As Awana leaders, we work hard each week to build relationships and speak truth into the lives of children and youth. But at times, there are children who enter into our ministries that have special needs. Whether it be a physical limitation, a learning disability, a sensory issue, or any number of things, we want our ministry to be a welcoming place for all children. Our definition of a child with special needs is a child who needs assistance in acquiring or processing information, or who needs assistance beyond the usual interaction with a teacher.
As leaders, we know your heart wants to reach these kids. But sometimes, you may feel ill equipped and hesitant. But you are not alone!
1. Check out the Awana Special Needs book. This book helps provide basic skills and best practices in order to serve the children and families in your church. This resource will help to overcome common barriers that might stand in the way of welcoming families affected by special needs. BONUS: It also comes with six pocket guides that address six of the most common needs you and your teams might encounter.
Go get this wonderful resource now! Click here to visit our store.
2. For any leaders that work directly with students who have special needs, we’ve created an online learning module that helps prepare them to minister to kids in the best possible way. This training includes information about partnering with parents and creating the right learning environment for ALL children.
Visit awana.org/basics and scroll down to the Special Needs Module.
3. You are the experts! We want to hear about what you are doing to make your club a place that welcomes and serves children with special needs. Do you have an amazing 1 on 1 aid program to give kids the attention they might need? Do your leaders write notes to the parents of kids with special needs that encourage and support them?