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ERIC Number: EJ1078116
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
Young Athletes: A Special Olympics Motor Skill Development Program
Favazza, Paddy C.; Siperstein, Gary N.
State Education Standard, v13 n1 p28-33 Aug 2013
While motor skills develop naturally among most typically developing preschoolers, young children with disabilities often experience deficits in this area. Therefore, it is important that children with disabilities are provided with "direct and intentional instruction" for motor skill development during the preschool years. One program that may address the need for motor skill development in preschoolers is Young Athletes. Young Athletes (YA) is an innovative motor play program designed to improve young children's motor skills and to introduce children with intellectual disabilities to the world of sports at an early age. The program was created by Special Olympics New Jersey in consultation with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to promote the motor, social, and cognitive development in children ages 2½ to 7 through physical activities and play, with an emphasis on sports skill development. In addition, Young Athletes was developed to serve as an introduction for new families to Special Olympics and to encourage and support parents and families. In the current reality of today's education system, there is a rising number of preschool children with disabilities receiving educational services under IDEA in inclusive preschool classes. Many of these preschoolers have motor skill deficits and depend on direct instruction and adult support for motor development. Given these facts, it becomes clear that motor programs like Young Athletes, coupled with greater family involvement and opportunities for physical activities, need to be viewed as essential in all high quality preschool programs.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: U59/CCU321826-04