Ministry with Persons with Disabilities

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Catechesis with Students with Disabilities

Do’s and Don’t’s

Do…

Do have your catechist plan their classes around multiple intelligences
Do respect the unique individuality of each child
Do honor their dignity as a child of God
Do make sure to fully include all children in class activities and efforts
Do understand and explain disability in positive or neutral language and concepts
Do encourage positive interaction between the students.
Do listen and ask parents questions about the child
Do directly involve the child in any assessments
Do ask the child what he or she likes to work on, is good at
Do encourage participation  
Do keep all lines of communication open (parents, student, teacher, DRE, etc.)
Do gently but firmly address any negative comments/feedback from other students, parents
Do realize that students with disabilities  have gifts, skills, and talents to share
Do highlight Jesus’ positive interaction with persons with disabilities

Don't…

Don’t assume that all children with Down's Syndrome are the same
Don’t assume you know each child’s strength’s and challenges based on their disability
Don’t single out student as someone who isn’t “really” part of the class
Don’t characterize disability as something “tragic” or “unfortunate”
Don’t single out the child with negative attention
Don’t force participation if child isn’t ready
Don’t focus on what the child “can’t” do
Don’t permit teasing or bullying
Don’t “judge a book by it’s cover”
Don’t assume children with disabilities can only ever be “ministered to”