Congregations may choose various approaches to including individuals with developmental disabilities or learning differences in Sunday School or Christian education settings. Most options fall into one of two broad categories. In any case, a personal understanding of the student's disability is important.
Respect for an individual's dignity and life experience means providing them with a curriculum intended for their age group rather than assuming, for example, that something written for children will meet the needs of adults with intellectual disabilities.
A separate classroom for children with disabilities is comparable to a "special education" classroom in the public school. Students with disabilities learn in a class that is set apart for their own learning abilities. For a large church with a significant number of persons with disabilities of a similar age and intellectual ability, a separate class may provide Christian education that is especially well-suited to their needs. The disadvantage, even for a church that can manage this, is that segregation limits the social and educational interactions between those with and without disabilities.
In this option, students with disabilities participate in Sunday School classes alongside others of the same age. This enables all participants to interact with others who may be very different from them. Integrated settings may require an extra teacher or aide who helps the whole class, but pays particular attention to the needs of the student with disabilities.
Resources for teaching...