Train caregivers. Pierson
suggests five ways to train caregivers to serve people with special
- Encourage caregivers to talk with people about their
disabilities. It won’t offend people with disabilities, and it’ll
break down any walls of fear.
- Teach proper etiquette. For example, when guiding a blind child
to a chair, direct the child to the side and simply tell him that
the chair is on his left. The child will feel for it with his leg
and slide into the seat. You don’t need to be trained in many kinds
of disabilities, just the ones that exist in your church.
- Provide a way for caregivers to observe qualified teachers at
other churches or community centers.
- Have each caregiver get to know one child and his or her
family. Encourage caregivers to follow their students through a
daily routine. This will give marvelous insights into each child’s
- Set up practice teaching events. Team caregivers together and
let one pretend to be a person with a special need. After people
spend time in a wheelchair or blindfold, ask them to critique their
Pat Verbal is a ministry consultant and the founder of
Ministry to Today’s Child in Frisco, Texas. Sally Castle is
associate professor of special education at Cedarville University
in Cedarville, Ohio.
This article was excerpted from Children’s Ministry