Hi everyone! My name is Rhonda Sweeney and I am the Special Needs Ministry Coordinator at Munger Place Church. I run the Night OWLS program – a once a month respite for children with special needs and their siblings and, on Sunday mornings, I help with Munger Kids. I am also an Occupational Therapist and have specialized in pediatrics for 12 years.
Here at Munger Kids, we want ALL children and their families to feel welcomed! We understand that parents of children with special needs might feel that their child is unable to participate in Sunday school – but we don’t want that to be the case! We strongly believe that, with the right communication, every child can be a part of the Sunday fun!
Here are a few things that are helpful for us to know in order to best serve your child with special needs:
- Temperament/Personality traits –Are there any behavior issues that we should be aware of? Does your child have specific triggers? What calming strategies are helpful? What are some “red flags” that we can look out for that tell us when your child needs a break?
- Communication – Does your child experience expressive or receptive language difficulties? What is the best way to communicate with your child?
- Sensory differences – Is your child sensitive to certain types of input (sounds/lights/touch)? Or do they seek a particular type of sensory input?
- Special interests or talents – Does your child love superheroes or are they a big soccer fan? Knowing what interests your child can help us engage them in the lesson. You never know, Moses could have a lot in common with Messi!
I typically review each Sunday school lesson the week before and am always so pleased to see that the lessons are written to allow for all levels of participation. Whether your child is shy and prefers to sit quietly in the back or they are a front-row Joe who loves to answer ALL the questions, he or she is sure to find their place at Munger Kids!