Ana’s behavioralist called and we chatted for a LONG time yesterday. She observed Ana in church a few weeks back and didn’t have much positive to say. Naturally, I understand coming from a behavioral point-of-view how off-putting it can be to hang out with people not educated on how to handle special needs children, but I also know what it is like to have Ana around.
It is hard. It is scary. It is nerve-wracking.
We agreed on the finer points of how the children’s department at church could be more special needs friendly, more sensory aware and more socially respectful of those with differences.
We disagreed, however, on Ana’s role in the whole mess of things.
I know Ana. I know she can be a sweet and wonderful little girl with a wicked sense of humor. But she can also be a bully, preying on both children and adults who shy away from her. She is demanding. She has a very short attention span. She enjoys making people uncomfortable.
So where do we go from here? Since church is currently her only social outlet aside from school her behavioralist and I will work together as a team to train and educate those willing in the children’s department. I’ve noticed that it is not just Ana missing out, but other children with more subtle special needs.
I hope and pray they are willing to give training a chance. I know that many times territorial pettiness appears and I ask, sincerely, for everyone’s prayers that none of that will happen in our situation. Ana and the other children at church need to feel loved and accepted for who they are. That begins with training the adults in charge in how to love and accept them while simultaneously attending to the needs of other children.
I haven’t met a mountain yet that God cannot move!