Since April is Autism Awareness Month, I want to share 6 simple things you can start doing today to make your community more inclusive.
When you see someone with special needs…Greet with love! Smile, wave, and say “hello.” (1 Peter 5:14)
- Common Interests
You’re more alike than you are different! When you meet someone with special needs, find something you have in common. Understanding that we are all “…fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)
- Children of God
We are all children of God! Always refer to an individual with special needs by his/her name. When needed, say a “child with special needs” instead of other terminology, as they are a child of God above anything else. (Galatians 3:26)
- Extend Grace
Individuals with special needs may have difficulty controlling emotions, verbal responses, and physical behaviors. Instead of judging, let’s extend the same grace we receive daily. (Ephesians 2:5)
Individuals with special needs have many gifts to offer to the church and community. Take time to learn about their gifts. (1 Corinthian 12:12-31)
Individuals with special needs simply want to belong! Welcome. Accept. Befriend. Support. Invite. Whatever you would do to help your friend belong at church or in your community, you should do for an individual with special needs. (Romans 12:4-5)
I pray that these simple tips will help you and your community include individuals and families of all abilities!