Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when we look forward to a whole new year ahead, full of hope and opportunity. A time when some of us make rash promises and resolutions, many of which don’t make it through the first day (giving up chocolate or wine) the first week (going for a run every day) or the first month (that gym membership!)
For me, I have just one New Year Resolution; it’s one that I’ve made every New Year for many years now, one that I have faithfully kept and will faithfully commit to again for the year ahead. My one additional needs New Year resolution is to support, advocate, fight for, give a voice to, be an ally to, and help bring about positive change for, children, young people, and young adults with additional needs and disabilities, their families, and those that journey with them and support them.
Whether it’s creating training resources and training children’s and youth workers to understand, provide access for, include, and create belonging for everyone; or whether it’s preaching to church communities about how Jesus welcomed everyone and so should we (www.urbansaints.org/additionalneeds).
Whether it’s writing blogs, articles and books that reach people wherever they are and provides positive inspiration and practical ideas; or whether it’s through podcasts, videos, conference speaking, or any other way of getting the message out there that everyone belongs, everyone is valued and loved.
Whether it’s through providing social media platforms, along with good friends, for everyone to journey and learn together (www.facebook.com/groups/additionalneedsalliance and www.additionalneedsalliance.org.uk); or a place for dads with children of any age to gather, share and journey together (www.facebook.com/groups/thedadsfirecircle and www.thedadsfirecircle.com)
Maybe it will even be through creating great resources with my own son James, like his 2023 calendar, to help him share his voice and artwork across the country and beyond.
For me my New Year resolution isn’t something that will fade after a day, a week, a month; it is a calling that will extend through this year and beyond as long as God gives me breath in my body. My call to us all is a simple one, will you join me? Will you resolve to do everything you can to ensure that, together with the children, young people, and young adults with additional needs and disabilities themselves, and their families, and all of us that ally with them and advocate for them, we can bring about positive change and a world where everyone is treated equally, fairly, is loved and valued, and can follow and achieve their dreams. Are you with me?
Happy New Year to you all, we hope and pray that it will be filled with love, blessings, peace when you need it, joy and laughter in abundance, and will be a year of real positive change for all children, young people and young adults with additional needs and disabilities.
Mark and James
All text and images © The Additional Needs Blogfather/Mark Arnold
2 thoughts on “My One Additional Needs New Year Resolution…”
Mark always appreciate your heart and advocacy and not letting our children settle for not having a place to go to church or be involved. Thank for being the mouthpiece for Jesus and not only proclaiming they belong but have a unique and authentic way of glorifying God with their lives. Many Blessings as you fulfill your calling this New Year!!
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