Supporting Those with Special Needs Podcast Episodes
Supporting Those with Special Needs (Part 1 of 2)
Jesus engaged those with special needs – the blind, the lame, the leper. And we should too. In this episode of Breaking Bread, guests Randy and Evie Mogler educate us on the beautiful world of special needs.
- The vocabulary we use to refer to those with special needs is important. Terms have come and gone. The best terms place emphasis on personhood and do not reduce a person to their disability. For example: a person with developmental disabilities, a person with Autism, a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, a person with Down’s Syndrome.
- The reality of special needs settles on us in different ways. For some it is known pre-birth. For others it becomes a raw reality over time. Some disabilities come by way of consequences while others come by way of accident and yet others come to be with no explanation at all.
- Often parents and caretakers feel ill-equipped to care for their loved ones with special needs. Yet, God gives special wisdom and grace to parents and caretakers to tend to the needs of their children and loved ones.
- Great strides were made in the United States in the mid-twentieth century in caring for the personhood of those with special needs. This was accomplished when parents rose to the occasion to advocate on behalf of their children with special needs. The community rose to accept special needs persons and legislation ensured their right to education.
- As a community we are coming to greater understanding of the need for “inclusion.” Those with special needs have much to gain from the community and the community has much to gain from those with special needs.
- God is using those with special needs to challenge the larger community on what success is, what love is, what patience is, what selflessness is, and what happiness is. They show us how to suffer well. They show us what overcoming looks like. They make our world larger.
Supporting Those with Special Needs (Part 2 of 2)
A supporting community is not just a nice idea for those with special needs. It is essential. Wonderfully, the church is such a community. In this episode, Randy and Evie Mogler conclude their remarks about supporting those with special needs. Included in their remarks are practical tips for engaging those with challenges as well as a high and noble calling for the church.
- It is important that we learn how to engage with those with special needs.
- Tips for how to interact with those with disabilities:
- Talk directly to them, giving them eye contact at their level. Kneel down if necessary.
- Offer your hand to be shook.
- Wait to offer assistance until after they have accepted it.
- Treat adults like adults and children like children.
- Respect the accessories they use for their disabilities. For example: do not lean on their wheelchair, walker or cane.
- Listen carefully with patience. Do not pretend like you understand.
- Use appropriate vocabulary for their age. If in doubt of cognitive level, begin with high level vocabulary and adjust accordingly.
- Relax and enjoy them.
- Educate yourself about the disability or special need of the individual you wish to engage.
- The need for community
- The fear of the future is real for those who have loved ones with special needs. Will they be cared for? Will they have friends? How will they manage? The church, wonderfully, is an eternal community and is well-suited to care for the lives and souls of those with special needs.
For Further Information
Christ and Brokenness: John 9: Some brokenness in our lives is healed and managed through circumstances. Our “crutches” are rendered needless as a result of medical operations, social restructure, therapy intensives. Sometimes however, there are other broken areas whose remedy is of a special nature and in these areas, Christ is and will forever be, our crutch. [ACCFS]