To provide a place for parents and family members to meet and share experience, strength, give hope and awareness, to other families who have similar experiences raising children with ADD/ADHD, SPD, Anxiety, ASD, mental health diagnosis, developmental and behavioral challenges. Through sharing in this experience of raising these hard to raise kids, we grow stronger and more resilient.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Religion and Kids With Disabilities
O.k. - I think I'll be the one to talk about maybe a taboo topic? - Religion & Kids with Disabilities, because that is where my heart is right now. As I sit here and write this note to you I am sitting in a coffeehouse with my husband, anxiety riddled, because I signed my two boys up for Sunday school after church. My typical child was not too hard to convince, they had food. My Hudson, who is not so great with new experiences, and certainly not wooed by food, was entirely unconvinced that this would be a positive experience.
Now, we decided to return to the Catholic church after many years away. My husband and I are both Catholic. We made this decision with two principles in mind, education and community. We figured we had two options. One, place our child in the public system whereby, he could end up anywhere, perhaps not with my 5 year old and in a class up 30+ students; or option two, place him in a religious environment that preaches acceptance, has a small class of 20 and both children can be involved in the same community.
So, we had both of the boys baptized two weeks ago. This entailed weeks of practicing with Hudson where we baptized his Woody doll under the kitchen sink about 100 times. Practicing helped a ton and I am proud to say that overall he did great, with that part. The thing we did not anticipate was the Father rubbing the sign of the cross on head. To this he screamed at the Priest in the middle of Sunday mass to not touch him and firmly declared, "no touching!" Everyone laughed and thought this was sort of endearing, as my husband and I exchanged terrified looks about whether this was the beginning of a volcanic tantrum or not. Thankfully, not.
This leads me to now, where I sit here terrified that he may be having a meltdown over there and be perhaps hurting other children, supervised by people that may not understand his needs. None the less, I am prompted to have faith. Faith that perhaps he will enjoy it and even if he does not this time, know that it takes routine for Hudson to begin understand and even enjoy something.
P.S. Turns out he did have a meltdown, but there was a male figure in the room that calmed him down and they became buddies. His teacher did not mince words - she said, "he had a hard time," but her husband was able to connect with him. He was smiling when I picked him up and frankly that is all that matters.
Do you have trouble in church? Are you also thinking about placing your child in the private school system? Let me know. I think it is a great discussion to have. Thanks for listening. - Jen