Getting to Know the Individual with Special Needs
A Guide for Catechists
As the catechist: Guidelines for speaking with individual and/or parents
- Present an overall attitude of openness and a desire to be supportive.
- Let them know that in order to provide as positive an experience as possible, certain information is very important.
- The goal is to support a meaningful experience of inclusion and participation in your parish youth ministry and the full life of the Church.
- The questions are to help you learn the information, and use it as a guide to a conversation. Therefore, adjust the language as appropriate based on who you are talking with, the individual or the parents.
As the catechist: Topics to explore that helps get to know the individual, their needs, their goals
- What kind of experience do you want – what level of inclusion?
- What are your/his/her special interests?
- What are your/his/her special gifts?
- What are some of the challenges you have faced?
- What is your/your son/daughter’s diagnosis?
- Does she/he have particular or potential interests in Mass or Catholic traditions? (for example, really enjoys music, ritual, singing, etc)
- How would you describe your/his/her social relationships or friendships?
- What methods of communication are used?
- What have been effective learning strategies?
- What are good motivators?
- Are there any challenging behaviors?
- What are possible triggers of challenging behavior?
- What are helpful responses to challenging behavior?
- What is helpful for holding his/her attention?
- Does s/he have any diet or environmental issues?
- Does s/he have any medical issues to be aware of?
- Do you have any other children? How do they relate to each other?
- Is there anything else you would like to share?