Inclusion is pro-life

Inclusion is pro-life October 11, 2022

In my previous professional experience prior to becoming a pediatric specialty therapist, I served as a disability coordinator for a primary school campus. From the most severe and profoundly handicapped students to the mildest of learning disabled students, the least reactive environment was/is the law. Meaning, Federal law does require the most amount of inclusion in the regular education classroom for students with disabilities without compromising specialized instruction. Federal Law also requires students with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled peers as much as possible.

 

In my past professional experience, the mildest learning disabled student remained in the classroom all day but had accommodation plans for the general education teacher to follow. The special education teacher created these plans or IEPs (Individualized Education Plans).

For the most severe and profoundly handicapped students, they spent most of the day in the special education classroom but attended as many activities with general education students in special classes like music, PE, art, and lunch. The most severely handicapped students usually had full-time aides as well.  A few of these students were in wheelchairs and non-verbal.

I give this professional history to lay a basic understanding of inclusion. The history of the Church at-large hasn’t done well with inclusion in regards to people with disabilities and neurodiversity. Inclusion is almost completely lacking for LBGTQIA people in significant areas of the Catholic Church. I believe there are several reasons why. 1. A lack of knowledge and 2.  Judgemental attitudes from outside Catholics towards families they choose to not even know. Even with good specialists serving, there are over a billion Catholics, most of who do not understand variances in neurology and pyschology and the life-giving need of inclusion for those who are different.

Yet a good number of these armchair critics can be so unkind and judgemental that it’s not even safe for some Neurodiverse and/or LBGTQIA kids to exist in certain parts of the Church. The opposite should be the case. Neurotypical Catholics need to extend the love of Christ and welcome others, even if they don’t understand atypical people.

This is why I am taking a cohort class through a ministry called the Reformation Project for LBGTQIA inclusion in the Church. Like my experience with disability inclusion, it’s life and death to people who are different to be included as much as possible into the general population. The science supports it. The medical consensus supports it, and I believe God supports inclusion and keeping families intact. Otherwise, families who have Neurodiverse and/or LBGTQIA children are ripped apart, suicides happens, and lasting damage occurs. Those who have been reading my pieces yet still do not support inclusion, come back to me after parenting disabled kids AND LBGTQ kids who were raised in a conservative religious home, and THEN cast your judgement.

 

I choose to gravitate towards those who love, include, and accept others unconditionally, not exclude, judge, and shove away into harm and suicide.  Others will know Christ by the love we share.

 


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