"I have some students in my group with learning disabilities. How can I help them feel welcome and make sure their needs are met so they can get the most possible from our sessions?"

It is indeed important that everyone, regardless of need, feels welcome in our communities. The Gospel is for all, so it's our responsibility to adapt the message for our learners. This can sometimes be a challenge when our group includes individuals with special learning needs. Try to identify learning needs as quickly as possible. When you notice a child who is really struggling, make some time to talk with his or her parents about your commitment to making sure everyone in your group has a successful year. Ask what sorts of things help him or her at school. Many children with special needs have accommodations and modifications in the school setting, and some of what is done there might also be helpful in the religious education setting. Make sure you use a multi-sensory approach, so that learners who are not skilled readers also hear the material or can use their hands. Provide multiple ways to respond to learning questions, so children with language issues or writing problems can respond in the matter that best demonstrates their knowledge. Consider pairing students in activities so that they can use their own abilities to help one another. Research shows that this raises the level of learning for all students involved.