Guide for Church Leaders

Are you a church leader thinking of setting up a special needs group for children in your church? I am convinced that children with special needs thrive in their knowledge of a loving God when they are individually known, valued and taught in a calm, safe environment at an appropriate level for them. This is the ethos behind Aslan.
My own background is as a teacher in SEN. I have also been involved in music worship for over 40 years and am currently an Elder at Tonbridge Baptist Church.

Aslan has been running since 2013 and the guidelines and resources on this website are free for anyone looking for advice and help to run a group for anyone with special needs aged 5-19.

The resources are based on a 3-year plan which follows through the Old Testament and the life of Jesus in a systematic way, roughly alternating monthly with OT/NT. Finding resources is straightforward. The search button will respond to keywords, while the tabs take you to New Testament, Old Testament, Extra Topics or Aslan at Home. You can also sort into A-Z. When none are selected, the default is the 3-year plan (date order) followed by Aslan at Home.

The most important thing for church leaders is to find a person willing to take the lead. General advice would be not to ask the parent of a child with special needs, mainly because of the benefits to them of being able to join in a worship service knowing that their children are looked after by someone else. It could be someone who already has some experience of working with SEN children possibly from a school or a medical background.

‘Aslan’ can start very small, with one leader and one child – all that is needed is a quiet space or room, plus an iPad or laptop, and the activity printed from the teaching plan. The material is very adaptable because of the range of activities offered at 4 different levels. There are also some ‘Aslan at Home’ devotionals that would be very suitable in a 1:1 situation.
When you have found a leader, please signpost them to the Kids Leader information tab which gives a lot of practical advice for getting started.
Please feel free to contact me via the ‘Hi’ link if I can give any further help or advice. Otherwise, I do hope the information here gives you all the initial help you need.

Jackie Potter

Leader of Aslan