I thought this week more about this subject than pretty much more than anything else. I have always really thought deeply about this process. Those with special needs really are different than us. They learn differently, they experience differently, and they are honestly just different.

I am really wondering about acceptance. If we are truly accepting how does bringing them into our life work. IN other words when we play basketball competitively how do we treat them, how do we guard them, and how do we relate to them.

My mind has been processing things like that. From handicaps to differences in birth (I don’t like the phrase birth defects). How can we bring them in to our lives. How does that work? Should we try? Is it possible to fully accept them into every part of our life?


1 Comment

  1. Good questions! From these, I gather you have at least one special needs kiddo in your ministry. I have a son with special needs. I can tell you, from the perspective of a parent, that children’s pastors are KEY to the other kids in the church being accepting of kids who are different from them. My son has little ‘quirks’ which they work with, or work around. He is 8. He needs to be reminded “D, it’s not your turn yet. Go sit down”. He just needs to be redirected, and that’s okay. Other kids need to understand that although he’s not “just like me”, he is very much like them. He still plays, laughs, takes turns, and sings during worship. He just can’t handle loud, sharp noises, doesn’t feel ketchup on his face, and forgets he needs to keep his tush IN the chair unless he’s called on. Acceptance is a matter of getting to know someone, as well as learning what you can about various special needs. Take a class. Your local department of social services (or wherever the offices are that handle foster care in your area) always offer classes to help caregivers, teachers, and others to learn what they need to in order to respond to special kids in the proper way. And first of all, always, always ask the child’s parents if there is anything you should be doing that would help their child be successful in the children’s church. Sometimes it is simply a matter of having them sit in a particular place, such as the front row, or next to one of the helpers, or even (as in the case of an autistic boy in our church about 6 years ago) at a student desk at the very back of the room, where he could draw and do his art while listening, but not distracting anyone else.

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