In this mini-course, Victoria White dives into the topic of supporting and celebrating neurodiverse children, especially in the church. She will outline how to work with children whose brains are wired differently, how to understand their strengths and challenges, and how to welcome them into church programming. This mini-course is useful for: parents and grandparents, pastors, children’s ministry leaders, and workers, as well as youth leaders.
As director of the Church Services team, Victoria White partners with All Belong’s other church consultants to share the best practices for creating congregations of belonging. Her desire to see people of all abilities active in the life of the church fuels her work with congregations, ministries, and organizations. She brings over 20 years of experiences in ministry and educational settings, a season of life marked by chronic illness, and more than a decade of mentorship under former Director of Church Services, the late Barbara J. Newman. Victoria has written units for Friendship Ministries’ inclusive adult Bible study curriculum, Together. Collaborating with Newman on initiatives such as the Inclusive Worship Kit, portions of the book Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship, numerous trainings, a course for the Christian Leader’s Institute and leading All Belong’s Member Church Program has sculpted her passion for equipping people of all abilities to worship the Lord with their gifts while supporting their needs. She shares this passion alongside practical strategies in presentations, coaching and consulting for churches and conferences around the country and online. Visit All Belong's site here!
Introduction: Puzzle Piece Perspective
What’s In a Name: Neurodiversity, Labels and Lessons
WITH-ness: Behavior Strategies and Restorative Practices
Growing Up: Changing in Some Ways But Not Others
By completing this mini-course, participants will:
View neurodiverse children as purposefully hand-knit by God with strengths and challenges.
Be familiar with diagnostic terms used to label certain areas of neurodiversity.
Grow their library of resources, strategies and techniques for interacting with challenging behaviors.
Discover a vision and tools for lifelong discipleship with children who develop differently.
Post in 3 Forums. You will get a completion check indicating you have posted reflections also read and engage with the comments of others.
After you complete viewing the materials and posting your reflections there is a two-part feedback assignment. The written portion and quiz will help us evaluate the effectiveness of the mini-course.
Challenge: Spend time with a child who has a disability or neurological difference, getting to know their greens and pinks (Just be together as much as possible. If you need to, try asking what do you love to do? And what is hard for you to do? Remember, sharing your greens and pinks establishes the safe space for others to share theirs)
1. How does discovering a difference before, at, or after birth change the way an individual and their family might live with their unique difference?
2. Post about your time with a child with a disability or neurodiversity. If you have permission, share a short video segment (2-3 minutes) of the child (you could upload to YouTube and post the link), helping us all to learn more from the children in our communities.
What's in a Name
- Reflection Questions:
1. How are labels helpful to your community in understanding neurodiverse children and children with varied abilities? How are they unhelpful?
2. What is one thing you want to know more about as you think about training up a child with unique differences in the way of the Lord?
Notice how these activities generate “WITH-ness”. Look for more about check-in circles and other forms of restorative circles on the IIRP website.
- Reflection Question:
1. What might God be doing through the challenges you see in the lives of children in your life that you want to nurture? What is one way you can empower these children as active participants in the Body of Christ?
- Reflection Question:
1. What supports might be necessary for the children in your care to successfully be the person(s) God designed them to be as adults and what might you need to learn more about to disciple them as they grow into adults?
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