AMY FENTON LEE is the special needs consultant to the reThink Group, Inc. Amy has written extensively on the subject of special needs inclusion in children's ministry environments and has been published in dozens of in-print publications, journals, and on the web, including her own blog, www.TheInclusiveChurch.com. In 2012, Amy was the special needs columnist for Children's Ministry Magazine. Amy's book, Leading a Special Needs Ministry: A Practical Guide to Including Children and Loving Families was released by the reThink Group this past April.
Most of us struggle to find the right words and appropriate actions to effectively minister to a family affected by special needs. In this breakout we’ll offer guidance for pastors, children’s ministers, and caring volunteers for relational etiquette when ministering to parents processing a special needs diagnosis for their child. This session will provide guidance for church greeters and host teams who may be the first faces to welcome the family affected by disability. We’ll also talk about why many parents do not reveal their child’s special needs diagnosis and how to the church can encourage families to approach them with a partnership mindset.
This session will address the most common questions and challenges posed by church leaders new to accommodating children with special needs. Together we’ll talk about issues such as including a wide range of ages in a single setting, behavior concerns, and meeting parent expectations, and establishing thriving parent support groups. We’ll also talk about establishing a culture and setting up policies & procedures to protect every ministry stakeholder (including volunteers!)
Accommodating a child with autism can be a game-changer for an entire church staff, and every church needs to be prepared. With planning and program parameters everyone can experience success. We'll walk through the various issues a church’s leadership team may need to consider as they determine their church’s unique calling and capability for disability accommodation. We will talk about developing a job description for a special needs ministry coordinator while offering ways the church can inspire and equip lay leader champions. Best practices will be shared for instilling a sound culture for risk management and program longevity.
The success of a child is often closely tied to the success of a volunteer. In this fast-paced session we’ll equip you with tricks and tactics for keeping the most challenging child engaged. You’ll learn easy and effective communication techniques, behavior management strategies, and activity adaptations that can make Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights and VBS environments a meaningful experience for everyone involved. Lay volunteers will be prepared to work with children diagnosed with ADHD, various learning differences and sensory processing disorder.