Tips for Communicating with Special-Needs Parents

As a special-needs mom and a special-needs sister, I’m often asked for tips on how ministry leaders should communicate with special-needs families.

In order to communicate with care and compassion, ministry leaders need to understand the five phases of special-needs parenting. In the video below, I give an over view of the phases, share what families need from their church in each phase, and give communication tips that are effective no matter what phase parents are in.

As pastor and writer Scott Sauls has said, we need to be asking special-needs families, “How can we keep you at our church?” When ministry leaders understand these five phases, they can more effectively keep families like mine connected to their church and to Christ.

Sandra Peoples is a disability ministry leader at her church outside of Houston, TX and a special-needs mom and sister. She is the author of Unexpected Blessings: The Joys and Possibilities of Life in a Special-Needs Family. You can connect with her at