Category Archives: Hidden Disabilities

Emily Colson…Becoming Still

We’ve come a long way since those early years of staying home on Sunday mornings when we couldn’t find our place. Back then, like so many families, we couldn’t even make it across the threshold. Autism held us hostage. I had to make a conscious decision to go forward every day, no matter what, and claim the abundant life God promises. I always knew Max needed the church, but no one could have imagined how much the church needed Max. Continue reading

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Interview with Dr. Matthew Stanford

As a person of faith and a psychologist I have often been pulled aside by fellow believers and asked questions about mental health issues or told of negative interactions between those struggling with mental illness and the church. That led me to begin taking seriously the interaction between those with mental illness and the local church. I came to Baylor in 2003 to specifically begin a line of research in the area in an attempt gain understanding and educate the church.
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An unexpected plot twist…”Movie with Max”

“I had a lot of parents, hundreds of parents that contacted me and said thank you for sharing this story, because this happens in my family, it happens in the community, it might look different but it even happens in our church that we can’t find our way in and people feel like you’re disrupting us.” Continue reading

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What if a parent ALSO has mental health issues?

When we’re talking about kids experiencing mental health concerns that keep them from church, there’s a reasonable possibility that their mother or father experienced or continue to experience similar difficulties that kept them from attending church. Continue reading

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Online Church for families impacted by disability…TODAY at 1:00 Eastern

UPDATE: Nils Smith will be joining us at 1:00 PM Eastern and 9:00 PM Eastern for an interactive chat! Continue reading

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Kids don’t want to be seen as “different”

The best possible solutions for including kids with mental illness at church would include those offering potential benefits to all children and families without drawing attention to any particular child, those that help kids to prepare privately for participation in church activities outside the scrutiny of peers and solutions that offer necessary supports without requiring children or families to self-identify in order to receive help. Continue reading

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A great night at Parkside Church!

I came away from our time last night impressed with the need for church leaders seeking to serve families impacted by disability to have someone to whom they can turn for practical advice and support when they experience challenges related to inclusion. It’s my hope that those serving in the field will feel confident turning to Key Ministry for that advice and support. Continue reading

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Barriers to inclusion…What if nobody knows the kid needs help?

Our existing disability ministries typically do a very good job of meeting the needs of families of children easily identifiable physical disabilities, or obvious weaknesses weaknesses in intellectual capacity or adaptive functioning. But what happens when the disability isn’t so obvious? Continue reading

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Sensory processing as a barrier to “doing church”

Ministry environments that some kids find engaging may be experienced as noxious by children with heightened reactivity to sensory stimulation. Let’s consider the range of potential situations that would present challenges to families of kids with sensory processing difficulties. Continue reading

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What does “executive functioning” have to do with kids and church?

Through identifying the other challenges executive functioning weaknesses present to a person’s ability to maintain an ongoing pattern of involvement with a local church, we hope to assist leaders in designing ministry environments and developing supports to welcome kids and families who were “unsuccessful” in previous experiences of church and strengthen their connection to the local church once they become attenders. Continue reading

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