I think it’s safe to say that most people want to be tolerant and loving towards people with disabilities. We wouldn’t hesitate to make accommodations for a person with physical limitations or to someone who is deaf or has a visual impairment. However, there has been a significant rise in the number of young children diagnosed with what can be classified into a group called invisible special needs. Society in general is lagging behind when it comes to supporting these children and their families. What’s worse is that many families are being pushed out of their own churches, the very places that should be the most compassionate and accepting.
What is an “invisible” special need? Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder), Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental delays, mental and emotional difficulties, anxiety, and giftedness are some of the most common special needs that would fall into this category.
1. Refrain from Judgment
I can guarantee that the family is doing the best they can. Having a child with special needs is a challenge every day. It is especially hurtful when families hear negative comments about their children or receive rude stares and glances. Some families know that their children are regularly disruptive and are sensitive to the negative feelings of others. Be tolerant of noises and movements.