Be welcoming of special needs.

Be welcoming of special needs.

A little while ago I posted about my experience in church. Dylan wasn’t terribly quiet and I had a choices, stop going for fear of what other people thought, go but take her out, or go, forget what everyone else thought, and make it work. You can read my post here. The truth is, women in church are leaving in droves because they don’t feel like there is a place for them and their children. This is a problem. An amazing special needs mother and friend of mine, Jodi, posted her thoughts on what people can do to make these moms feel welcome. She is LDS but her lesson applies to every religion. This is what she said. I am having more and more of my friends that are parents children with special needs that are deciding to take a break from their church services. The reason? They feel unaccepted. These friends are from the same religion as me, and from different religions. It seems to be happening everywhere. We have always been blessed to be in wards that have been so supportive of my boys. When I hear these HORRIBLE experiences from my friends, I want to help them fight for the rights of their children, and I want to hold on to them, and tell them not to let others decide if they go to church or not… But then I can see exactly where they are. I know from personal experience that advocating for you child can be overwhelming and sometimes you just have no more to give. Again, my experience has been in different areas,...
Our normal (and totally disruptive) behavior…

Our normal (and totally disruptive) behavior…

My daughter is kind of noisy… okay, really noisy. She yells and laughs and if you give her any attention for it, she ups it a notch and gets MORE yelly and MORE happy! This is particularly true when we are somewhere where she should be quiet… or maybe it just seems that way. We were visiting a church this weekend that wasn’t one that we usually go to. Dylan was in prime form on her dad’s lap. Happy as can be, yelling, cheering. Can you say disruptive? This loud behaviour in a normally peaceful, calm, somewhat quiet environment? There are families and children there so of course the noise level can fluctuate but it’s not out of the norm for parents to take disruptive youngsters out in the hall if they get a little too crazy. Well, there she was, going and going, and my husband looked over at me and whispered “Should I take her out? I whispered, insisted, “no!” (Mind you, I don’t even like to take my typical children out when they are misbehaving because I don’t want them to realize they can go run in the halls if they are a little loud and naughty first!) This begs the question… how do you balance your special needs child (or adult) being loud and, under typical circumstances, disruptive with providing exposure about special needs to the community? And, not helping but, of course the child, like many toddlers, is completely oblivious to this “expected” behavior and the peaceful environment. This goes for any setting, restaurant, malls, plays, music events… Of course with church there is...