How can you be more inclusive of children and young people with special and additional needs in our Church?
There are a number of resources available for you to expand your understanding of the spectrum of special and additional needs, and for you to develop worship in your Church to be more inclusive.
Care for the Family
Care for the Family's telephone befriending service offers understanding and support to parents of children with additional needs. All befrienders are trained and are, themselves, parents of children with additional needs who can share insights and encouragement from their own personal experiences. The Support for You pages of the Care for the Family website has further information.
You can also sign up for the monthly Additional Needs newsletter, full of helpful articles, top-tips and personal stories for families with an additional needs child.
Autism and Neurodiversity Catalogue
JKP is the leading publisher in autism and related conditions, publishing authoritative and practical books for professionals, parents, children and anyone whose life is touched by autism. A range of topics is covered, including Communication and Development, Relationships and Social Skills, Teaching and Assessment, Parenting Strategies, and Overcoming Depression and Anxiety.
Browse the catalogue on the JKP website.
Learning Disability Action Pack
The Church has produced an action pack to help churches create communities of belonging, making worship more inclusive for all abilities.
There is also available a Learning Disability Discussion Starter, with discussion and action points to get congregations thinking about how to become all inclusive. Both the Action Pack and the Discussion Starter are free, and can be downloaded from the resources page of the website, or a hard copy can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org
Belonging Resource Suite
Belonging is a resource exploring 10 ways for churches to be inclusive and to promote belonging for all. This resource gives your church an opportunity to become better at welcoming and supporting those with additional needs. Videos form the Belonging Conference can be watched on the Methodist Church website.
Urban Saints' Additional Needs Ministry offers support and advice on how to encourage, enable and equip children's, youth and family workers to connect with children and young people with additional needs or disabilities.
Illustrated Book: Going to Church
Going to Church is a book for adults or young people with learning disabilities. The book's illustrations encourage readers to think about their participation in church life and worship.
How Do We Welcome People With Additional Needs?
Messy Churches have all different types of people coming through their doors. How do you make sure that you welcome every member equally and are accommodating to all people, including those with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability)? Trish Hahn, the Messy Church SEND coordinator, has put together a Maximising the Mess guide for welcoming people with additional needs.
Working with Young People with Additional Needs - Girls' Brigade Europe
Working with Young People with Additional Needs includes information, tips and further links on working well with young people with: ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, Asthma, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Hearing Impairment, Spina Bifida, and Tourette Syndrome.
This revised edition includes new topics like mental health, new sections on how to engage young people with faith and ideas of inclusive games and sports.
Disability Advice Network & Disability App - Boys' Brigade
The Boys' Brigade have a Disability Advice Network with a range of leaflets on different areas of disability.
The Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland have launched a Disability App to provide quick, basic information for youth leaders on 25 different disabilities that affect children and young people.
The app is available on both Apple and Android platforms. This could be on hand and a helpful and informative tool for your congregation and children's/youth leader volunteers to help include all young people in our congregational life.
Top Tips on Welcoming Special Children
Top Tips on Welcoming Special Children is a guide for anyone helping children with special needs to know God. Containing stories from group leaders and parents, the book examines what we mean by special needs and what the Bible says on the subject. With practical ideas for welcoming special children into churches and children's groups, this book also explores the implications of the Disability Discrimination Act for churches.
Facebook Group: Additional Needs Alliance
A discussion group on Facebook about ways to support children with special and additional needs (and their families) - and about raising awareness of the subject on the local and national church agenda. Join the Additional Needs Alliance Facebook group