Monday, May 31, 2010

What Do We Mean by Special Needs?

In this post in the series, we will explain what we mean when we say "special needs."  There is no universal consensus as to what term is most appropriate to describe children who have disabilities or handicaps.  Some prefer "children with disabilities," "differently abled," or "challenged," along with many other possibilities.  We have chosen to use "special needs" and use that term throughout our ministry, and we do not mean to offend anyone who does not prefer this description.

We have traditionally included a variety of situations under the scope of "special needs."  This can include emotional, mental, and neurological disorders, such as autism, Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, or Tourette's (and we have different children with each of these conditions).  "Special needs" also includes children with physical disabilities.  This includes children with diabetes, children who are wheelchair-bound, or children who have immune system deficiencies due to illness or surgery.  Our goal is to minister to all families, knowing that each situation is unique.

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