High Holiday Services for children with special needs: 8 tips to make it work
Ellen Seidman wrote on her blog, Love That Max about the difficulty in bringing her child with special needs to High Holiday Services at her synagogue. The post brought a lot of conversation about how places of worship should be more accommodating to individuals with special needs and what synagogues should or should not do.
While it is important that every place of worship include children with special needs and their families we also came up with 8 ways you can make it easier on your child with special needs to attend services.
1. Ask For Help
2. Make A Visual Schedule
Provide your child and the peer with a visual schedule of the service. This will give your child an understanding of what to expect and when.
3. Meet with the Rabbi
4. Participation Levels
Think about your goals for your child’s level of participation. Keep it realistic; don’t expect him or her to participate the whole time. Over time slowly increase your child’s participation level.
5. Take Breaks
If you know your child will only be able to sit for 20-30 minutes at a time make sure to take a break. Take him/her outside for a breath of fresh air. Continue the process 30 minutes on 10 minutes off until the services is complete.