Special Needs Ministry

Special_Kids_2010All kids, regardless of ability, should feel welcome at church and be able to participate in any program that interests them. Some of these kids need a little extra help and attention in order to do so.

Many of us were apprehensive about  talking to people with any kind of disability–not knowing what to say or how to act, or in some cases, whether we could even understand what they are saying. Then, Judie Otcheck-Inman impressed us with her energy, commitment, and belief that these kids can do anything with the right support.

Judie has four wonderful kids, two of whom have special needs. Judie taught us that these kids are not much different than any other children. They want to be loved, they love to play, and most importantly, they are eager to learn about God. She helped us to get to know some amazing kids, and they have truly enriched our lives.

Unfortunately, Judie passed away in 2006, but she left behind some ordinary people who want to make a difference in the life of some very special kids. Most of us have no formal training or experience, just a desire to learn more and love to share.

What do we mean by special?

Typically, special needs is a term used to describe people with challenges often associated with a disability such as but not limited to . . .

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders

  •  Pervasive developmental delays/autism
  •  Mood/anxiety disorders
  •  Developmental disabilities
  •  Physical handicaps
  •  Learning disabilities
  •  Sensory integration disorder
  •  Emotional disturbances
  •  And more

The goal of the Special Kids Ministry is to welcome ALL kids into the various programs offered at our church. We can provide a buddy for all church programming, such as day camp, vacation bible school, music camp, confirmation, and various youth activities.

APT G: A Place To Go

Third Saturdays, September-May 7:00pm–9:30pm
Youth Wing/Fellowship Hall 

The Special Kids Ministry Team at FUMC Allen identified a need for a community-based program for youth in the Allen area and APT G: A Place to Go was born in the fall of 2006.
This fun evening for our special needs youth (and a night out for their caretakers) is a free program for youth in 6th grade and up.
Pre-registration is required so we can ensure that we have a buddy to help with each guest. We will also send new guests a health and information form to complete so we can know more about your special teen. Space is limited with an RSVP deadline Wednesday before each event
If you are a parent of a teen or know a teen who could benefit from this event, register them by emailing us at SpecialKids@fumcallen.org by the Wednesday preceding the event date.
For any last minute cancellations, please call our hotline at 214.385.8850.

TreeHouse Room

Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am

The Treehouse Room is a safe, friendly, understanding, flexible alternative to the Sunday school classroom for elementary age children with special needs. Families can attend church or Sunday school while caring adults and youth spend quality time with their child who needs an accommodating environment or one-to-one assistance in attending an age-appropriate Sunday school classroom for as long as they are comfortable. During the 9:30am worship hour, The Treehouse is a place that can be responsive to any of your child’s needs. We have access to anything your child may like, such as snacks, videos, crafts, music, puzzles, and games, to make the hour a positive experience for your child and you.

Minimal paperwork is needed from the parent or guardian: one simple form that helps us to understand your child’s preferences and what you would like them to gain from the experience. If your child needs you while you are somewhere else in the church building,  you are provided with a beeper in case of emergency. We invite parents to attend any of our Special Kids Ministry meetings to learn more about the program and provide your valued input and support.

To add your child’s name, contact Susanne Means to tell us about your child.

Volunteer Opportunities

FUMC Allen needs your help to expand our Special Kids Ministry. We need more teen and adult volunteers who can commit one or more hours a month to change the life of a special needs child or teen. Our TreeHouse Room provides an assistant for each child/teen to allow them to integrate into a regular Sunday school classroom or spend time in the TreeHouse Room itself. At APT G, we pair up one teen volunteer with each APT G guest.  We also invite parents to attend any of our ministry meetings to learn more about the program and provide your valued input and support.

To learn more about APT G volunteer opportunities, contact Rev. Maxie Moore.

To learn more about helping us out in the TreeHouse Room, contact Susanne Means.