Educating Those with Special Needs

My friend Christine Hebert recently had a book review published in Lilipoh magazine. They gave her a stack of copies which she graciously shared with our homeschooling group. She alerted us that this was not a Catholic, or Christian, publication (yet they published her review on The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living), but this was the education issue and so it offered much food for thought and I’m always happy to read and learn new things.

One article I found interesting was A Need Still Evident. It focuses on Waldorf education, but this passage is relevant for all those who love and work with those with special needs:

Children who struggle in the classroom setting are asking us to meet them with a profound sense of responsibility and care for their individual needs, and with deep trust in their unfolding development. We must do this regardless of what tests, grades, and evaluations have to say about them. And if we put credence in the reality of the spiritual worlds and humanity’s evolving consciousness, we know that we have to say yes to these children and find ways to commit to their needs just as they are, here and now. Einstein warned us that if we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. The matter at hand is a delicate one. In meeting a child with difficulties, as a teacher, parent, or friend, we must ask ourselves, who is this child? What are the gifts he or she is bringing? And how can we best serve them? Simply put, we have to become highly adaptive; children need and deserve our creative attention.

Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her seventeenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary". She blogs at