Friday, December 30, 2016

Meet Our Son

In the second episode of my autism podcast, I introduce you to our son. He has taught us much about autism and life in general. Here is a little about our story.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Introduction to the Autism Dad Podcast

Of all the roles I have, one of the most important is that of an autism dad. I have interviewed people about autism on my regular podcast but I have felt like there was a need to gather all my autism content into one podcast. The result is the autism dad podcast. You can listen to the first episode below, which outlines the goals for this podcast.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Disability and the Gospel - Review

Disability and the Gospel
One aspect of working through ideas about disabilities is to develop a theology of disability. The Bible has some important things to say about disabilities. But how do they fit together and what is the main message?

One of the best resources I have come across is Disability and the Gospel by Michael S. Beates. Beates comes at this topic not just as a theologian, but as a father of a daughter with a disability.

In the book, Beates works through both Old and New Testament teachings about disabilities. He also looks at ancient and modern thought on disabilities, both from a Christian and non-Christian perspective.

Beates provides a very helpful summary of where theology has interacted with disabilities. At times it has been less than helpful, but overall, there are good resources that help us to understand where disabilities fit in God's kingdom.

If you are wrestling with a theological understanding of disabilities, I highly recommend Disability and the Gospel.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Confessions of an Autism Mom

I am so thankful for my wife and the way she is able to put into words our experience as autism parents. Amanda recently wrote a post on her blog, describing exactly what I have been feeling lately.

Christmas time will always be a time of remembering for me. Our first child was due on New Years day but I had a miscarriage and it never came to be. I was quite pregnant with Logan by the time my due date for our first child came. We light a candle and whisper love to our Kennedy as each new year begins. I had hopes and dreams for this child I was carrying, this promise and gift from God. Promises and gifts come in all shapes and sizes, Logan is no different.

You can read the full post here. I encourage you to check some of her other posts. She is a much better blogger than I am.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dear Future Mom

A heartwarming message from 15 people with Down syndrome to a future mom.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Siblings With Disabilities

One of the aspects of disabilities that people miss is that there are often siblings. Such siblings are very special people. I encourage you to watch this video that shares the thoughts of some siblings of children with disabilities.

Siblings from Kristen Huys on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

On Being an Accessible Church

In the province that I live in, it is the law that all public buildings, including churches, are accessible to those with disabilities. We shouldn't need the law to make us accessible. What people sometimes forget, is that being accessible means more than just working with physical disabilities.

It is likely that if someone in a wheelchair wanted to attend your church, you would make sure that there was an elevator or a ramp. But what about those with developmental disabilities or mental illness, are you accessible for them?

One way to make your services accessible to those who experience anxiety is to provide audio or video versions of the messages on your church website. Obviously we want people to attend in in person. But there are times that anxiety levels are too high to sit in pews and be surrounded by people. By having sermons on the website, people can still benefit from the teaching.

What other ways can you make your church accessible for people of all needs?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

He Came Down

If you are having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, you need to watch this video. It is about a nativity play put on by children with Down Syndrome.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bullying Also Happens in the Church

People with disabilities are too often the target for bullying. Those who have communication or cognitive challenges are particularly vulnerable as they may have difficulty reporting the bullying.

Ideally, the church would be a safe place away from bullying for people of all abilities. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. People feel insecure and insignificant and so they attempt to compensate by treating others badly. It shouldn't happen but it does.

Do you have people with disabilities in your church?

Be active and not reactive. Instead of waiting to respond to a bullying incident, begin the conversations now. Do teaching with your staff and volunteers. Have the discussion with your youth group and Sunday school. Work hard to make churches a safe place for all people.