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Monday, May 23, 2011

Disabilities in Primary

"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children". 3 Nephi 22:13

The Lord has given Primary leaders an important charge to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all children, including those who have disabilities.

Like all other children, those who have disabilities can be touched by the Spirit and blessed by caring teachers and leaders in Primary.

Integrating children with disabilities into Primary offers unique opportunities for spiritual growth and development for the disabled children, for the other children, and for their leaders.

Children with disabilities have the same needs as all children, they need to feel loved, accepted, and understood, they need to feel the Spirit as they learn about the Savior and His gospel, and they need to participate successfully in Primary.

Children with disabilities also need to feel the joy that comes from serving others. 
Here are a few resource links to help you with any special needs you have in your Primary class. I found these to be very helpful:

Help Each Child Feel Loved and Accepted

Recognize that the child is a child of God: look beyond the disability to the child's spirit.

Get to know the child and his or her family. Build a positive relationship with the child as you take time to show genuine interest and concern. 

Find out about the child's strengths and challenges. Focus on his or her abilities and talents without giving undue attention to the disability.

Be friendly and natural when communicating with the child. Speak directly to the child rather than to someone who is assisting him or her. 

Encourage the child to talk about his or her feelings. Listen attentively and with love. 

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