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Inclusion Strategies for Kids with Special Needs

May 23, 2012

In case you missed it, Ministry-to-Children.com ran my article, Review Activity for Kids with Special Needs, this past Monday.  A couple of years ago I had just interviewed a speech therapist for my writing on special needs inclusion.  She was talking about the importance of incorporating touch and feel as well as movement into any activity where you wanted a child to grasp a concept and learn something new.  Shortly after that conversation I began thinking about ways to help kids of all ability levels understand and absorb a Bible lesson.  I came up with the Yes/No stick activity (described in the linked article) and discovered it was a huge hit with both typical kids and those with learning differences.   This reinforcement exercise turned out to be a lifesaver last summer during VBS when I had a few minutes of unplanned time just before parents arrived for pick-up.  I passed out Yes/No sticks to two dozen first graders and reviewed the daily Bible story while teen helpers cleaned up the room and prepared for dismissal.  Because our class included one child with a disclosed diagnosis (autism) and we suspected we had at least one other child with a learning difference, this activity was great for engaging everyone.

In the picture above, you can see how I constructed my Yes/No sticks.  Ministry-to-Children.com  provides a free download if you want a shortcut for creating your own activity sticks.  For more tips like this one check out the new volunteer training DVD Surviving to Thriving: Successfully Including the Child with Special Needs available through http://www.whatisorange.org.

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