Special Needs Catechesis

Every one of the baptized, called to maturity of faith, has the right to adequate catechesis. It is therefore reasonable to offer pathways of catechesis that vary based on the participants’ different needs, ages and states of life.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 224 - 225

How it could look like ....

Unexpected lessons from my unexpected blessing

My husband, Eugene, and I have two very different and lovely boys. Our younger son, Ean, is a very active, typical 7-year-old. Joshua, our first-born, is 14 years old. He has Down Syndrome and exhibits some forms of Autism. While having a child with special needs was an unexpected road we have taken, this journey with Joshua has taught us many important lessons on life, love and parenting. Read More

God makes it possible!

Children with special needs are differently abled, even amongst those with the same condition, their support needs may vary between mild, medium to high support. Many of them can be integrated into Catechetical Sessions with support from catechists, parents and buddies. Isaac who has Down syndrome requires mild support.


The photo above shows his participation in a L6 online catechetical session early this year. He does require some assistance from his parents to find the scripture readings in his bible during the sessions.


However, Isaac likes to volunteer to read. He woke up one day just before the session started and was asked if he would like give it a miss. He replied, “No, I have to attend a meeting with God.”

Ways of getting to know children & youths

      1. Have a chat with the parents.

        • They have a wealth of information about their child, the way he/she expresses his/ her needs and wants, preferences and sensory issues that their child may have.


      1. Get to know the child even before the session starts.

        • Learn as much as you can about the condition of the child whom you are supporting.

        • Encourage parents to follow-up on the sessions at home.

        • Request for guidelines and support from Office for Catechesis if needed

        • Give yourself and the child time to settle down.

        • Develop a trusting relationship with the child and their families.

How is OFC supporting the special needs community?

Connect families to parishes & communities

  • Provide support for parents

  • Network of parishes & communitiesin support of persons with special needs

Explore and identify resources in parishes

  • Guidelines in catechsing persons with special needs

  • How to get started

  • Buddies, Catechetical Assistants & Coordintors for special needs

Learn strategies for engagement

  • Adaptations

  • Catechetical Resources

Resources supporting special needs

National Catholic Partnership on Disability

Rooted in Gospel values that affirm the dignity of every person, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. This website is rich with resources for families, individuals and parishes to better support faith development and meaningful participation within the Catholic Faith.

LoyolaPress.com

Adaptive Finding God Kits for sacramental preparation and other resources are available for purchase. The website also provides some helpful tips, resources and videos for catechists, teachers, parents and families...

  • Click here for Finding God eNewsletters

Archdiocese of Cincinnati – Office for persons with disabilities

Their goal is to provide support for persons with disabilities, caregivers and families in order to create a welcoming and inclusive environment within the Archdiocese and parishes. The website contains resources and media to assist persons with disabilities to fully participate in their communities.

https://resources.catholicaoc.org/offices/office-for-persons-with-disabilities/media-events/sensory-friendly-mass

Communities supporting special needs

Faith & Light Community is an international lay ecumenical community movement. It focuses not only on bringing the families of persons with special needs together to share their stories and pray together. It also provides a companionable environment where their child can meet and make new friends. The befrienders organize fun and interactive activities in the once a month meet-up. All are welcome!

Mamre Oaks is a non-profit organisation and a member of Caritas Singapore. It is a day care centre for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Hearts@Work is an empowerment programme for persons with intellectual challenges, aimed at providing them with continuous development support towards achieving greater independence and self-sufficiency. The programme is targeted at high-functioning adults between 19 to 35 years of age, and provides them training in vocational and work skills to raise their future employability. It also provides them with an opportunity to develop and hone their social skills, helping them more smoothly integrate into the wider community.