Entries by Ashley Belknap

Autism and Youth Ministry

The transition into the youth group may be the time the church begins to have difficulty working with the social skill deficits and cognitive challenges of young people on the autism spectrum. Developmentally, youth are exploring more complex relationships that require more complex social […]

Encountering Problem Behaviors at Church

When you encounter problem behaviors at church, take time to consider why the behavior is occuring and how to respond. Language development can be delayed in young children on the […]

Autism and Children’s Ministry

Children’s ministry is often the first place we encounter families navigating life with autism. In the nursery you may find babies who cannot be soothed. With toddlers, you may notice […]

Enfolding Families with Autism into Church

Families impacted by autism often want the same things in church that your family wants—a place to belong and grow in Christ with friends who love them. Successfully enfolding these families is accomplished by creating an […]

Interest Meetings for Families Living with Disability

Interest group meetings can be especially helpful when you want to learn who are the families living with disability in your church and how to best serve them. Here are […]

Utilizing Buddies at Church

There are many ways in which churches can provide needed supports for children, teens, and adults who have disabilities. Often, the most effective practice is to provide adult or peer […]

Educating Your Extended Family on Disability

We often enter church with the belief that the congregation won’t understand disability. But we tend to expect our own families to understand us, even if we haven’t taken the […]

Making Strategic Adaptations at Church

A frequently-asked question in the local church is, “What should we do next in disability ministry?” The answer varies from church to church. It largely depends on factors such as […]

Guiding a Family into the Heart of Church

Many churches are seeing a drop in attendance, and they are eager to have visitors and love them well. We want to see churches express the same eagerness for your […]

Planning Chart for Adapting Church Programs

We encourage churches to think through ways to adapt existing age and stage-of-life programs to allow individuals with disabilities and their families to participate more fully. This planning chart (PDF) […]