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#SpecialNeeds & #Church: What My Church Did Right at VBS via


Special Needs & Church: What My Church Did Right at VBS

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to Home Educating Family Magazine. If you choose to subscribe, I will receive a small commission.

Many special needs families don’t get to church.

Some can’t make it–their child just can’t leave the house or handle being at church. For others, they tried, and it didn’t work. What makes me really sad is that there are many families who have been ostracized from their church due to outspoken actions and attitudes or subtle hints that they’re not welcome.

My church is not one of those churches. Over the last year I have watched how they reach out to the five families with kids on the autism spectrum. I excitedly ponder the potential as we grow and expand our ministries.

This summer was Community Bible Church’s first-ever Vacation Bible School (VBS). Prior to this, they did not have their own facility to host such an event. I didn’t volunteer to work during the week because I didn’t know what my husband’s schedule would be. I did get there four out of the five days, and it was very exciting. I watched through the eyes of a special needs mom, and this is what I saw that my church did right…. Continue reading

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My Other Life before Autism

Sometimes I remember my life before autism. It happened to me the other day. I was treating myself to some music on Pandora, and a song came on that I knew I should know but couldn’t remember the title. And that, my friends, is how this blog post began. Continue reading

Click here to see how special needs parents make a difference!


Special Needs Parents: You Make a Difference for Others!

Many times special needs parents and caregivers plug along, feeling as if they don’t make a difference anywhere. Perhaps they know they make a difference to that one person in their life who needs a bit of extra care, but they often feel swallowed up by the daily grind. Life seems to pass by.

I’ve been there.

Recently God took time to let me know I do make a difference, and I have a message for you. You do, too. How do I know? When you read these three stories, you’ll know. Continue reading


Autism & Church

This post contains an affiliate link to Home Educating Family Magazine. If you choose to subscribe to the magazine, I receive a small commission. (*)Coupon code at end of post.

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.

Autism & Church

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!

*The link to Home Educating Family Magazine is an affiliate link. You can use coupon code mag15 (case sensitive) to get a $15 subscription!

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My Guest Post: Autism is Strong

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.

Follow me to Jennifer’s blog to see why autism is strong.




My Autism Puzzle Piece

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.

Continue reading

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Seeing with Different Eyes

I think parenthood changes almost everyone’s vision. Now you have to think about this small person who is dependent on you. You now analyze situations and perceive life differently. What things are ok to keep in the home, or what needs to be put on a higher shelf? Is this book so great after all? Do I need to add some discussion or save it for later? When do I let him try independently, and when should I assist? Yes, parenthood brings a whole new batch of things to consider.

Add a special need–autism, epilepsy, food allergies, diabetes, etc.–and your perception really changes.

Last week I asked you what you see when you look at this playground:

Thanks to those of you who left your observations!

The before-autism me would have viewed this playground as a place of fun, excitement, joy, exploration, and friendship. Now, I approach this playground and see it through the eyes of my six year old with Aspergers. Continue reading


Back to School, Back to Blog

It’s that time of year. Moms purchase pencils, paper, notebooks, crayons, scissors, and many other back-to-school items. Some children bemoan the end of their summer, and some rejoice that they will return to their classmates. It’s time for a new year.

As you know, my little home on the internet is a bit dusty. I’ve not been posting regularly since both my husband and I got new jobs. Mine, working from home as the Social Media Coordinator for Home Educating Family. His, taking him farther down the road so he’s home less during the week which means I have less time for play.

I noticed that my writing buddy had started posting again on her blog. Just like me, she had lost time to work on her internet home, too. But she’s decided to dust off her keyboard and get back to it. She’s encouraged me to do the same, even if it’s not as elaborate as it used to be. For this season in our lives, we may need shorter posts and fewer frills.

So, Continue reading


S’more Success!

This week gluten-free graham crackers were on sale. Yesterday I had an idea: why not introduce the boys to the childhood fun known as S’mores?

Now, if you aren’t familiar with a S’more, it’s usually made at campfires. You roast some marshmallows, and then grab two graham crackers. You make a sandwich out of the marshmallows, a chunk of chocolate, and the graham crackers.

We didn’t have a campfire. We used a microwave, mini chocolate chips from Enjoy Life, mini marshmallows, and our on-sale graham crackers. It became a practice in dexterity as the boys tried to get the mini chips and marshmallows to stay on top. Then the big question was, would Mommy explode the marshmallows in the microwave, instead of just melt them? (No!)

However, the ultimate question was, would Dr. J actually EAT them? Why, you may ask? Continue reading