Home Children's Ministry Leaders Children's Ministry How To's 10 Possible Scenarios in Ministry to Autistic Kids – and What to...

10 Possible Scenarios in Ministry to Autistic Kids – and What to Do

4. Objects in Mouth

  • If you offer snacks, this might be good time to pull them one out for student.
  • Student may need a way to “fidget” even if with hands. Provide box of fidget toys.
  • Clean your toys regularly!
  • If continual problem, ask parents how they address it at home. Parents may have a preferred chew toy that can come to church.

5. Meltdown

  • In ministry to autistic kids, if the child is in danger of hurting themselves or others, it needs to be addressed.
  • Meltdowns can happen at any age.
  • Create distance between individual having meltdown and everyone else.
  • Take the classroom or small group out of the environment (suggest bathroom break). It is often easier to remove everyone else and not the person with the meltdown.
  • Try to figure out the trigger or core problem that caused the meltdown. When possible, remove the problem. Recognize that you might be the trigger for the meltdown.
  • Call for help as soon as serious meltdown starts. You don’t want to immediately call parents if you think this can be handled. (You will tell parents at pick-up.)
  • If student is in danger of others, be mindful of your own safety.
  • Talk softly and calmly.
  • Find way to talk about something they can look forward to: snack, favorite activity, when parents will arrive.
  • Look for obstacles to remove, ex. diminish the lighting in the room, lower noise, offer a weighted blanket. (Homemade weighted blankets are great.)
  • When nothing else is working, do get the parents.

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afentonlee@churchleaders.com'
Amy Fenton Lee is a writer and speaker focused on helping churches successfully include children with special needs. She is a regular contributor to children’s ministry publications and a variety of other Christian and secular magazines. Amy is a passionate children’s ministry volunteer and the daughter of a church senior pastor. Amy is a frequent speaker at children’s ministry conferences. Amy blogs about special needs inclusion at The Inclusive Church.