Accepting the Gift was started by a special needs mom as a conference in 2019 with the goal to connect Catholic special needs parents with each other, as well as with great speakers and resources. But she quickly realized a once-a-year event wasn’t enough. Catholic special needs parents need the ability to connect year-round and so, the name of the conference became the name of a new website, and apostolate, designed to empower each family in their mission as parents and caregivers.
“All persons with disabilities have gifts to contribute to the whole Church. When persons with disabilities are embraced and welcomed and invited to participate fully in all aspects of parish community life, the Body of Christ is more complete. “The Church owes persons with disabilities her best efforts in order to ensure that they are able to hear the Gospel of Christ, receive the sacraments, and grow in their faith in the fullest and richest manner possible.” – USCCB
Of special interest to homeschoolers is their new free home-based religious education program.
From their website:
Sometimes, parishes don’t know how to meet the needs of a child and so the child misses years of religious instruction and possibly even the reception of the sacraments. Other times, parishes offer the sacraments to the child with no preparation, believing it unneccesary. Sometimes parents are told to prepare the child however they want, and present them when they believe they’re ready to receive a sacrament. These are all less than ideal circumstances. Our children deserve the same opportunities to learn their faith as their peers. While we encourage parents first and foremost to advocate for their disabled children to receive religious education in the same way as typical children at their parish, albeit with modifications, we know that changes to the status quo may take time in some places.
In the meantime, Accepting the Gift is now offering a home-based religious education curriculum to special needs families. It is a year-round program that can be covered in one or two years, and covers saints, sacraments, virtues, prayer, the Bible, and so much more. Our program is designed by Amanda DeBroeck, who has a background in special education, and is herself a mom of two medically complex children.
Each month we will release a guidebook and workbook filled with lessons and activities that will help you guide your child, regardless of ability, through the great truths of our faith in a thorough yet accessible way. You can rest easy knowing everything important is getting covered, and that your child is being properly formed and will be ready to receive his or her sacraments when the time comes.
Sign up now to get pdf downloads of the January Guidebook and Workbook (containing more than 45 pages!) for free. You’ll also be notified when future months become available. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback or suggestions as we will continue to improve and update our program to meet the needs of our families. And if you enjoy our curriculum, please send us pictures of your family using it and we might include your photo in a future book!
To get access to their religious education program or to learn more about Accepting the Gift, please visit https://www.acceptingthegift.org/.