Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Other Kids Learn When We’re Not Talking -- #3

Typically, these days, children without special needs are referred to as, well, typically-developing.

And those typically-developing children learn, too, when we actively welcome children with special needs into our churches.

You’d be surprised at what they hear us say... especially when we’re sure we’re not saying anything.

When they see us accept and love children with special needs, typically-developing children hear loud-and-clear the strong, silent message that their worth and lovableness don’t depend on appearance, accomplishment or potential.

So they learn the lesson of stronger, more solid self-esteem.

When children with special needs are included in a group with typically-developing peers, the other kids have an opportunity to develop compassion and understanding.

So they learn lessons that lead to a deeper, kinder character.

When children with special needs are fully included with their peers, typically-developing children are able to provide some of the extra support they need.

So they learn flexibility and adaptation -- valuable social skills in our increasingly-diverse society.

When typically-developing kids become friends with children with special needs, the typically-developing peers realize that children with special needs can give, too.

So they learn humility, and acceptance of their own limitations.

And... I bet they learn a million other lessons, too.

So -- what lessons do you see typically-developing children learn when they welcome peers with special needs?

Wherever you live or work, I encourage you to watch for these lessons... then write and tell us.

How long a list can we come up with together?

#4 -- Next Up -- Siblings Get Their Own ID