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Families

Frequent concerns when a loved one has a disability

parents with three young children. Girl appears to have disability.

Families that include a loved one with a disability live on an intense roller coaster of emotional highs and lows: highs when all is going well, lows when the bottom falls out of our hope and we feel pushed far beyond our abilities to cope. 

The Body of Christ can provide a vital part of the support needed by families that are affected by disability.

An Anabaptist vision of the church recognizes the local congregation as the body of Christ, where every individual is a valued member of the body and the love of Christ is expressed and shared. A commitment to mutual love in the body challenges the congregation to become a vital part of the interdependent network of community support that families affected by disabilities need. ADN's work focuses most of all on providing congregations with what they need to carry out this sacred role and calling. We also know from experience, however, that families directly affected by disability contact us more frequently looking for assistance than congregational leaders do.

Our Family Resources offer information and stories on some of the questions and issues that most frequently concern the families who contact us. These include:

We hope these resources can help you start conversations in your congregation about being the Body of Christ to each other in the context of disabilities. Contact us if you'd like us to help you get the ball rolling.   

Frequently Recommended Sites:

Anabaptist-related Disability Service Organizations affiliated with Mennonite Health Services Alliance. Click on the "Select a Service" box, and select Developmental Disabilities.

State Councils on Developmental Disabilities. DD Councils in every U.S. state and territory promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion for all Americans with developmental disabilities.These are an excellent go-to resource for questions on the availability of services and supports for people with intellectual disabilities in your specific location.

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Centers in every U.S. state work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers to provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing.

 

 Learn more

 
  • Options for providing a congregational network of care for persons with significant disabilities and their families.
  • Frequent concerns for families when a member has a disability: caregiving, siblings, transition to adulthood, respite, life planning, long-term support, Anabaptist disability providers, and more.
  • Starting and sustaining a group for mutual support of people dealing with similar challenges.
 

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