Growing up with a sibling with special needs…Inclusion Fusion Library

DSCN7850Today, we’re going to share a video from our youngest Inclusion Fusion presenters that includes some very honest and profound observations about the impact of disability on the family.

When we were in Texas two years ago filming Inclusion Fusion 2011, Colleen Swindoll-Thompson asked her adult children to speak on the challenges siblings experience when a brother or sister experiences a disability. Siblings are often forgotten, judged, misunderstood, and suffer many challenges. Colleen’s children (Ashley, Austin and Cody) shared their experiences growing up with a brother with significant special needs. Their presentation, Does Anyone See Me? Attending to the Silent Sufferers (an interview facilitated by Katie Wetherbee) is a remarkable resource addressing an issue all too often overlooked in the church, as well as in the larger disability community.

At the time of this interview, Ashley, Austin and Cody’s brother (Jonathan) was 14 years old and had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He experiences intellectual, speech, language and motor impairments, along with anxiety associated with his autism. Jonathan had also been diagnosed with Tourette’s Disorder, traumatic brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Here’s the interview…


Colleen InterviewCheck out Steve’s recent interview with Colleen Swindoll-Thompson on  The Mission Field Next Door…Serving Kids with Mental Health Disorders and Their FamiliesIn the interview, Colleen and Steve had the opportunity to discuss the challenges families face in attending church when kids have mental illnesses.  They explored strategies for churches seeking to radically expand disability outreach beyond the traditional “special needs” population, and considered why “special needs” ministries may not meet the needs of families impacted by mental illness.  Here’s a link to Colleen’s blog post where the interview may be viewed in its’ entirety.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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2 Responses to Growing up with a sibling with special needs…Inclusion Fusion Library

  1. janetanncollins says:

    Theres no interview in the message or on the website.

    Janet Ann Collins


    • drgrcevich says:

      Hi Jan,

      I checked the links and they worked. The interviews are in You Tube. You might need an updated version of Flash Player or some other software, depending upon the device you’re using.


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