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Awana and Autism

Guest Debi Stamey

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Guest Debi Stamey


I am a homeschooler (17 years and counting) and also the director of our Sparks program at church. I have several autistic clubbers, different levels of severity, and need some direction from some of you who have lived this. I have a kindergartener that is VERY LOW funcioning. There is no way she will get through a verse, more less a book. The homeschooler in me says to just jump in like I would if she was my child and begin making her a tailored AWANA book. I was going to use a variety of things like lapbooks and hands on crafts that she can look at each week as we learn them. Her mother is not interested in her going through a book, and I told her that I would concentrate on just teaching her about God. Here is my plan of action so far. Anyone that could look at it and direct me would be great. Also any hints on acclamating her into a group would be helpful.


-assign one leader to be with her each night

-post a routine for her and her leader

-handbook time: a)work on creation pages b)read a interactive book c)use play to try to teach a verse (at this point she doesn't sign and speaks at the 2yr. old level) *** I taught my kiddos verses at two - I think she can learn if we are patient***

-gametime - help run games.

-council time - a)allow her to do something with her hands during the lesson b)help her with the song and the hand motions

- keep a jounal so we can track what works and what doesn't

-touch base with Mom every night and encourage her to work with her at home.


Well, that is the plan. I am so honored to have her with us on Wed. nights and my goal is to teach her that God loves her. I also want it to be a positive experience for her mother as well. thanks in advance.


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As a fellow Awana leader and mother of a ds with Asperger's Syndrome I want to thank you for going the extra mile to meet the needs of all of your clubbers. Your ideas for your special needs student are great. Awana has some additional resources available to help you. There is a book you can order, called "Awana for Me", that gives suggestions to help for children with all types of special needs.


Also, there are labels that you can download to modify the verses in each of the Sparks books. You can access them by going to http://www.awana.org, and logging in to the ART site. Just put in your e-mail address and create a password and you can enter the site. Click on Sparks, and look at the links on the right side of the page. Under Curriculum you will see 'Sparks verse labels'. Click on that link and you can see the labels, and the directions for using them.


It even suggests that you modify the verses further if your clubber needs more help. I hope that this information is helpful to you. I pray that God will bless you as you teach these little ones about Him.



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If her mother is not interested in her going thru the book,I would ask her what her goals are for the classes. Is she doing it just so Mom can take a break, or so her dd can be around other children and socializing more, or does she have a specific Biblical goal?

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Is there an older teen or adult that could always be her buddy so that she has predictability? She will adapt better if she always has the same person with her.


Ooooooh great idea! At a former church of mine, we had a little boy with autism in children's church, and he always had the same teen with him to help.:001_smile:

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