Do you know anyone who may have more information on witnessing to a child with special needs? Any information would be helpful.
I received your e-mail from Mark Jones about witnessing to children with Special Needs. I am hoping that I can help you a bit since I am the father of two children with special needs. First, I do not know of any specific booklets or writings about how to handle that. Maybe you can share some resources with me if you hear of something.
Next, the issue is that each child is at a totally different level in their understanding of basic concepts. A blanket answer would not be wise. Always consider the child and how they learn. I normally follow the same pattern of witnessing as with a child that does not have identifiable special needs. I just stay alert to different communication skills and try to get past making them communicate in a way that I am use to a child communicating. Basically, if a special needs individual has an understanding of sin and their separation from God due to that sin, then I carefully and on their level, talk to them about the solution for that separation (Jesus). I ALWAYS keep the language of our conversation very concrete with special needs children and individuals and just handle it on a case by case basis. Some will never advance to the ability to understand and therefore, in my opinion, reach that point we often refer to “the age of accountability.” How can a person be held accountable for something they can’t understand? However, some have definitely advanced to that point and we need to be sensitive to not just “write them off” and say they would not understand. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.
Finally, I hope this helped somewhat. This is my e-mail and please know you can contact me at any time. I so appreciate your heart to reach EVERY individual with God’s love and redemption no matter what special needs or issues that person may face.
David H Anderson is the Childhood Education Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. David.Anderson@LBC.org