Including Young People with Learning Differences

Updated April 2015.  From a wealth of resources on the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in faith communities, we highlight a few that our users have found particularly helpful.

Amy Fenton Lee’s blog, The Inclusive Church, is a goldmine:  see especially Ideas & Best Practices, Getting Started, Top Posts, and her Facebook.  Her volunteer training DVD, Surviving to Thriving:  Successfully Including the Child with Special Needs, is available at the RCC.  Lee shares ideas in Leading a Special Needs Ministry (Orange, 2013) and in two recent posts from Fuller Youth Institute:  Refusing to Ignore Teenagers with Special Needs and Sticky Faith and Special Needs.

Child by Child:  Supporting Children with Learning Differences and Their Families (Morehouse, 2011) by Susan Richardson includes short descriptions, interventions, and resource lists for each of many areas of need.

Barbara J. Newman, Director of CLC Church Services, is author of several essential resources:  Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship; G.L.U.E. Training Manual and DVD; Autism and Your Church; and Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities.  The Disabilities Concerns Ministry of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area has granted the RCC several CLC Network training DVDs:  Inclusion Tool Box: 52 Practical Ideas to Include Individuals with Disabilities, Including Children with Disabilities: Preparing a Place of Welcome, Autism: A Christian Response, and Behavior Management Playing Field.

The Inclusion Handbook (2011) from the Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America Disability Concerns, is available for free download, as is Autism and Faith:  A Journey into Community (2008).

Faith Formation Learning Exchange has updated their list of books on faith formation with people with disabilities.  They feature Erik W. Carter’s Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities and Benjamin T. Connor’s Amplifying Our Witness:  Giving Voice to Adolescents with Disabilities.

Red Fish Theology by Leslie Nugent is a how-to guide for offering an inclusive worship service with the special needs community.

The Autism Shop in Minnetonka offers hundreds of sensory toys and tools.

Disability is one of the diversity issues addressed in the Families All Matter Book Project.  Contact us at the RCC to find picture books, curriculum, guidance for worship and more resources on inclusion.