"I began searching for a heart based discipline approach for my special needs daughter—a method that would give her the tools to thrive and succeed. Behavior and training shouldn't be based on "if, then" principles. Rather, it needs to be reflection of the heart. The resources and guidance that I have received through the National Center for Biblical Parenting accomplish these goals and more.” —Danielle Theobald
to Our Support Page for Parenting Children with Special Needs
To start with, let's introduce our Special Needs Specialists, Tom and Julie Meekins. Learn more about
their story here.
Special needs is a term referring to many different challenges that children face today. Some experience physical challenges, others experience neurological issues, and still others have some form of developmental delay. Common labels include things such as Autism, Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, OCD, ODD, PDD, and that's just a few.
We don't like to label children or make their challenge part of their identity, but sometimes those labels help direct people to certain kinds of solutions that best suit their problems.
At the National Center for Biblical Parenting, we offer a holistic approach for addressing children with special needs. Biological solutions involve things such as diet, exercise, sleep, and medication. Reactive solutions include things such as building character, new patterns, and providing parents with relational strategies to change tendencies children may have. Spiritual solutions involve the use of God's Word, prayer, and appreciating the grace of God in practical ways in a child's life.
All children, no matter what their challenges, have a heart. We would recommend that you read the book Parenting is Heart Work to understand the significance of using a heart based approach with your children. The Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs also provide several helpful tools to change the patterns children have as they cope with life.
We have an audio MP3 (or CD) entitled Discipline with Children Who Have Special Needs by Dr. Nancy Rivas that offers some strategic advice. You might also find help from Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN in their 4 session presentation, Parenting the Child Who is a Challenge to Parent.
Tom and Julie Meekins have a ministry called March Forth Family. They offer coaching to parents and a community where you'll find nurture, support, and care in your journey.
Working with children who have specific challenges can be draining at times. We know that. It's our desire to make your job a little bit easier.