The issue of special needs children has consistently come up over the brief time I have been attending CW. There seems to be a number of kids in our ministries that have some type of disability. It may be Autism, Cystic Fibrosis, or ADHD. Whatever it may be, there are a few things you guys can do in your classroom to help these kids adjust and enjoy the class. Here are a few brief tips:
- Make your classroom as consistent and predictable as possible. Children need to feel secure and have a feeling of some control with their environment.
- Present information visually as well as orally. This way you open up doors to understanding by using two of the most important avenues.
- Help parents know what you’re teaching their child so they can reinforce the important biblical principles at home
- Adapt your classroom environment. Are there simple things you can do to help the child? An example might be to have the child sit closer to you or pair the child with another child.
- Watch children for cues as to how you can help.
- Remember that this child that God has placed in your classroom is more like the other children in your classroom than different. Also, the child can teach the other children important life lessons of compassion, acceptance, and service.
Also, we may be getting to the point of developing some type of special needs program. There are, however, a lot of different directions one can go with this. The book Special Needs, Special Ministry is a great tool for starting up such a program. I have a copy of it if you would like to read it, or you can click on the picture to purchase the book at Amazon.com. Also, if you are interested in leading up a special needs program, let me know.
'Til next time, Dean