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Television Episodes

Making Sense of Autism: Part 1

Autism is on the rise. But its causes remain unknown, and a cure is yet to be found. Common misunderstandings include the notions that children with autism are not able to learn, or that their behavior is simply the result of poor discipline. In Part One, you’ll see these myths dispelled, as you look into the lives of families that include a child with autism. Part Two addresses a crucial question: What is the role of the church in the lives of families affected by autism? Find out what these families need most from the church—as well as the blessings that come from including every person in the body of Christ. Watch Part 2 Special Features Part 1: Dr. Laura Hendrickson, author of Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum, discusses issues of spiritual growth, parenting, and marriage for families that include a child with autism. Part 1 is sponsored in honor of Henry and Dorothy Pfister.

Joni and Friends' Family Retreat

For parents of a child with special needs, the extra challenges of daily life can be exhausting. At Joni and Friends' Family Retreat, a volunteer Short Term Missionary is paired with each family, to make sure Mom and Dad get a much needed break. Share a week with four Short Term Missionaries as they step out of their comfort zones and into the world of a child with special needs. Through this unique opportunity for service and friendship, families and volunteers experience God’s love in a whole new way.

When Disability Hits Home

What happens when disability really hits home – when God hands you a challenge that tests your convictions in practical, heart wrenching ways? Chuck Colson and R.C. Sproul, two of today’s most respected Christian leaders, have each faced the life-changing reality of having a grandchild with severe disability. As you take a rare look into their personal lives, you’ll see how Colson’s grandson Max, and Sproul’s granddaughter Shannon, have brought challenges and blessings to their families. Through these two children, God’s sovereignty, compassion, and tenderness are undeniably displayed. 

Katherine's Smile

Melissa has volunteered to serve as a Short Term Missionary (STM) at a Joni and Friends Family Retreat. At this Christ-centered camp for families who have a member with a disability, an STM is paired with each disabled camper, to assist them throughout the week. Melissa has no formal disability training – just a heart of compassion and the desire to share the love of Christ. When she is paired with nineteen year old Katherine, who is severely autistic and non-verbal, Melissa is faced with unexpected challenges. But God is at work, and hearts connect. You’ll see how His love breaks the barriers of disability. And you’ll see it best in Katherine’s smile!

Making Sense of Autism: Part 2

Part two: Autism is on the rise in America. But its causes remain unknown, and a cure is yet to be found. Common misunderstandings include the notions that children with autism are not able to learn, or that their behavior is simply the result of poor discipline. In Part One, you’ll see these myths dispelled, as you look into the lives of families that include a child with autism. Part Two addresses a crucial question: What is the role of the church in the lives of families affected by autism? Find out what these families need most from the church – as well as the blessings that come from including every person in the body of Christ. Special Features Part 2: Barbara J. Newman, author of Autism and Your Church, offers expert advice on how your church can welcome and include children with autism and their families.

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Organizations

Support Dogs, Inc.

Support Dogs, Inc. is a national organization whose mission is to help people with special needs achieve an improved quality of life through the use of assistance dogs. One of their many programs is TOUCH (Therapy of Unique Canine Helpers) that certifies volunteers and their own dogs to visit hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric wards, and various other healthcare facilities.

The Autism Support Center

The Autism Support Center empowers families who have a member with autism or related disorder by providing current, accurate, and unbiased information about autism, services, referrals, resources, and research trends. In addition, the ASC will provide educational opportunities for families, professionals and our communities; promote networking; increase community awareness; and advocate for services and opportunities.

The Hadley School for the Blind

The Hadley School for the Blind offers more than 90 distance education courses to eligible students completely free of charge. Courses offered are relevant to the needs of blind individuals, their families and professionals working in the blindness field. Study materials are specially designed in the medium of Braille, large print or audiocassette. Enrollment is all year long and course materials, as well as teacher comments, come to the student through the mail or by e-mail.

The Centre for Neuro Skills

The Center for Neuro Skills is a head injury rehabilitation organization. Its webpage is a helpful and an extensive TBI resource guide. Please check out the website for other locations.

US Access Board

It serves the nation as the only independent federal agency whose primary mission is accessibility for people with disabilities.

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