Helping Families With Special Needs

A few ways you might be able to help a family with special needs

As a church, there are a number of ways that we can help, serve, and encourage families with special needs. Please join me in serving them by adopting the following principles:


1.The family has special needs. When a member of the family is ill, disabled, or has special needs, it affects the entire family. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…everyone. They love their family just the way God created them, and they want you to recognize that as you interact with them.

2. PLEASE, do not park in accessible parking. Accessible parking spaces are intended for those who need them. Whether it’s at church, the grocery store, or the park, leave these spaces open for those who need to use them to safely enter and exit their vehicle.

  • Also, accessible seating is very limited and should remain available for those who need it. When you are in a wheelchair or use a walker, finding a place to sit is much harder. These seats allow families to be involved in places like movie theaters, sporting events, and church.

3. Speak with the family how you would want someone to speak with you. Families with special needs hear opinions and advice almost everywhere they go. They are very well aware of the limitations and needs of their loved one. Your opinion is not always helpful or welcome unless it is asked for. Families want to feel included, so please respond with positive words rather than negative feedback. Loving and encouraging words are always appropriate.

4. Ask how you can help. Whether it’s carrying items to the car, singing to a child while a parent finishes a conversation, or just walking into church with the family, these acts of love and kindness are special and helpful.

5. Speak directly to their loved one. Speaking directly to an individual with disabilities or special needs shows the same respect and love that we all want and need. If the individual is unable to respond, then their family member(s) will respond for them. This means a great deal to families.

6. Pray for them. A family with special needs may have busy schedules with therapy, appointments, sports, and church activities. Pray for God to show you how He might use you to serve a family and bless them.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our special needs ministry, please contact Tracy.

Author: Tracy Obanon

Tracy O’Banon is the Director of STARSS Special Needs Ministry. She has been on staff with us since March 2000. Tracy and her husband Rick have three children, Broden, Bailee, and Brendall. Tracy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and sports.

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1 Comment

  1. Grandmother of 9 yo grandson with Aspberger’s and adhd. My husband and I are adopting him.

    In need of prayers as our grandson, Connor, has been having a difficult time this summer behaviorly and his not sleeping. This has caused a great deal of stress in the family.

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