As a foster home for children with special needs, our children all have just that: special needs. For many this means therapies, medications, more therapies, and yet even more therapies. The life of a child with special needs can change ever so quickly to being the life of a person with special needs, a childhood lost. The sense of wonder at first site of a rainbow, the intermingled fear and excitement as a frog comes hopping by in the woods, the surprise of sound bursting forth from one’s own mouth, the feel of grass in toes, the smell of something odd from the back drainage ditch, the taste of sweet…or very sour…fruit. These experiences of childhood can never be found in a doctor’s office, on the matted floor of a therapy room, in the stark audiologists quiet room, read from a book, or seen from a movie. Yet, often, children with special needs shuffle quickly between doctors offices and therapists rooms that the natural learning and experience of childhood disappears. We believe this disappearance is a great tragedy in the lives of children, therefore, our focus is and will continue to be on ensuring each child receives the needed therapy and care but in a child-like manner.
Physical therapy happens everyday at Hope Home, but we aim to incorporate dance, sport, and fun games at every point. You’ll find Kame and Tadpole riding their new bicycles or walking across a makeshift balance beam, Yindee knocking over blocks, and Dontrii on the swing set!
Speech and language therapy is also the target of many activities, just don’t tell the children! Bubbles, painting by color, talking with all the neighborhood animals, and obstacle courses of every kind!
So why not let that expand into the children’s religious and faith experience at Hope Home? Recently, we were blessed with an incredible trainer of Godly Play. This approach of storytelling through the Bible stories combines so perfectly with our other biblical discipleship programs that we have jumped into discovering this curriculum for ourselves. It is a blessing to see the children diving into the Parables already and discovering the Holy Family all from within our education center. Instead of feeling “taught” they are “discovering” for themselves, a process incredibly valuable and even sacred to witness. We are very grateful to our kind trainer and the many resources she put into helping us not only learn the methods and materials but also preparing many stories for us! THANK YOU!
So for now…just watch this space and see us play. In therapy, in education, and in faith we just keep playing!