Children with Intellectual and Developmental Differences
Awareness of and solidarity with individuals with special needs are important parts of our mission as a loving and welcoming Church family. The links provided may be helpful in the catechesis of children with special needs.
We are always in need of catechists trained to work with children who have developmental differences. If you or someone you know would like to help, please contact us at the R.E. Office.
Books available in the R.E. Office to read:
Catechists for All Children - working with special needs in children's catehesis.
A Place for All - by John Barone
Websites with Information on Various Special Needs
Every April, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston recognizes the gifts of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), and shows how our faith leads us to create communities where all are welcome.
Autism Awareness Intercession That we recognize the gifts of persons with Autism and how our faith leads us to create communities where all are welcome.
“Respect for persons with disabilities and including them equally in the life of the Church is crucial for our understanding of the human person.” – Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
In baptism, we become equal in dignity as necessary members of the Body of Christ. Because everybody belongs, we provide support and accommodations so that all may worship, grow in faith and celebrate the sacraments. Such access is a baptismal right of every Catholic, including persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
For more information, contact the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at 713-741-8730.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
It is a developmental disability related to varying differences in brain development
Learning abilities can range from extremely gifted to very challenging
It will often significantly affect a person’s communication, behavior and social skills
Rates continue to rise; currently estimated at ones in 68 births
Some persons are nonverbal
Autism is five times more common in boys
Persons with autism are most likely in every community, including faith communities
Tips for Creating Faith Communities Where All Are Welcome Every person bears God’s image. Every person is a unique gift from God. And everyone has a need to express their spiritual nature, nurtured by faith in Jesus.
Practice Christ-like hospitality, as autism can create social isolation for the whole family; networking with others builds stronger communities.
Every human being is a person first, not a diagnosis; use people first language by referring to a “person with autism,” rather than “an autistic person.”
Some individuals may not be able to attend an entire Mass; they may need extra space in the pew or to take a break.
Walking around a room or having an object to hold can often provide a person the ability to focus and feel calm.
Some persons may be more affected by lights, sounds and scents; respect their sensitivities.
Persons who are non-verbal can receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation, as they can express their spiritual understanding through gestures or signs of reverence.
"Every parish should seek out its parishioners with…disabilities, support them with love and concern, and ensure that they have ready access to a catechetical program suited to their needs and abilities." - National Directory for Catechesis, 61