She took a breath, looked at her son across the room and asked, "Is this a class for kids with special needs?"
When everybody comes, we have 8 kids in our Sunday school class. Six of them are boys, all with autism. One of the kids has been coming for almost a year and his dad brings him each week. His son, A, has adapted well to our class and is making friends with the other boys.
A few weeks ago mom brought him to church. As they came to the door, mom asked why A was in this room. Why wasn't he in his regular classroom? I was caught off guard and stumbled over my words. I tried to explain that our room allowed for more one on one interaction with the kids. She said she wanted her son to be with a lot of other kids and I told her that her son had made friends in here.
She said she wanted her son in worship time with the large group and I mentioned that we occasionally go to worship. She said our class wasn't acceptable and she took her son out.
I was stunned and way out of my element. That afternoon I confessed to the Lord, "I have no idea what I'm doing!!"
Then I saw myself standing at the door of Beth's classroom when she was in school. I didn't like the classroom the school had put her in. I wanted more for her. I fought for Beth to have what was best for her. That's all A's mom was doing. She was just fighting for him.
She wasn't being difficult. She was fighting for her son. The exact same place I'd been in so many times in my life. I've stood on that side of the door and asked those same questions.
I saw myself on both sides of that door. Wanting to explain how her son was thriving in our class yet knowing she wanted so much more for him. Her mother's heart was stunned to learn we had placed her son in a class for kids with special needs. She stood there, shocked at this new revelation.
They're from another country and English is their second language. It's difficult to communicate with them and I don't know what their home life is like. I felt for her though. I had flashbacks to when I was standing at the door talking with the teacher. Yet here I was, the teacher, trying to explain our decision to place him here.
For a couple of weeks, mom brought him to worship and sat with him in the other class. Because of my interaction with her, I knew I wanted to make some changes in our room. So yesterday when his dad dropped him off, I remembered his moms heart. I took him into worship. We arrived a few minutes early and hung out in the main room with the other kids. There were probably 50 kids playing foosball, doing puzzles and A just walked back and forth by himself. He didn't talk to anyone and no one talked to him.
During worship he sat by himself and didn't sing. Part way through, one of our teachers and a few of the other kids from our class came in and after worship the 5 of us left. As we walked down the hallway, one of the boys J, put his arm around A and they walked together to our class.