A how-to guide to integrate children and youth with special needs into church programs and activities, including worship.
Integrating children and teens with learning differences into church programs is a growing priority for nearly all congregations, large and small, yet many feel ill-equipped to "manage" those with special needs in their classrooms, programs and worship. This guidebook for churches is designed to help integrate children and teens with learning differences and their families into the fabric of everyday church life. A useable on-the-ground resource for church leaders with specific suggestions, samples, and processes for adapting curricula, training volunteers, and supporting parents and caregivers, this guide is grounded in theological principles for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of a congregation. Begins by focusing on human relationships instead of programs. Expanding the church's awareness and understanding of inclusion is done with respect and achieved by extending the gospel of welcome to all. An extensive annotated bibliography of support materials included. Includes how to train volunteers and staff for hands-on work with children and youth who have special needs. Provides a theological grounding for the inclusion of people with learning differences and disabilities in the life of a congregation.