Three Ways to Help Your Special-Needs Child

  1. Find activities that fit his unique needs. Special Olympics is available in each state for those 8 years and older with mental retardation or significant learning problems that require special instruction. Check the phone book to find your local chapter.

    The Unified Sports program, working with Special Olympics, teams persons without mental retardation and persons with mental retardation of comparable age.

    Other opportunities for the special needs child and his family include:

    • JAF Ministries, the California-based disability outreach of Joni Eareckson Tada. Call: 818-707-5664.
    • Friendship Ventures
    • Boy Scouts of America (See if your local council offers a group for children with special needs.)
    • The Friends program coordinates with AWANA church youth groups to provide activities for special needs kids. If you can't find a Friends program in your area, ask your church about starting one.
  2. Find a partner who will encourage you and pray for you. The Bible is also full of encouragement for you and your child. To learn more, contact Moms in Touch
  3. Plan for your child's adult years. See if your child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid.

    In addition, call your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office to find out what rehabilitation services and adult job opportunities are available in your community.

    Ask the DSS for a list of group homes for adults with disabilities in your area. Some states have private Christian-based group homes. For more information from one well-run program, contact Shepherd's Home and School.

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