Additional Needs Children’s Work: Using What They Enjoy To Help Them Learn

That moment… that moment as a children’s or youth worker when you realise during the ‘talk time’ that you’ve just lost some of your group.  They were able to focus for the first three or four minutes, but now, five minutes in, you see them starting to get distracted, starting to fidget.  You’ve lost contact … Continue reading Additional Needs Children’s Work: Using What They Enjoy To Help Them Learn

‘Be Devoted To One Another In Love’

Devoted…  an important word, one which we often hear, and a word that we all probably think we fully understand; but do we?  How truly deep a word is it?  And what might it mean in the context of caring for a child or young person with additional needs; whether as parent, carer, other family … Continue reading ‘Be Devoted To One Another In Love’

Church Children’s Work: Do ‘Age Groups’ Or ‘Interest Groups’ Work Best?

Sometimes, we do things that can make very little sense at all...  Sometimes, we do those things unthinkingly, because “It’s always been done that way…”.  Sometimes, it’s only when we are challenged to really think about it, that we realise that there might be a better way… That’s the journey I’ve been on when thinking … Continue reading Church Children’s Work: Do ‘Age Groups’ Or ‘Interest Groups’ Work Best?

‘Washing My Autistic Son’s Feet’

James, my 15-year old autistic son, gets cold feet…  Sometimes this is because he often prefers to go barefoot, sometimes this is because his blood circulation isn’t as good as it might be, or maybe it’s a combination of the two. He likes to have his feet rubbed, to warm them up, but recently he … Continue reading ‘Washing My Autistic Son’s Feet’

‘The Additional Needs Battle’

The word ‘Battle’ has been at the forefront of my mind this week;  it has been a key part of my week in several ways, through experiences and as a place.  The three reasons that this word has been key for me this week are linked, personal, ministry and place, and so come together into … Continue reading ‘The Additional Needs Battle’

‘The State Of The Nation – Additional Needs & Disability In The UK’

In a few weeks time for many, a new academic year will start; in some parts of the country, it starts this week.  The start of the new academic year is often the time that church children’s and youth clubs start up again, although of course some have continued during the summer, or have run … Continue reading ‘The State Of The Nation – Additional Needs & Disability In The UK’

‘Prayer – Essential In Inclusive Children’s & Youth Work’

Prayer is an essential element in inclusive children’s and youth work…  seems an obvious thing to say doesn’t it?  Yet it still surprises me how many times we overlook including God in what we are doing… Take the ‘phone call I received once as an example of this…  In the role that I have, I … Continue reading ‘Prayer – Essential In Inclusive Children’s & Youth Work’

‘Fidgets, Fiddles, Focus and Fun!’

There has been an enormous amount of fuss in the last few months about fidget (or fiddle) toys…  largely focussed around finger spinners and fidget cubes…  Much of the commentary around this has been generated by the debate as to whether schools are right or wrong to ban them, as many (but not all) have…  … Continue reading ‘Fidgets, Fiddles, Focus and Fun!’

‘Inclusion Champions – Transforming The Church’

There are many ways that those involved in children’s and youth work can make a big difference for children and young people with additional needs or disabilities, and their families.  I often get asked what one change can make the most difference, can have the greatest impact, can enable lasting transformation.  The answer I always … Continue reading ‘Inclusion Champions – Transforming The Church’

‘One-to-One Heroes’

Where inclusion in church is done well, particularly where it is done well within children’s and youth work, there are often unsung heroes working in the background to care for and support those with additional needs and disabilities. These folk get alongside children and young people who need additional support and provide them with the … Continue reading ‘One-to-One Heroes’