This project explored the impacts of participation in Special Olympics Young Athletes program on the development of young children (ages 3-6) and their families. This project was designed to formally evaluate the efficacy of the Young Athletes program, a Special Olympics program for children 2 ½ - 7 years. Children with disabilities who are in preschools were recruited into the program and evaluated before and after participation. Indicators measured included motor skills, activity levels, social, and communication skills. A control group of children also was followed. Children were recruited at sites in two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Teacher training was provided. Data was collected from children, teachers, and parents in order to get a more complete picture of the effectiveness of the program. The results will help to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and identify areas where modification may be necessary.
05/01/2009 to 05/31/2012