First I think we need to think about what needs to change (if anything) to meet a 'special needs' child's needs. I think we need to embrace this as an opportunity to show the love like the Lord Jesus and recognize that ALL people have special needs, some are just more evident than others.
I think that our first change is in ministry mindset. Are we prepared to serve the EGR (extra grace required) kids first? Are we ready to do that with love, kindness, time, and reflection? Then we need to see each child as a whole person, and look for how to serve each person fully. This will be thinking about their personality, learning style, life, experience, and then their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual needs.
But when a child has a set of known or complex needs, that can be daunting, or it can be an opportunity to serve? which way should we approach it?
As an educator, I think we need to remember that what's good for a special needs child is likely good for ALL. We all need support, clarity, repetition, love, and time to learn and grow.
So how can we think what are simple things I can do to help ALL the children in our ministry/home learn best? That brings us back to where we all should start- let's get to KNOW our children.
Well- what are our needs? I believe this takes us back to child development. What is normal for each age/stage.
Sunday School Changes Everything by Henrietta C. Mears (Gospel Light Publishing)
A focus on the family resource: Spiritual Growth of Children