Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Bible Study for Young Children (Convention Find)

Nestled within my MidWest Homeschool Convention packet at Cincinnati in April was a small booklet, an ad for The Good Book Company. One night that weekend after a long day of conventioning, I peeked at this little booklet, and decided to find the vendor booth for a look-see.

I've struggled to find a way to undo the damage that Bible stories have done to my daughter with autism. Sunday School and Vacation Bible School have been disasters for her. Lessons and activities delivered at a pace faster than she can process, words and concepts she did not understand, too-loud music, crafts and activities using foods she can't eat, peers who move and speak too quickly for her don't exactly make for a fun setting a child would look forward to. She needed some accommodations that did not happen. And acceptance from her peers that didn't happen. No wonder we had to drag coax her into the church building from the parking lot.

She's verbalized her dislike for God more than once. (I think she doesn't understand Him.)

Her memories are of stories at SS and VBS about Esther, where the king wanted to kill all of her people, or about pounding nails into the hands and feet of Jesus. Scary stuff to a young child or an older child with developmental delays.

And Bible study at home looks too much like "school" to her, which is a source of anxiety.

God is invisible to her, a concept, and anything not visible and concrete is a challenge for a child on the autism spectrum.

Church has failed her. I feel like a failure as a parent in this area.

I've purchased Bible study books for pre-schoolers from a Christian book store, but nothing was quite right in terms of the regulatory pattern and simplicity that I wanted.

So, I continued to seek. The brochure in my convention packet in April came at a good time.

I am impressed with "Beginning with God", so much that I purchased it at the convention. (I bought studies for older youth for the sibs, too, and one for the whole family.)

In Beginning with God, the student completes the same steps each day, a prayer, a story (the Good Book folks recommend The Beginners Bible, or other Bible for children, which is an additional purchase), a statement of truth, questions about the story and a prayer. The focus and lesson change each day, providing variations within a theme, a same-but-different, different-but-same kind of thing. There's an accompanying sticker to place within each story, too. And there are optional extras tucked into the back of the book for each lesson.

If you're looking for a way to begin again with a child w/ developmental delays, consider a study for preschoolers like this one. I like the layout of it, the simplicity without skimping, allowing me to expand when I can, or use the stand alone when we need that due to the circumstances of the day.


Anonymous said...

Hi there. I enjoyed reading your article. I am having a similar problem with my autistic teenager. She is 15 and came home from school today having been upset the whole day thinking that God might want to kill her because she lied to me that morning (her words). Even though she had told the lie and then confessed it with the very next breath! I had thanked her for realising that is wasn't a good idea to lie and that she was so good for telling me the truth straight away and that I forgave her. Yet this sweet child has gone trough a whole day at school thinking that God might want to kill her for it anyway! Any suggestions for me?

Anonymous said...

Found this website searching for "the perfect" Bible or Bible study for my 14 year old grandson who has autism and who so loves the Lord, but so far have never found the right approach for daily study of the Bible for him. I, too, am eager to have someone who has found one for a young teen who isn't actually ready for teen literature but who is past the very young Bible story books.
On another note, when he was younger, I did find "the perfect" little books for teaching about hitting, getting angry, telling a lie, and so forth. They're very small books that are titled "God, I Need To Talk To You About Hurting My Brother or any of the other topics, for example. They were the perfect teaching tools. I would suggest them for any special child. I ordered mine from Christian Book.com. So hoping that someone can suggest the right Bible for my grandson. I thought that I was going to find it with GUYS LIFE APPLICATION BIBLE, but too much informaton.

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