Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(dis)Abilities and the Gospel

"Disabilities and the Gospel" is by Danyelle Ferguson and Lynn Parsons and published by Cedar Fort.
     Here is the blurb from the website:
Each day, parents and Church leaders struggle to teach individuals with special needs. Using real-life stories and a touch of humor, this inspiring book guides you to teach effectively, overcome communication barriers, and build strong relationships with people of all ages with disabilities. Discover each person's ability to learn and grow as you help them feel like a valuable part of your life.

Non-fiction is really not my thing, but I found that I was fascinated and touched by this book.  It is helpful and informative for parents, but I think it should be required reading for anyone who has a child with special needs in their quorum or class.
(dis)Abilities and the Gospel is formatted in such a way that it is so easy to navigate.  If you want to read straight through, the different sections progress in a natural way; from Primary and through the auxillaries to adult callings.  If you have a specific area of concern, it is easy to find what you are looking for.

The advice that is given is applicable not only to teachers or friends of people with special needs, but to any parent, friend or primary teacher.  There is also advice on how to help your kids to be a better friend to a child with special needs and even to help people know how to approach that child's parents or siblings appropriately.  The authors have such a sweet and positive way of describing problems and their solutions, and present them with stories and examples.

Various websites and resources are given throughout.

I felt like this book could be beneficial to so many people--I have a better idea of how to help some of the kids in my own Primary, and a better understanding of why they act the way that they do.
There were a few sections that I found to be particularly interesting to me.  The first was the Primary section.  I love the ideas to make sharing time better for kids with special needs.  Simple strategies as easy as where the kids sit or pre-teaching some topics are so do-able.  There were also some great ideas for FHE and scripture study.  It was eye-opening to learn about some of the problems that these special kids face.  A particular example that stood out to me was that a child with autism may not understand 60% of what you're saying.

My very favorite part of the book was at the end where some short testimonies were shared by parents and siblings of special needs kids.  They were so touching and written with so much love.
This book is written so beautifully, and would be appropriate for any church leader or parent.  There is so much practical advice as well as examples of faith.  It is well written and I would (and will) recommend it to anyone.  In my ward, I am the Primary President and I have a little guy whose teacher is getting a copy of this book from me.  We're going to develop a plan because even though he's tricky and feisty and hard to communicate with, this boy has touched all of us in the Primary with his spirit and especially his testimony of Jesus.

Thanks ladies for letting me read it. 

1 comment:

  1. Jenny - Thank you so much for your review! I enjoyed learning about the different parts of the book that helped you most. Have a wonderful day! - Danyelle