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Monthly Archives: April 2012
Square Pegs and Round Holes…The Bottom Line on Helping Kids With Asperger’s Disorder Grow Spiritually
Today’s post concludes our series on helping kids with Asperger’s Disorder and other social disabilities to grow spiritually. We’ll finish by looking at some general principles to help church staff, parents and volunteers to minister more effectively to very unique kids made in the image of God who tend to defy categorization.
If kids and teens affected by mental illness and their families are to be successfully welcomed and fully included in our churches, the church will need to make great strides in its’ understanding of mental illness. That’s where I hope we can help.
May is designated as National Mental Health Month, and the week of May 6-12 is officially designated as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. In order to promote better understanding of common mental disorders in children and teens and the challenges faced their families, we’ll spend the month looking in depth at some of the more controversial topics in the field of child and adolescent mental health.
We’ve been fortunate to enjoy the benefits of Mike Woods’ wisdom and experience during his recent guest blog series for Autism Awareness Month. Mike’s truly a thought leader in the field of disability ministry, but a humble thought leader. When we first discussed his guest blog series, I’d asked him to put together a post with links to many of the excellent web-based resources he’s developed for church staff, volunteers and parents for serving kids with special needs. Mike seemed a little reluctant to blow his own horn, so I thought I’d share links to some resources Mike has developed that church staff and volunteers might find especially valuable in ministering to kids with autism spectrum disorders and their families…
Today, we’ll look at potential strategies for promoting spiritual growth in kids with Asperger’s and speculate about ways in which the condition might provide advantages to a Christ-follower.
In my previous post I discussed the important of human engagement with children and adults with autism in an effort to develop relationships. Our goal is to bring a nurturing spirit into the special needs volunteer/child relationship…one that is characterized by genuine warmth, mutual respect, and unconditional worth. In order to facilitate these relational characteristics it is essential to maximize the use of giving unconditional worth.
Unconditional worth refers to any action on the part of the special needs staff/volunteer that recognizes and expresses the dignity, worth, and value of the child.
The Eric Trap contains lots of sage advice from three highly qualified leaders in the field of children’s ministry. This is a great synopsis of the type of wisdom one would get from listening to several days of main stage speakers at a major ministry conference. I’d strongly recommend the book to my friends in “kidmin” world, as well as other areas of ministry, especially those who are feeling “stuck.”
We’re pleased to share with you the third installment in Mike Woods series of guest posts in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Mike currently serves as Special Needs Ministry Director at First Baptist Church of Orlando. For more info on Mike, click here. Today’s post addresses the importance of providing comfort to children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and the theologic foundation to his ministry’s approach to relationships with persons who have special needs.
We’ve looked at some of the common characteristics of kids with Asperger’s Disorder along with the impediments they face to spiritual growth and the obstacles parents of kids with the condition face when attempting to “do church.” Today, we’ll get very practical and explore some helpful hints for church staff and volunteers involved in serving kids with Asperger’s. Continue reading
Cindi Ferrini was the special guest last night for SNAPPIN’ Ministries Special Needs Ministry Tweetchat…transcript available here. The discussion topic was Marriage With Special Needs Children. A number of participants had commented on the outstanding presentation Cindi and her husband (Joe) gave for last fall’s Inclusion Fusion on The Unexpected Journey of Relationships…When Special Needs Change Our Course. Here’s the video from Cindi and Joe’s presentation:
Christianity is about entering into relationships with people…to include children with autism and other special needs. And in order to be able to do that, it’s important to be familiar with how Jesus, the Master of developing relationships, interacted with people. That’s why we use what I call the C3 model: Comfort, Confirm, Challenge that’s based on His interactions with people with disabilities. Continue reading