Left Behind – Children With Additional Needs As We Emerge From The COVID-19 Pandemic

As we start enjoying more freedoms as pandemic restrictions ease, this isn’t going to be true for many disabled children and their families. My good friend Mark shares the findings from a recent report and the action we can take to help these families

The Additional Needs Blogfather

As part of its ongoing research partnership with Pears Foundation, the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) of which I’m a member, surveyed roughly 300 parents in June 2021 in our final survey as part of the series. I had the privilege of being one of those parents. The findings, released today, reveal that whilst the rest of the population has been able to enjoy additional freedoms as pandemic restrictions have eased, disabled children and their families are struggling to heal the pandemic and remain cut off from the rest of society. This blog post shares the report finding and action required to make a difference.

The findings:
· Three quarters (71%) of disabled children have seen their progress managing their conditions reverse or regress due to the pandemic.
· Disabled children, their parents and their siblings remain more isolated than the rest of the population, with 9 in 10 disabled children…

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Additional Needs Ministry – My Journey So Far

Have you ever felt led to change what you’re doing as a job, your role in church or something in your family life? These decisions aren’t always easy to make, especially if it’s something that you’ve done for many years. I believe, as a Christian, that if God has asked you to do it, he will be with you on the journey. About ten years ago God started me off on a change of course which would ultimately lead me to being an Inclusion Champion at the church we were at at the time. Here’s the story of those last ten years….

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Could It Be A Meltdown?

As a Mum to someone on the autistic spectrum, I have witnessed several meltdowns over the years. To onlookers these often look like temper tantrums. However, anyone who has either experienced a meltdown or supported someone through one, will know that they have nothing to do with having a temper tantrum. With both a meltdown and a temper tantrum there may be crying, shouting, screaming, kicking, biting, hitting, etc. So what is the difference between them? Let’s look at just five areas where they differ.

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Accessible Church – More Than Just Ramps!

Anyone who has spoken to me for more than a few minutes will tell you that I’m pretty passionate about churches being accessible to disabled people and those with additional needs. But why do they need to be? Surely if they turn up each week, that’s enough, isn’t it? Personally, I don’t think it is. They may be turning up, but do they struggle to access the building and, once they’ve finally made it into the building are they able to access what is going on & understand it? Are they able to do more than just hand out the Bibles or make the drinks after the service? Are they talked to as friends or is it more of a case of being ignored? It’s estimated that 90% of disabled people don’t attend church and, to be fair, if I didn’t feel like I was being welcomed, I wouldn’t want to show up either.

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Aspergers – Just A Little Bit Autistic?

I was watching BBC Breakfast last week and they showed a report on difficulties getting employment at the moment due to the pandemic. They interviewed one lad who they described as having “ADHD and mild autism”. I have to admit that that description annoyed me…..a lot! Why? Well, you’re either autistic or you’re not! There’s not a mild version of autism, but each autistic person will have a variety of things that they struggle with. I assume that the lad probably has Aspergers, like my son. By saying that he had ‘mild autism’ it says that he doesn’t really have any struggles fitting into a neurotypical (non autistic) world, which I’m sure isn’t the case and that, like Kieran, he’s learnt strategies to cope.

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