If we can include Isaac…

IsaacThumbOur friends at CLC Network in Grand Rapids provide inclusion resources for Christian schools, churches and home educators. They currently work with 58 Christian schools in four states, equipping the schools to serve kids who qualify for special education services that are generally available only through public schools.

Last weekend, a short film was released online telling the story of Isaac, a student at Byron Center Christian School…one of the schools served by staff from CLC. This film is a little more than ten minutes long, but well worth the time! Isaac’s inclusion at Byron Center can only be characterized as an incredible blessing to the faculty and staff…From Bradley Productions, here’s Including Isaac:

I suspect my reaction to the video was different from most. When I saw what the team at Byron Center was able to do with Isaac, I became very frustrated that Christian schools can’t (or won’t) do more to include kids with less obvious disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, communication disorders, processing delays) that generally require parents to turn to the public schools for help.

It seems to me the disability ministry movement has done a really nice job of highlighting the needs of kids like Isaac…but we haven’t done so well at serving kids with more subtle brain-based disabilities that present barriers to participation in Christian schools, as well as church itself. It’s time we do something about it!

Barb Newman and Elizabeth Dombrowski from CLC Network have graciously offered to put together a “back to school” miniseries on inclusion of kids with special education needs in Christian schools. We put together a list of questions for Barb and Elizabeth to spotlight the work they’re doing as well as the resources they have available for parents and educators with a common passion. We plan to begin the miniseries on Tuesday, September 3rd.

BarbNewman1April2011If Barb’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it is! While Barb’s day job is in special education, she may be best known by our readers for her advocacy for including kids with disabilities at church. We reviewed the most recent edition of her popular book, Autism and Your Church back in 2011.

Parents shouldn’t have to sacrifice a Christian education in order for their kids to get the specialized academic instruction they need.  And we’re going to introduce you to some folks who can help!

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ADHD Series LogoKey Ministry offers a resource center on ADHD, including helpful links, video and a blog series on the impact of ADHD upon spiritual development in kids and teens. Check it out today and share the link with others caring for children and youth with ADHD.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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7 Responses to If we can include Isaac…

  1. Silvia says:

    Barbara is so gifted … Cant wait for her to come back to NYC again 🙂

    Like

  2. As the mom of several adopted children with “invisible” disabilities – depression, anxiety-disorder, OCD and PTSD, I surely agree. Actually, public schools don’t do very well with these disabilities, either. The only school which has worked for us is a Christian School with a very small student body that specializes in individualization. Perhaps it is the idea that school must always be done in large groups that gets in the way. For many children it is the stress of that very situation which makes them unable to cope.

    Like

  3. Dana says:

    “They currently work with 58 Christian schools in four states, equipping the schools to serve kids who qualify for special education services that are generally available only through private schools.”

    Did you mean to say only through public schools?

    Like

  4. Pingback: Advocating for inclusion in Christian schools…tips for parents | Church4EveryChild

  5. Michelle says:

    To see the video you need a password

    Like

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