. I felt I could help more. read more »

Posted on 2014-09-22 by Lynn

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