Kingdom values have helped bring radical transformation in society precisely when Christians understood their calling to be salt and light in the public square.
What older generations can be great at is having a heart to help a particular child or young person, having the pastoral skills to see when they are struggling and to help them.
Much of our time as parents of children with additional needs is spent tending to their needs, supporting them. Jesus modelled this in so many ways during his ministry, and during those times that he served people he taught them too.
Jesus message of selflessness, putting others first, serving others, loving others, is counter-cultural in today’s society.
At times, additional needs parents can play many of the familiar roles of circus performers.
James’ journey through life has not been an accident; it has and continues to have purpose.
Yes, he did. He made you perfectly, he made you wonderfully.
The hardest question can be the one from a child themselves… “Why am I different?”
It should be about that genuine, heartfelt, willingness to work together to create an environment where everyone can join in.
It’s not your fault that our child is Autistic. It’s not your fault that he has Learning Difficulties and struggles to communicate effectively. None of these things are your fault, or mine; they are no-one’s fault.
Never, in a million years, did we expect to have a disabled child.
What do you see when you first meet a child with additional needs or a disability?
When I’m seeing parents who are looking for tips about how to support their child better in church, at home, and elsewhere, it’s often Mum that I see.
It is important to provide a child with additional needs with someone they can trust who can help them understand what is happening, where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing.
Members of churches often ask what one change can make the most difference, can have the greatest impact, can enable lasting transformation.
Evangelical theology needs to pursue a realistic reading of the Fathers under the supreme authority of Scripture and at the service of the cause of the gospel.
We might find ourselves washed up on the beach from time-to-time, but we and our child jump up and run back in to the surf once more to try again.
We have experienced a change of destination, we’ve ended up somewhere we didn’t expect, or initially want, to go… How will we respond? How will it affect us?
A question many Christian parents of a child with additional needs or a disability ask.
A visual timetable may also be really helpful for some children with additional needs, helping them to know what is happening now, what is coming up next, and how much longer the session is going to last.
Do we see that what every child brings to Jesus, whether they have additional needs or not, is enough and can be used by him?
James’ Autism is neurodiversity, a different way of ‘being’. His brain is wired differently to mine, he thinks differently to me, sees and responds to the world differently to me.
James’ favourite song for me to sing with him is “Jesus loves me, this I know”.
For us as parents of a child with additional needs, there are certainly many times to weep, times to be sad. But there is so much more to life than the tears if we are willing.
In the early stages there is the trigger for relationship breakdown as we are struggling with understanding what is going on with our child.
One of the things about parenting a child or young person with additional needs, is that life is never predictable.