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Breakout Sessions 2


Take your time reading about each session and so you can customize your conference experience! You will be able to choose one (1) session from this group.

Faith and the
Special Needs Father

Led by: John Felageller

In this presentation, John speaks on the role of faith in the lives of fathers of special needs children, specifically those who are new to Christianity but also those who are in the role of single parenting. Using his own experience as a Father who was brought to Christ largely because of his son's disability, he will highlight the ways God uses the struggles and challenges we face, especially as men and fathers, to strengthen and grow our faith, whether married or single. John also shares practical tools for how to apply faith in our daily lives.

Promoting Autism Awareness
in Your Faith Community

Led by: Tonya Nash

Do you find yourself frustrated by the fact that so many people still don't understand Autism? Are you looking for ways to show your congregation that they are incomplete without people with Autism? Learn creative ways to promote Autism Awareness in Your local community with easy-to-implement ideas. 

Disability Ministry -

Led by: Stephen “Doc” Hunsley, M.D.

Has God called you to start a Disability Ministry at your church, but you don't know where to begin? Whether you are a small or large church, this workshop will answer the questions of how, what, and why. Learn different classroom environments, types of behaviors, and helping your church become an inclusive place for those with disabilities.

Problem-Solving Behavior Challenges in Children’s & Youth Ministry

Led by: Stephen Grcevich, M.D. Beth Golik

The purpose of this session is to help ministry leaders understand the origins of unwelcome behaviors at church – including aggression and elopement -- and identify appropriate strategies for intervention and prevention.

Caring for the
Caregiving Family

Led by: Lisa Jamieson

Parents, siblings, spouses, and grandparents in caregiving roles can be misunderstood and face unique barriers to fulfilling involvement in church and faith. Learn ways to optimize your church’s strengths while recognizing and responding to opportunities to love well and enrich the community with all generations.

Writing a Vision Pl

Led by: Jillian Palmiotto

Learn the "good to knows" when you are beginning to include people with disabilities. You will learn an overview of the facets of ministry to consider as you start envisioning a disability ministry for your church. Participants will create a 12-month timeline to help assess where your church is now and how to move forward over the next year.

Grieving a Diagnosis
Led by: Jeanetta Bryant

God works in ways we cannot imagine and uses our weakest moments to craft some of his greatest work. An important part of partnering with parents in disability ministry is to help them recognize the obstacles before they appear so that they can move forward and find hope. This session will provide strategies for ministering to parents when they first receive a special needs diagnosis. 

Trauma-Informed Care for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Led by: Rion Paige

As caretakers in the church setting, we must remember that our words have purpose and carry the power of life. Although parents spend the most time with their children, the care provided within the church setting offers a unique perspective on family life. As those serving families, we need to be mindful of the language we use about our children. Throughout this training, we will focus our minds on the beginning of a story, acknowledging that it may often feel tragic, yet there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We aim to humanize our parents and discuss various models of trauma-informed care when conveying challenging information. Ultimately, we hold the privilege of caring for the next generation, a family's treasure.

Teaching Tips
& Tr

Led by: Ryan Wolfe

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. People learn the same whether they have a disability or not. There is a universal design to learning. If you are intentional about the way that you teach, your learners will learn! Throwing disability into the equation does not mean the learner can not learn. Just the opposite.

Navigating the Special Needs Journey: Then, Now, and the Future

Led by: Natalie Page, Ed.D and H. Brian Page, MBA

Join us for a thought-provoking breakout session that explores the evolution of the special needs journey. "Navigating the Special Needs Journey: Then, Now, and the Future" will delve into the past, present, and future of advocating for individuals with special needs and disabilities. We will examine the historical perspective of special needs care and the transformations in living out this journey as parents, caregivers, and advocates.  We'll also touch on some of the high-impact practices shaping the journey today.

Programming for
Adults with Disabilities

Led by: Jeff Jansma

When creating specialized ministry and instruction for kids with special needs, we often forget that they don't stop growing up! This presentation will help you define what you want to offer to your adult disability community, including programming for weekly bible study, social events, and community respite. You will learn about local resources, ideas, programs, and the philosophy of Special Needs and Disability Ministries.

Being a Buddy - Building Relationships and Com

Led by: John Griffith

Everybody wants and needs relationships. Being a buddy in the special needs community opens doors to not only your world but, more importantly, your entire neighborhood and your church family.

Seeing the
Shadow Siblings

Led by: Steve Chatman

This breakout will look at some of the issues children with special needs siblings wrestle with, as well as how we can help parents make sure these amazing kids are supported well.

Simple Tools that Make
a Difference - Part 2


Led by: Pat and Ben Satterfield

In the second session, participants will assemble provided examples or customize them for their own church. You will leave with these simple tools that you will be able to use right away! Participants in the second session should attend session one. Materials will be provided for those attending the second session.

Advocating Like Jesus
Led by: Stephanie Hubach

Perhaps one of the most amazing gifts that God gives to Christians is Jesus Christ's role as our Advocate. By living a perfect life on our behalf, dying a sacrificial death on our behalf, rising in victorious power on our behalf, and standing before the Father's throne on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24), Jesus is truly the Advocate above all advocates. Jesus' advocacy has several dimensions that we, too, can reflect on through the transforming power of his Spirit in our lives as he conforms us—more and more—to his image. We'll explore how Jesus' example, end run, and engagement informs how we can advocate for and alongside people with disabilities, in ways that honor him. 

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