Today we begin a new four part series called “Did I Sign Up For This?” Amy Kendall, Saddleback Kids Disabilities Ministry Coordinator, will give us a better understanding on how to work with those who simply need a little extra grace.
Kids come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Some kids are just easy to love and some kids are what we call at Saddleback, EGR kids (Extra Grace Required). There is another category of kids that often gets looked at as behavioral kids. When you look at it a little closer, you will find that they are not behavioral, but children who may have a variety of different disabilities. These are not the disabilities you can see when looking at them. These are things like ADHD, high functioning autism and, the most prevalent, Sensory Processing Disorder. You may first look at them and just think they are being “naughty” kids, but then we need to take a step back and see that this is not the case. But it is the way God created them…unique and different.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is something that has been around for over 40 years and it is not as well-known as ADD or ADHD. It looks very similar, but does not have the focusing issues that these other disorders have. SPD is typically broken into these areas.
- Body Positioning
- Attention, Behavior and Social
Children with SPD have either an aversion to these areas (flight) or seek these areas out (fight). Some examples of these kids would be the child who does not like the loud worship time, covers their ears and says it is too loud. Or they could be the child who loves to run up to you and bounce off your legs when they are coming to greet you. Children with SPD have one or multiple areas that they deal with.
Next time we will discuss each area specifically and how it is present in the children we serve in Children’s Ministry.