I have been silent on this blog, and I apologize.
A few years ago, I used to work in a boarding school for children with special needs. We used to take the children to a church nearby, till one day the pastor advised us to stop bringing the children to their church. That was a painful blow to us, but what could we do than say thank you, and start church at the school.
But there was this children’s church teacher that started coming with some other teachers in her church to conduct service at the school. How happy we were. The children used to be excited to see them (they found a way to show their excitement) and the woman and her colleagues would engage the children for about 1 hour in Bible Stories and music.
Did I mention that the woman was not a special needs teacher? She was a government worker, whose love for children made her volunteer to work with children in her church, and she extended that love to children with special needs
This Saturday, August 5, Autism Gist with Adelola is holding its first conference in Lagos, the Special Needs Conference for Churches. At this Conference, there will be an awareness about special needs for the Church community. Pastors, children’s church teachers, church members, and parents will learn the roles that the Church should play in the lives of Children with Special Needs and their families. And children’s church teachers will be taught how to engage children with special needs in children’s church.
The conference will start by 10 a.m and run till 4 p.m, at the Conference Hall of Eden Comfort Hotel, 17 Alade Avenue, off Obafemi Awolowo way, Ikeja (the street is opposite the Lagos Airport Hotel). Participants are required to register online before August 3 (https://odiame.typeform.com/to/Dxy3i9)
Adelola Edema will be joined by highly trained professionals in special education, curriculum development and leadership strategy
Mrs. Dotun Akande of Patrick Speech and Languages Centre will be speaking on Ways the Church can Accommodate Children with Special Needs and their Families. Patrick Speech and Languages Centre is the first Autism center in Nigeria, and they have been actively involved not just in autism therapy, but also integration of children with autism in mainstream schools. Patricks has also been in the forefront of autism awareness in Nigeria and training professionals and parents in handling children with autism.
Rotimi Eyitayo, who is a splendid Nigerian strategist with outstanding ideas in peak performance, workforce activation and process improvement/management. He has distinguished himself as a passionate catalyst for change, with a rare combination of talent, experience and research. He is known for his expertise in Content, Strategy and Growth and he is the MD/CEO of TeamMasters Ltd. He is the convener of the National School Conference and the project director of the TeamMasters National Spelling Bee Competition. He will be speaking on the role of the Church as desired by God towards families that have children with special needs.
Eniola Lahanmi is a Speech and Language Therapist who consults for special needs centers by providing speech therapy for children with communication and language limitations. She has a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Therapy from the University Reading and she has been involved in training of parents, caregivers and professionals on building communication skills in children with communication and language limitations. She will be speaking Engaging Children with Communication and Language Difficulties in Children’s Church.
Joke Joshua will be teaching children’s church teachers how to create Bible stories and social stories to engage children with special needs in church. She is the Director of Pison Therapy Centre in Ikorodu; a center that caters for children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, hydrocephaly, learning disability and related disorders. Joke who is trained in TEACCH technique of behaviour therapy has worked with children with special needs since 2008. She is actively involved in special needs awareness and has organized free trainings for parents of children with special needs on behaviour management and communication skill development.
Rhoda Odigbo is a Childhood Education Specialist, Learning Strategist and a Curriculum Theorist; with over a decade’s experience in teaching, training, curriculum development, and development of start-up schools. She is the Coordinator and Co-Founder of the Learning Craft. Rhoda is passionate about inclusive education, because she believes that every child is important in the classroom. She is the convener of The Teachers Network. A Facebook Group with over 1,700 growing teachers from around and outside the country. The core of her work is in Evidence Based Teacher training programs and Curriculum Development. She will be speaking on Curriculum Delivery In An Inclusive Children’s Church.
Adelola Edema is the lady behind Autism Gist with Adelola and the convener of the Special Needs Conference for Churches. She believes that with the right kind of education, children with special needs can be successful, regardless of the limitations the disorders pose. Since 2009, she has worked with children and teenagers with autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Microcephaly, and other learning disabilities. Trained in ABA and TEACCH techniques of behaviour therapy, Adelola is actively involved in support and education for individuals with autism and in autism awareness. She will be speaking on the ABC of Behaviour Management in Children’s Church.
You want to be part of this conference if you are a member of the Church community, and invite your church as well.
I look forward to hosting you.