Healthy Athletes – Part2

In which areas is reflected in your studies because health care needs?

Every second we have examined athletes for example, has a gum infection. Or: In the part program ” Better Vision ” is measured at the athletes the prescription. If it is determined that they need vision correction, you can choose a frame, and later they were given free her glasses. 50 percent of those who participated in the program since 2004, must get new glasses because they were either not supplied or false. Sometimes we have cases here had that were supplied incorrectly by four or five diopters. And no one has noticed!

How do you change that?

It is extremely important that we empower people with intellectual disabilities to assess their health and even to inform this also. It is often that the complaints are not consciously perceived, or that the offers that are available from the medical side, are not known.

So is next to the treatment needs also a great need for counseling?

In any case! And above all, an advice, in plain language the people turning to. The advice must be able to respond to the specific needs. Therefore, we have also trained our volunteers that effect. There are, for example in the usual training for physicians and dentists no obligatory content of teaching, teach you how to deal with people with intellectual disabilities and their specific needs.

Does that mean you tell the volunteers and doctors, how to express yourself in simple language?

Right. We have just published the first information materials in easy to understand language. These can be downloaded from our website for free. So far there is information about foot care, for HГ¶rkontrolle and to brush your teeth. Plain Language also plays in our project ” self-determination healthier “, which continues to run in 2014, an important role.

From advocates of inclusion is sometimes criticized that events such as the Paralympics or Special Olympics contradict the inclusion thought. How do you see that?

I am a big fan of inclusion. The Special Olympics events so many people come together with and without disabilities, that I can already speak of an inclusive event. Also, the training of the athletes ahead of the competition quite often runs included. Based on my field, the health sector, but I believe it with intellectual disabilities have special needs for people we must also take account of special offers.

Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics Germany (SOD ) offers a health program for athletes with intellectual disabilities to SOD Coordinator Imke Kaschke athletes demonstrated on a doll proper dental care.


People with intellectual disabilities are at greater risk by 40 percent for additional health restrictions such as obesity, vitamin deficiency, untreated or poorly treated poor eyesight, hearing and foot injuries or bad teeth. The organizers of the Special Olympics have therefore developed a health program for their athletes.

Parallel to the competitions, there are free eye tests, dental examinations, hearing tests and tips for a healthy lifestyle. The doctors, opticians, orthopedic surgeons, dentists, and many other helpers are volunteers with. I have worked with Dr. Imke Kaschke, the coordinator of the program, spoke:

Woman: Kaschke, as is the idea of “Healthy Athletes” come about?

Imke Kaschke : The Special Olympics movement comes from the USA. Meanwhile, this movement includes more than 180 countries. The health care program was developed in the U.S. and launched in 2004 in Germany. Since it is offered regularly in regional and national events. Last year we were at 26 public events. In the Summer Games in 2013 in Munich, we have 4,000 studies conducted in the previous year in Bremen 5000.

What does the program work?

In the health program it is primarily about living a healthy lifestyle, but also about health check-ups. It has six different medical fields : ” See better,” ” Better hearing ” and the physiotherapy program ” movement with fun.” In addition, the area of ​​” health in the mouth ” where it comes to dental and oral health. The subprogramme “Fitte feet ” aims to proper foot care and the right choice of shoes. In the subproject ” self-determination healthier ” finally all areas are addressed, and an attempt is made to bring close to the athletes this knowledge to understand.

Your program is aimed at people with intellectual disabilities who are active in sports. Does a health program for athletes not carry coals to Newcastle?

We note again that athletes who still have an increased risk for additional health problems and limitations with intellectual disabilities, even if they exercise regularly. Of the approximately 400,000 people with mental disabilities in Germany are about 40,000 at the Special Olympics active.

The treatment and care needs among people with intellectual disabilities is much higher than the average population. The actual penetration is considerably lower than for the average.