My Wellness Journey: A Health Promotion Study for Children and Youth with Disabilities – Year two

Children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are more likely to experience diminished wellness across multiple aspects of their lives and decreased quality of health compared to their peers without disabilities. Yet, little is known about how wellness is promoted or addressed for this group. Most research to date has focused exclusively on one aspect of wellness dimension (e.g. physical activity), with limited success in promoting overall wellness. Our team has been working with Special Olympics to explore the health and wellness needs of their athletes, who all have IDD. This qualitative project involves interviews with participants from three stakeholder groups (athletes with IDD, parents/caregivers, coaches) to gain an in-depth understanding about wellness goals of athletes and how they can be supported by Special Olympics. Our results will inform the co-creation of a ‘Wellness Resource’ for athletes, parents/caregivers and coaches.

Faculty Supervisor:

Amy McPherson


Suryani Hamdani


Special Olympics Canada


Epidemiology / Public health and policy


Medical devices




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