Including Kids With Special Needs

including-kids-with-special-needs

by Margot Starbuck

Children with special needs can often be marginalized, even in our local churches. While they might have been included in play dates and parties when they were younger, the invitations often drop off as kids grow older. Parents can empower their tweens to keep their hearts open to these kids.

Mall and movies. A social outing is an easy way to include new friends. Groups of two or three can typically add one more. If a child has special physical needs, consider inviting his or her sibling along, when appropriate, for extra assistance.

Party time. When making invitations to a birthday party, encourage your child to think about those acquaintances, at church and school and in the neighborhood, who are often excluded from parties. Depending on the child's needs, your tween might also serve as a "party coach" by giving gentle social cues throughout the evening.

Planning ahead. Whatever the activity or location, discuss ahead of time what role your child will play in extending hospitality to those with special needs. Talking about the needs of someone with unique challenges helps tweens think through their actions ahead of time.


This article first appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Margot Starbuck. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.

~ See more articles for parents of tweens. ~

Favorites

Advent Calendar—Christmas 2014

Advent Calendar—Christmas 2014

Keep your family focused on Jesus with our 2014 Advent calendar

No More Waiting

No More Waiting

A couple takes a leap of faith and discovers a deeper love of family

Talking to Kids About the Persecuted Church

Talking to Kids About the Persecuted Church

A conversation — when your children are ready

Book Reviews for Parents

Book Reviews for Parents

Read our teen and tween book reviews for parents.

Thriving Family Archives

Thriving Family Archives

Articles from the magazine and the website

Breaking of Spring

read more >>

A girl's guide to growing up from Adventures in Odyssey

read more >>