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Posts Tagged ‘special needs’

Rhythms of Grace: How One Church Feeds Special Needs

Rhythms of Grace is relatively simple, affordable, and adaptive and can be effectively used to bring the Gospel to people not currently being served. Designed for those on the Autism spectrum, it is also very welcoming to individuals with other diagnoses like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADHD, Down Syndrome, and neuro-typical children with ordinary wiggly squigglies, as well as youth and adults.

First Communion for Children with Special Needs

All children can prepare for and receive the grace of the sacraments. When God invites, God provides. And when God provides, grace abounds! This moving story of Sue and Hector provides a powerful lesson, and practical suggestions for first communion for children with special needs.

A Theology of Difference and Disability

They help us wrestle with a culture of forgiveness. Can you forgive me for my not understanding where you’re really coming from and for not seeing your strengths? Can you forgive me for projecting my own fears onto you, and saying the wrong things? Can I forgive you for the fear you bring up in me?

Is Your Church Accessible?

The largest group of persons with disabilities is your own group of parishioners over 76. Each of us, if we live long enough, will incur one or more disabilities.

Godly Play for All Ages & All Abilities

Godly Play today is used with all ages, including those with special needs and Alzheimer’s disease. It is the language of the people of God.

Autism Awareness Month

Whether we know it or not, our churches DO have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

What’s Up with “That” Kid?

There is a challenging child in every group. As Christian educators we learn about Autism, Asperger’s, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities. We do everything in our power to meet children where they are and welcome them into our midst. We know Christ calls us to do so.

Hidden Disabilities

Students with hidden disabilities can be a handful. Fellow students dislike them. Teachers are wary. But these students need not be lost in the shuffle or ostracized. Educators, parents and the students themselves can-working together-change the attitudes and behaviors causing so much trouble.

Helping the Unlikeable Student

It is difficult to admit—even to ourselves—that there are students we don’t like. It’s embarrassing: Aren’t we supposed to have good feelings for all of our students? Ideally, yes, we would like all of our students. But we are real people, dealing in the real world with some very difficult students.

Being Inclusive of All Children

from the Disciples Home Missions It is important that local congregations do all that they can to include people with disabilities, especially children. There is a wide range of disabilities that children are exhibiting today, even within particular diagnoses such as Autism. We used to just exclude these children or expect the parents to be […]

Autism in the Classroom

The chances that a child on the autism spectrum participates in your Church School is very likely. Since most Church School teachers are volunteers with little training in working with children who have special needs, how can we make sure we are ministering to the child and the adult in our classrooms?

Child by Child, loved by God

Child by Child is an effort to create a map on which those working with children and teens with learning differences and their parents can find help with different aspects of welcoming them into the “household” and being changed by what they tell us about the divine, what we assume about God.

Ministry to those with Alzheimer’s Disease

Lois has a ministry of presence and relationship with folks who have dementia. And she brings Godly Play to them.

Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment

With the new school year quickly arriving, now is a great time to reassess our individual classroom culture and collective ideas about positive school climate, and commit to doing our part to put an end to bullying behavior by creating a positive, safe school environment where students feel valued, and are more likely to succeed.

“Hand-in-Hand” for Easter Eggs – A Special Needs Ministry

“We were absolutely delighted that another group within our church cared enough about our ministry to ask ‘how can we help?’” Kirby shared. “Together, we loved the idea of creating an event that special needs families often miss out on – the annual Easter Egg Hunt.”

Autism: A Mind-Body-Spirit Approach

In honor of Brain Awareness Week, let’s consider some important findings about autism contributed by neuroscience. Autism is a brain development disorder distinguished by atypical patterns in neuronal connections.

Placing the Child with Special Needs

Most children’s ministers with experience in special needs ministry have at some point felt conflicted in how to best accommodate a specific child with a disability. A child’s temperament and learning capacity may vary from one week to another. An occasional parent may push an expectation not in line with the church’s immediate capabilities. And parent-volunteer dilemmas may require the grace and negotiation of a skilled diplomat.

Fostering Spiritual Growth in ALL Children

The good news is that fostering spiritual growth for children with developmental challenges is both easier than most people realize and one of the most gratifying life experiences offered inside a church.

Special Needs Inclusion: Facilitate the Broader Church Conversation

For parents of children with special needs, their experiences with friends or other parents inside the church were no different or better than with those outside their congregation. The mothers of children with special needs all longed for greater connection and desired for their children to be known and loved. The mothers I had interviewed offered pointers, which I shared, for appropriate questions and comforting responses as they yearned to be engaged by their peers.

Children’s Ministry Team = Family’s First Advocate

For families of children with special needs, their likelihood of success in a church often hinges on the help of the children’s ministry team. Finding a church that will accept the child with special needs into church programming is the often first obstacle.