AcronymsEvery organization uses their own lingo or set of acronyms, and Special Olympics is no exception.

We’ll try our best not to use them too often, but when we do slip, or our fingers are too tired from typing, we may use an acronym here and there.  But we don’t want that to confuse you, so you if you see an acronym, phrase or something else in a post on the blog, check here to see what it means.

Don’t see it explained below?  Let us know and we’ll add it!


“SO” + any combination of other letters: You probably figured it out but “SO” is short hand for “Special Olympics.”  You may get confused by the addition of other letters though.  Usually the letters reference one of our regional programs, countries or states.  So for example, Special Olympics Massachusetts = “SOMA” or “Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia = “SOEE”

“ID” or “People with ID”: short for people with intellectual disabilities.

“EKS”: We will always refer to our visionary founder as “Eunice Kennedy Shriver” or “Mrs. Shriver” whenever possible, but you may see a reference to something like “EKS Day” and get to wondering, “just what the heck is EKS Day?”  Now you know!

9 thoughts on “Learn our Lingo

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    • I rarely see that word “retarded” but it does irk me when ignorant people write it or say it! Just keep writing the media to set them straight. Living in Canada the word is not used as much. I repeatedly wrote the media to advise that they are a person with an Intellectual disability or a boy with down syndrome, not a down syndrome boy. They are people first, who happened to have a disability!

  2. I have been a volunteer/coach for the SO for 15 years which means I have been involved since I was 9. With everything that I have learned from all my mentors and from all my athletes, is why I am able to take such good care of my son. My son is 14 months old and we are still trying to figure out a diagnosis but his symptoms mimic cerebral palsy and autism. I am so glad that I can raise my son in the world of special Olympics and he can grow up knowing that he can do anything no matter what. I love the special Olympics and it is my passion and I will always stay. Involved not only for me but for my son and my athletes. Thank you so much for sharing so many other stories with us and allowing us to know how it impacts others lives. Thank you so much, Hanna

  3. Thank You, Special Olympics for all you mean to our adult ID son. He had been a member, when he was in school, but he had moved away from the program. Now he has the privilege of returning to SO in the bowling program. He is doing very well and we are so happy for him.

  4. Thank You for what Special Olympics means to my adult ID son. He had moved away from the county where he was a member, when he was in school. After many years, he has found his way back to participate in bowling. He is doing really well and we are very grateful!

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