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'I love Special Olympics' programme

phoebemonkey's picture

'I love Special Olympics' programme

Fri 20 Jul 2012 10:02am

Anyone else watch the 'I love special Olympics' programme that was on BBC3 last night? I found it interesting, but it was more just telling the story of 4 people than showing much about the special Olympics. 

There was something that puzzled me though... the special Olympics are only for those who have learning disabilities (autistic people can take part, but only if they also have a learning disability). However one of the people they focused on was described as having Asperger's Syndrome. His parents were also interviewed and said he'd developed normally. So why was he in the special Olympics? You specifically cannot be diagnosed with Asperger's if you have a learning disability. Plus it even says on the special Olympics website that people with Asperger's aren't eligible to take part! *confused*

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  • fixmatop's picture

    Hi   I never watched the programme, but i know many people who have learning disabilities and aspergers syndrome, actually I have two very close friend with diagnosis, I have heard it is less likely but never heard that it is impossible to be diagnosed with both.  

    Kim - Community Champion
  • phoebemonkey's picture

    It's actually in the diagnostic criteria for Asperger's - you cannot be diagnosed if you had a delay in the development of language before the age of 3 (ie speaking at right time) or if you have an IQ lower than 70 (learning disability). In those cases you should be diagnosed with either autism or atypical autism/PDD NOS.  It's perfectly possible to have other co-morbid things such as learning difficulties (eg dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD etc), medical conditions or mental health conditions, but not a learning disability. 

  • JosieB's picture


    I didnt watch the programme either but I would have thought that dyslexia was "a learning disability" in that it affects the ability to learn and that can be diagnosed along with Aspergers.

    Josie - Community Champion
  • phoebemonkey's picture

    Dyslexia (along with dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD etc) is classed as a 'specific learning difficulty'... strictly speaking a 'learning disability' only means an IQ lower than 70. It even says that on the special Olympics website, which is why I'm confused! 

  • michaelz's picture

    here's the link for anyone who wants to watch it -

    As London 2012 gets under way, the Paralympic games are moving centre stage. But almost unknown to the millions who will watch the 2012 Olympics there is a third Olympic movement.

    The Special Olympics is for people with learning difficulties, and for the athletes, just taking part is a major achievement. This film follows a dancer with Down's syndrome, a judo fighter with autism, a bowler who has brain damage and a basketball player with Asperger's syndrome.

    As they prepare for the games, held in Leicester in 2009, they overcome their difficulties to compete on a world stage.


  • michaelz's picture

    special olympics in sheffield - free to attend all this week until 12th august.

    now includes all shades of autism - according to a spokesman i heard on the radio yesterday.


  • SherpaMum's picture

    It does. I know someone with ASD who is competing smiley

  • CharlotteL's picture

    Oh that's really exciting! Smile 


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