Sunday Best is usually a collection of links to blog posts that really touched me over the past week or other online resources that I felt were important to share with others. This week, for some reason, I only bookmarked this one link (I know I read a lot of great posts, but this is what really stood out for me).
Special Needs Ministry
Podcast #1 – Your Church & Children With Special Needs – The folks at ministry-to-children.com have started a podcast and for their first one, interviewed Amy Fenton Lee from The Inclusive Church (who was recently interviewed in print here). It was great for me to put a voice to the person, and I would recommend this podcast to anyone who is involved in any way in children’s ministry.
Some Thoughts on Inclusion
I spend so much time thinking about inclusion as it relates to school. And, although I agree with his placement in the regular classroom, I feel guilty about how hard it is sometimes for him to be in that environment all day. Part of my feelings stem from the fact that he doesn’t have a lot of other socialization with peers in other environments and I don’t want school to be his only measure of what it’s like.
I mean, we do have playdates from time to time, but that can be hard to arrange given everyone’s schedules and other commitments. Sports is just not an option; we’ve tried that numerous times. He has both OT and playgroup weekly, both of which are special needs environments. At church, he greatly prefers the special needs room to the regular children’s activities, and I don’t press him because the buddies available haven’t had success in supporting him in that environment, so I would have to do it myself.
Last week, a paper came home from school about Cub Scouts and Michael expressed an interest in going. He had mentioned it late last spring, and I hadn’t followed up on it at the time, so this time I decided to look into it a little bit more. I spoke with the person in charge of our local pack and we are going to the informational meeting on Tuesday night. I am feeling quite hopeful about it, as the sense I got was that they just deal with each child individually and that this might be a good opportunity for Michael to feel that he is an equal part of something with his own contributions and achievements.
Then this weekend, we didn’t make it to church on Saturday night and I had the idea to visit a church that is very close to our house that has a large children’s ministry. We have been there several times over the last 15 years that we have lived here, but Michael had only ever been in the preschool room before.
So I took him there this morning and spoke with the leader before the service to explain our situation and apologize for not calling ahead. The 1st-5th grade is all together this month, so he suggested I just check in a few times to see how things were going. Michael did pretty well, and, even more importantly, he loved it!
It was so amazing to get in the car after the service and hear him explaining to me about how being spoiled isn’t so much about how much stuff you have, but it’s about your heart and being spoiled or blessed in your heart. (I’m not saying he wouldn’t learn awesome stuff like this at our home church, just that it’s so much harder to get him in the class to learn it.)
This has been a bit of a ramble, I know, so thanks for listening. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you find ways to include your child that work for them.