Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Special Needs kids Part Two Definitions and Resources

What is a Special Needs Child?

A teacher/classroom/learning definition would involve ability to learn, but it is centered around a more complex scenario- a disability, an impairment, a delay, environmental experiences, psychiatric, psychological, lack of skills, ...

  • it could be a concern in: intellectual, physical, emotional, social development 
  • it could be a  delay (need more time to learn to talk, think, age is 6 but in function acts 3) , 
  • it could be a processing concern (sensory, oral, mental, physical, verbal, nonverbal).
  • It could be a disability or handicap (vision, hearing, movement)
  • It could be that their brain needs rewiring 
  • It could be high intelligence. or Giftedness
  • It could be behavioral concerns.
  • It could be social concerns.
  • It could be that the child lacks skills or needs help learning how to ___.  
  • It could be all of the above.   It could be a blend. 
But in the world of ministry, I think we look at the WHOLE child and remember that Psalm 139 shows us that God created and formed us each as we are in our mother's wombs. And differences should not bring fear but celebration.  

So if you want to be prepared to whisper the Word to special needs kids... you need to synthesis and analysis what you know, what you need to find out, and then seek out techniques and strategies to meet the needs of every child put before you!

Step One: Ask the family about any diagnoses and strategies that help their child.  Get information, if they have a 'label' look it up.  Talk to a teacher or professional.

Here's a list of what we know as statistics... from the Inclusive Church linked below.

2013 Special Needs Stats from TheInclusiveChurchdotcom

Step Two: Think critically, what simple tweaks might help all the kids, but especially this special, precious child? How can we include and involve this student in a dignified way?

Then brainstorm with others!

You can start by seeing what others do!

Most famous perhaps? Joni (a quadrapalegic) and her friends and resources.  

Children Desiring God has some online lectures from their conferences to help you think about disabilities.

Bethlehem Baptist has a disability ministry program. (super extensive model!) 

A blog that reflects on special needs and the Works of God

The Inclusive Church has some practical ideas and resources for ANYone. 

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