Category Archives: Autism

A disability is still a disability for kids who aren’t disabled all the time

Many kids and adults experience mental health conditions that substantially limits their ability to participate in church as a major life activity while maintaining reasonably high levels of functioning at school, at work or at home. Continue reading

Posted in Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Families, Hidden Disabilities, Inclusion, Key Ministry, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Too much visual stimulation may be bad for most kids…

The research describing the impact of environment upon learning in children offers one of the best examples of how churches can take concrete steps to become more welcoming to all families (especially those with children who struggle with attentional regulation or sensory processing) and more effective during the limited time they have to influence kids without having to develop a stand-alone ministry “program” or requiring families to self-identify their kids with disabilities. Continue reading

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Too much visual stimulation may be bad for most kids…

The research describing the impact of environment upon learning in children offers one of the best examples of how churches can take concrete steps to become more welcoming to all families (especially those with children who struggle with attentional regulation or sensory processing) and more effective during the limited time they have to influence kids without having to develop a stand-alone ministry “program” or requiring families to self-identify their kids with disabilities. Continue reading

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Observations from a Christian Psychiatrist…Elliot Rodger and the Santa Barbara Killings

We know that vulnerable kids experience enormous harm from harsh words and bullying, and our schools and institutions have appropriately taken steps to protect them. But what about protecting vulnerable kids from the impact of the highly sexualized culture in which we live? I’ve treated a number of kids in recent years who exhibit the effects of trauma resulting from exposure to sexual material or situations fairly common to daily life.
Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Controversies, Hidden Disabilities, Key Ministry, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thinking differently about kids and mental illness…

One of the challenges in understanding the epidemic of mental illness in kids is that conditions such as anxiety disorders and ADHD may be disabling in some environments, but not others. Continue reading

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Common mental health conditions can be MAJOR barriers to church involvement

It’s particularly difficult to understand why parents who might be able to maintain a job and a household or kids who are able to school without one-on-one aides or lots of support services aren’t able to attend church. I’ll try to explain why in today’s post…and give churches a conceptual framework for anticipating the obstacles kids and adults might experience in attending church and addressing them so they no longer remain obstacles.
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Posted in Key Ministry, Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Hidden Disabilities, Ministry Environments, Inclusion, Families, Strategies, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thinking Orange…Partnering with parents when kids have disabilities

More so than with parents in the general population, church leaders may need to do more to earn the right to partner with parents from families affected by disabilities. Continue reading

Posted in Key Ministry, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Hidden Disabilities, Inclusion, Strategies, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who knew? Guest blogger Denise Schamens

I asked him if he wanted to talk about God. He spelled out “yes.” I asked if he understood what it means to be baptized? He spelled out “it means to accept Jesus into your heart.” Continue reading

Posted in Key Ministry, Autism, Inclusion, Families, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Experiencing the God of hope in the prison of spiritual autism…Dave Lynden

Being the parent of a special needs child is often a journey of constant despair. You ache for the many things your child will probably never enjoy or experience. With autism, you pine for some kind of deeper connection that you know will always be impaired. Sometimes, it can feel like a kind of prison. But, in this small moment, I suddenly realized that God was taking my routines and trying to break through to connect with me. With this little crack in the wall, I could feel God burrowing through the walls of hopelessness with a small glimmer of a promised world renewed; of a deep blue Pacific Ocean, of a place where the bars and cement block walls that kept me away from my son and kept me away from my God would one day crumble to dust. Continue reading

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The Whispers of Hope…Dave Lynden

It seems as though God uses my own routines to insert little opportunities for me to break free from my spiritual autism and see true hope. I caught one of these moments while putting Micah to bed one evening. I caught another moment sitting in the living room just after tucking him and his siblings in for the night and watching one of my favorite movies…for the twelfth time. Continue reading

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