"Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself" Lev 19:18
Most people would love to help if they can. If they are taught, they do their best to help. Misunderstanding and mistreatment can sometimes be avoided if we listen to one another and teach one another. Here are some ideas of how you might educate your congregation on your child (or your) disability:
Stories- Research has shown effectiveness in educating peers and adults about individuals around them with disabilities using stories. Click here for a book on this. Click here for a list of books.
Video- Create a short video about your child (or yourself) to explain the disability, understand the individual, and get to know them so they are more comfortable. Kaegan, who is autistic and currently unreliable verbal, created this with his family to introduce himself:
Lessons- Josha, his mom, created these mini lessons for some of Kaegan's religious leaders to teach him, to get them use to how he communicates and to help Kaegan to learn with them how he can develop some confidence and learn truths. This allows his leaders to serve him and them to become comfortable with each other. You may find them useful. The bold words are the choices you can write down and give to the student to communicate their responses.
Training- Research has found that in some religious communities, just a few trainings can build the confidence of teachers. Professionals, parents and sometimes individuals with disabilities can help guide a mini training. Pick points such as educating about the disabilities and specifically the individual, ways to teach, ways to handle behaviors, communication, etc. This doesn't need to be a long training, just a gathering or video that can educate. This website can provide videos and information that might assist with the training. In some locations the training can be done online or reading on their own at home. More information can be found here on some research done on this topic. Video models for 10 teaching strategies can be found here or https://education.byu.edu/disabilities. Click on the icon below for a page of training videos on this website.