This morning I was baking some peanut butter cookies and it dawned on me. If I can make 3-ingredient cookies (PB, egg, sugar) with peanut butter, maybe I could do something similar with the jar of Nutella in my cupboard. So I tried. Continue Reading →
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Many of you know I was at the 2:1 Conference a few weeks ago. One of my favorite things to do at this blogging conference is to connect with other special needs moms. These ladies are my online friends, my support group. There’s no pretense, just instant hugs! They live with autism or other special needs, too.
As we sat around the table Friday night, I let them know that I will be writing an article about special needs and church for my column in Home Educating Family Magazine. I asked them what churches could do to help special needs families. At first they just kind of sat there, surprised to be asked such a question.
Then the ideas came. Here are a couple, in case you work in a church or other public venue.
~A buddy to attend class with those kiddos who need one-on-one attention.
~Don’t clearly label a child with the name of her disability on their nametag to ostracize them.
These are great ideas, but what stuck in my mind the most was one autism mom’s story of a church visit. She dropped her two children, 9 and 10, at the child care offered during a church Bible study. She explained that her son doesn’t talk, wouldn’t talk, dont’ expect him to talk. When she came back to pick up her kids, her daughter said, “Mommy! That lady was so mean!” The daughter then explained that her brother had to use the bathroom, and asked her to get him permission. The lady in charge of the room would not let him go until he asked himself. She even told him that. She also would not let him get a drink of water unless he asked himself. Remember, he was asking permission through his sister, not just trying to leave the room.
I was heart broken, and dumbfounded that it happened in a church.
Please, please. If you ever work with special needs kids in any situation, don’t be so cruel! That child will never want to visit that church again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a fear of any church for a long time.
I am blessed to be in a church who is seeking to expand its ministry to autism families and other special needs families as well. But I know that is rare.
So, here is my research question. I know many special needs families have a hard time getting to church for a variety of reasons. Whether you simply can’t get there, or you just need a more helpful church, what can churches do to reach out to special needs families? How can they help those who can’t get there, and how can they minister to those who attend but need accommodations? Please let me know in the comments below. It will help me write a better article!
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A little over a week ago I had the privilege of speaking at the 2:1 Conference. This year was a different perspective for me as I was a speaker and also with my two bosses. I saw things more through the eyes of a brand this year, and also as a leader of sorts since I was a speaker. Not saying I’m a big leader, just meaning that speakers are a kind of leader.
I learned and observed… Continue Reading →
My life was so crazy after getting back from 2:1 Conference last Sunday that I never got a chance to tell you I wrote a guest post for my friend Jennifer Janes. She is running an interesting series, “Autism is…”. Each guest finishes the sentence. Many of my friends are writing for her. It’s a very insightful series if you do not live around autism, and encouraging if you do.
My way of filling in the blank was …strong.
These kids, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum face more than I will ever realize, and they keep going. For most of them, the world around them is on the highest volume and brightest screen possible in a foreign language. Well, I’m going to stop there.
When I wrote this post, I cried as I thought about their strength.
This post is a hard one to write. It may not be very popular. But, just like I felt I should write about how weary I was two years ago, I think I should write this because I’m probably not the only one who feels this way. I do not intend to offend anyone, just share a glimpse into my world.
A puzzle piece is the autism symbol. It’s meant to represent the conundrum that is autism.
I have my own autism puzzle piece, and it’s not my son.
I’m lying flat on my back in bed, typing this on my phone. Won’t be very fancy, but I wanted to encourage you, parents.
Yesterday was a tough day for me. Dr. J had virtually no ability to focus and just about as much capability for self-control. I cried.
Today I hurt my back exercising. I cried. Made it to the bed and asked Dr. J to get me the ice pack. Not only did he bring it, he wrapped it in a dish towel for me. He brought in my laptop and turned on Piano Guys. With my instruction, he was able to heat up the heat pack in the microwave. He would not have been able to do that yesterday. He made me a get well letter from his fish.
Meatball cried with me, brought me my water glass, and drew me a picture.
Don’t give up, parents. Today my boys are showing me kindness. Keep modeling behavior and persevering!