Special needs parents...

Discussion in 'Family, Relationships, and Single Life' started by AnglicanTex, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. AnglicanTex

    AnglicanTex Member Anglican

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    Was wondering if any of you lovely people are parents of children with special needs (or aunts, uncles, etc.)? I ask because I am looking for ideas on catechism, religious education and religious home life. I myself am the pop of a moderate/severe, non verbal, autistic cutie pie who is almost seven.

    We read one little Bible story a night, say a "thank you" God in sign language and the only prayer she knows is the sign of the Cross. Since we don't know if she retains much of it, we can't be a hundred percent sure how to progress. Since we can see however that she understands that the sign of the Cross is something "set apart" and "solemn" for lack of a better term, we see an opening for expanding but not sure how. Any ideas help. TIA.

    Feel free to pm me if you don't want to chat here.
     
  2. peter

    peter Active Member

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    My brother is autistic. He grew up going to church and saying prayers before bed. The key is to keep things as simple as possible and to use repetition, perhaps adding to the pattern slowly. The biggest problem is probably teaching even very basic doctrine. My brother recently asked me about Easter. He can recite the facts parrot fashion e.g. On Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross. The difficulty is in understanding the significance of that. Simple, regular and often is probably the best advice I can give. And many Autistic people seem to like music, so there may be a road in there.

    If your daughter understands of course that the Sign of the Cross is something "set apart", are there other things you could do that are similarly "Holy things" to do? This depends on your religious preferences, but could you kneel down together while you say some prayers with her? Does she receive Communion? That is of course the ultimate "special" thing set aside from daily life. It depends a lot on your preferences as I say but try on build on special things that are only done when talking to/about God.
     
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    One of my acolytes is mildly autistic and tests strongly on the Aspergers spectrum. He drives me nuts sometimes but then I recall that he is not functioning like the other two acolytes.

    My daughter is three and fairly advanced. I taught her the Sign of the Cross more than a year ago. We have been working on the closing collect from Compline (Lord, guide us waking and guard us sleeping. . .). Her mother is bi-lingual and is trying to work on the "Padre Nuestro" with her. She loves to learn. But repetition is really the key with these young minds. And an autistic like your daughter can usually learn these things with repetition. They are typically brilliant in some area and slow in most others. Your challenge is to identify her area of brilliance and figure out how to bring piety into that sphere. But remember, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." Some of the handicapped are perpetual little children but their simple faith does not allow doubt.
     
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  4. AnglicanTex

    AnglicanTex Member Anglican

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    Thank you for your responses!

    Yes, repetition is key with her. With her we say the "family prayer" in the back of the BCP (1928) and every week we add one more prayer, eventually we will say it all . lol.

    Her devotional direction will most likely art. She cant get enough. I buy a lot of canvas...

    I indeed look at Holy Communion as the ultimate goal. I also want her to understand.

    Things like advent wreaths, st. Lucy crowns, etc. really get her going.
     

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