At some point in time, we all experience the feeling of being overwhelmed. Imagine a world where everywhere you go, the noises, the crowds, the lights, something as simple as the layout of a room may overstimulate and overwhelm you to the point where you shut down and cannot function in your surroundings. It is our goal as a community of Christ to welcome all individuals with open arms, and to create a loving, nurturing environment which encourages our children to learn and grown in their discipleship. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and varying special needs often exhibit varying degrees of difficulties with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, sensory issues, and repetitive behaviors which impair their ability to independently function in everyday situations. While each child’s needs are different, we can help our children by providing some tools to help them function in the church environment.
Our Day School and Children’s Sunday School ministries are taking some steps to hopefully make a difference in the lives of these children and their families. Our goal is to become the first Multi-Sensory church in the state so that we can help ALL children to walk as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We feel we can do that by training to our teachers and providing the tools our children with ASD or special needs need in order to participate and function throughout the church. Those tools include:
- Headphones for children who are sensitive to sound
- iPad for children who need visual aids and have trouble learning verbally
- Weighted blankets to provide comfort when the world seems too big to overcome
- Teachers aids in the classroom setting to assist children through overwhelming lessons
- A Multi-sensory room for Sunday mornings as a retreat when a child is overwhelmed
These tools will hopefully provide support and care to our families who face the day to day struggles with Autism and other special needs. We have partnered with Kulture City, a non-profit organization that seeks to help each family adapt to the needs of their child(ren) and is committed to look at the larger picture of not only take care of needs now, but also as they grown into youth and adulthood by helping them find employment and lead productive lives. We ask for your prayers and support as VHUMC unfolds our ministry to these children and their families.