God Lives Under the Bed

I read this story in an email forward, source unknown. Read Kevin's story( as told by his brother). He can explain much better than I, just exactly why I became a teacher of special needs children. I have commented in italics when I felt compelled...

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED

I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed...'(how many times do I fall asleep without even praying, let alone checking under the bed?)

I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. (a world I'd love to visit and take my family)


He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them (Newton who? of course Angels hold them up!)

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child. (How often have I complained about 'all this laundry'? I should be thanking God for clothes to wear and people to care for!)

He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager (ouch! I hate getting up and am never EAGER!)for a day of simple work.

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights. (beautiful)


And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn't know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be. (the passage... "consider the lilies of the field" leaps to mind).

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. (St. Joseph, patron saint of workers, pray for us.)

But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others His heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. (I'll bet that saves thousands on antidepressants and psychotherapy!)

Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. (how healthy, why don't we the supposedly intelligent and enlightened remember this?) And he trusts God. Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.(What's that you say, Adolph? Mentally inferior? Kevin is the master race!)


In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions. It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap . I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care. Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God. (Bliss.)

And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed. Kevin won't be surprised at all!

I met a lot of Kevins in my educational journey. Joe, Ra-Shon, Jenny, Alex, Barbara, Michael, Stevie, Ricky, Adrian to name a few. From the top floor of Froebel elementary in 1982 where the centralized SEI was (hidden) located to cast off Nelson elementary (with peeling asbestos covering the pipes). To state of the art Ottawa Area Center, Wesley School, Muskegon Regional Center (some gone now). From poorly equipped classrooms, time out rooms, physical take-downs (I hated those). But those kids never cared if their school was less than stellar. They loved it and greeted each day with a smile. I miss them. 

How to Start a Special Needs Support Group


This article was originally written for homeschoolers seeking to begin a support group. As the article unfolded, I realized that the guide would work for any type of support group. If you are caring for a special needs child (or children) you need the support of others. You might consider starting support group for parents of children with needs similar to your child. Use this how-to guide to help you. How to Start a Homeschool Group
Homeschooling parents need interaction with adults. Homeschool children need interaction with other children. Are you looking for a homeschooling community? Follow this guide to join or begin your own home school group.
support group tips

Special Needs Children and Poetry


Kids Poetry Around the World Poetry is the color of music, the rhyme of the rainbow, and the rhythm of life. Poetry is ambrosia and nectar, the food of the gods, nourishment for the soul. Special needs children relate especially well to music, movement, dance and poetry. Here are some collections of poetry which you can celebrate with a child. View more »

Discipline and the Special Needs Child


 Does punishment have to be imposed? Do we have to invent ways to punish children or are there natural punishments? Logical consequences, the natural results of choices, are the perfect form of discipline for home and school. View more » Discipline, Punishment and Logical Consequences

Asperger Syndrome: An Adult's Perspective


This is an article by Stacey Bryan of Associated Content. It's a fascinating look at Asperger's from an adult's perspective. A Hijacked Mind A series of autobiographical articles meant to help support other's with Asperger Syndrome. Particularly geared towards the awareness of AS in women and girls. View more »

Free Printable Crafts for Special Needs Kids


Cutting, pasting and coloring is great for younger kids, but sometimes, older kids want a little more of a challenge. And cut and paste crafts are perfect for special needs kids who can have great success with hands-on stuff. Do you need some challenging cut, paste and fold projects? Free Printable Projects for Older Kids

Free Reading Lesson Plans, Literature Homework Help


10 sites with free tutorials, homework help, and lesson plans. Free printable material included; study guides, lesson plans, activities, games, online books, ebooks, reference and resources Free Web Resources for Literature Lessons

Juvenile Diabetes~ Understanding this Special Need


We generally think of diabetes in relation to adults. Genetic predisposition, family history and obesity are the typical causes of diabetes. Higher rates of childhood obesity is causing a higher incidence of juvenile diabetes. Here's how you can help. View more »Diabetes: Parenting a Diabetic Child 

Innovative Special Needs Programs


How to Develop Innovative Special Education Programs Innovation in special needs learning has never been easier and more crucial! Educators and administrators have a wealth of resources at their disposal via the internet. We are learning more about what works with those who rely upon us for assistance. And best of all, many of the components of a quality program can be implemented inexpensively, a real relief in these days of 'lots of show and little go' from government programs. Read more

Life Skills Lessons for Special Needs Students-JOB CLUB



A description of how to set up a job club in your school. Activities include life skills lesson, career exploration, resume preparation, communication activities, CBI (community based instruction), interpersonal skills, occupational therapy, interview skills, hygiene and grooming, job hunting, self advocacy, token economy, play store.
Vocational Training Career Preparation Activities: Job Club

Life Skills Lessons for Special Needs Students


Vocational and Career Preparation Activities in Lesson Plans for Reading and Writing Lessons for special needs students. Career preparation and vocational skills. Activities cover communication, writing prompts, literacy,  transitions, life skills, job hunting skills, writing a resume and self advocacy free life skills lesson plans

Free Math Life Skills Lesson Plans


Math reading, writing, and practical life lessons and activities for special needs students. Improve life and vocational skills. Great career preparation. Fosters self advocacy and transition. Lessons work well for community based instruction. Vocational Training,  Career Preparation Lesson Plans

Websites with Free English Reading Help


Review of 10 sites to get free assistance with literature lesson planning or homework. Includes study guides, lesson plans, activities, games, online books, ebooks, reference and resources. Did I mention that these online resources are free?! Free Literature Lesson Plans

Learning Centers Rubric for Special Needs Students; All ages and Health Issues


Principles for K-6 Centers: Organize Learning Centers Learning centers are ideal for all ages. Learning centers are perfect for special needs students. Here's a rubric for center work in a variety of learning environments. Designed for students with affective, cognitive, perceptual and motor impairment. View more

Safe Internet and Online Game Sites


Safe Online Game Sites for Older Kids, Tweens, Teens, Review of 5 sites which offer a huge variety of free, safe, fun online game play for kids of all ages.
Safe game sites

How to Help ADD and ADHD Kids Pay Attention


 Got bored, sleepy students in class? Skip the Adderall or Ritalin. Here's a surefire way to get students to wake up and pay attention to their lessons! It's easy, it's free, it's painless and best of all it really works! Let them draw while listening to lessons. Check out my blogs on Free Coloring Pages 4u if you need some free printable coloring pages or cut and paste crafts to engage busy minds! Helping ADHD Kids Pay Attention in Class

Assessing Special Needs Children


Special Needs: How to Determine What Needs (if any) Exist
Comparison is a dangerous word to use with students. Special needs children can not be measured with the same stick used for unimpaired students. What we can do is to understand each learner. We can explore options. I've outlined certain special needs 'red flags'. I include a sequenced checklist (not definitive) of age-appropriate behavior: a series of questions. Yes to one to three questions is probably not indicative of a problem. More than three 'yes' answers indicates further testing. Remediation may be...Read more

10 Books About Bullying--Funny, Proactive Ways to School Bullies

Bullying is a hate crime, but it's more about the bully's issues than the victim. Special needs children often experience more bullying, yet have fewer resources. Here are 10 witty and ingenious books for kids, teachers, parents, caregivers and caring adults that address the problem of bullying at home and school. Read as bullied underdogs take on their persecutors in proactive, bully-busting ways.
Bullying: 10 Books for Home and School 

What Special Needs Classroom, Resource Room Should Have


 When selecting resources for special needs students, it is important to follow the objectives outlined in the child's IEP (Individualized Education Plan. If clear, manageable objectives have been chosen for the student, you will have the beginning of a useful shopping list for materials.Since students have often met with failure in traditional classrooms, the special needs environment needs to be supplied for success. A good, basic classroom will include these basic elements. Finding Special Education Resources

Learning Centers for Special Needs Children


Learning Centers are ideal for special needs children. You can set learning centers up in your home or classroom. I set these learning centers up in our mobile home with our four children. Using centers in the classroom or home school is the ideal method for education of young children. Preschool Learning Centers for Special Needs Kids

Activities for Children with Special Needs


How do we plan activities for a special education or resource room students? As with any consideration in special needs education, it is crucial to understand what the special needs are. Do the students have physical or emotional difficulties? Are there developmentally disabled students? Do we have students with learning disabilities? Vision or hearing impairment? We can then base our activities around the needs. Here are some general considerations followed by some specific ones. How to Plan Special Education Activities 

Teaching Learning Disabilities, Parenting LD Kids


 Nurturing a learning disabled student is essentially the same as nurturing a mainstream child. Natural caregiver practices apply. However, there are some extra concerns to be aware of as well. I've grouped the suggestions according to basic care topics. Teaching Learning Disabilities, Parenting LD Kids

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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