Breakout Sessions All Access is offering two tracks: one ministry-focused and one family-focused. You'll be able to choose from the following options:
Everyone Can Do Something About Behavior with Tiffany Crow, BCBA
You are only scratching the surface of special needs ministry if you limit your outreach to those that are well behaved. It is the families experiencing problem behavior that are a true spiritual, emotional, and physical battlefield. Participants will gain:
• A knowledge of how the environment shapes behavior and how to change it
• Steps to manage small yet persistent problem behavior.
• Steps to manage significant problem behavior.
The Untapped Opportunity: Special Needs Families with Daniel K. Williams
This session is intended to introduce churches to the need for special needs ministry and provide a primer on starting one. Specifically, you will learn:
• What constitutes a special needs family and their demographics
• What they need from the church
• The current state of the church’s response to their needs
• How embracing special needs families would impact your church and the first steps in the SNM journey
Start with Hello: Creating a Place of Belonging with Lauren Garner
Families with special needs often share that they desire two things in their church: accessibility and acceptance. By creating inclusive environments churches help individuals affected by disability discover and practice the gifts God has given them while fostering a culture of authentic relationships. This session will allow you to walk away with steps to becoming an accessible and accepting church.
Grace for the Children: Mental Health Problems and the Church Matthew S. Stanford, Ph.D.
Research finds that individuals struggling with mental health problems are more likely to seek out a member of the clergy for assistance before a mental health care provider or physician. Viewed through the eyes of faith, it is obvious that this is not an accident but a divine opportunity for the Church. In this presentation, Dr. Stanford will discuss how the Church might engage our current mental health crisis to better serve suffering children and their families.
Your Church Is Not Too Little to Have a Special-Needs Ministry with Mark Deen and Chuck Hendee
In this breakout session you will hear the story of the special needs ministry at Sienna Ranch. You will see how God guides a church and provides the resources to find your unique position to bless the community at large, and especially the special needs community around you.
Scripture calls us to practice a rhythm of rest, but life and circumstances don’t always allow for it. Jake will share how God unexpectedly called his church into special needs ministry and how that lead to them to serving families by giving them the gift of respite. You will learn practical ways to serve families outside of Sunday mornings and the importance of engaging the church who might feel ill equipped or even intimidated by special needs ministry.
Once your church has launched a special-needs ministry, one of your biggest challenges may be recruiting and training volunteers. In this session, Karen will guide you through the process of identifying adults and teens who would be a good fit for your ministry and ways to help them feel ready to serve the families God brings to your church.
How to Be an Agent of Change in Your Community with Giset King
This session will show the importance of taking your passion and using it to influence your community. Giset will share practical steps to put it in action.
Stress Management for Special-Needs Caretakers with Dr. Lee Peoples
Lee is a special-needs dad and a pastor, so he knows how hard it is to care physically and emotionally for others and how that can affect your health. In this session, he will share stress management tips he has learned through his experiences so you can live a healthier, happier life.
Caring for Children with Traumatic Backgrounds (including adoption and foster care) with Denise Briley
Denise has experience caring for kids from traumatic backgrounds as an adoptive and foster care mom. Join her to learn how to help them process their environments, build a sense of safety, and flourish.
Supporting Special-Needs Siblings with Sandra Peoples
Based on her experiences as a sibling and a mom, Sandra will explain the three stages typical siblings go through as they grow up in a special-needs family and share seven phrases every special-needs sibling needs to hear.
How to Strengthen Your Marriage as Special-Needs Parents with Dr. Lee and Sandra Peoples
Lee and Sandra know how hard it is to balance being a husband or wife along with being a caretaker for a child. In this session, they will share what they’ve learned from their own marriage and from observing Sandra’s parents and so many other caretakers.
Supporting Self-Advocacy for your child with Special Needs with Lorin R. Furlow
It can often be difficult to determine what needs to be shared about your child with special needs with friends, family, community. How do you share information about your child’s special needs to support their independence and access? Can sharing information inadvertently create barriers or limited expectations? How do I teach my child to self-advocate? Join Lorin (parent of a special needs child and special educator) in a conversation about what self-advocacy is and explore tools, techniques, and experiences that can assist you in determining how to build self-advocacy skills for your child and family!