Additional Needs

Image from 'Going to Church'

How can you be more inclusive of children and young people with special and additional needs in our Church?

There are a number of resources available for you to expand your understanding of the spectrum of special and additional needs, and for you to develop worship in your Church to be more inclusive.

Here are a handful of resources from the Girls' Brigade, Boys' Brigade, Scripture Union, Messy Church, and more.


Illustrated Book: Going to Church

Going to Church is a book for adults or young people with learning disabilities. The book's illustrations encourage readers to think about their participation in church life and worship.

Order Going to Church on the Books Beyond Words website

Guide: How Do We Welcome People With Additional Needs?

Messy Churches have all different types of people coming through their doors. How do you make sure that you welcome every member equally and are accommodating to all people, including those with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability)? Trish Hahn, the Messy Church SEND coordinator, has put together a 'Maximising the Mess' guide for welcoming people with additional needs.

View the Maximising the Mess guide on the Messy Church website

Working with Young People with Additional Needs - Girls' Brigade Europe

The resource includes information, tips and further links on working well with young people with: ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, Asthma, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Hearing Impairment, Spina Bifida, and Tourette Syndrome.

This new revised edition also includes new topics like mental health, new sections on how to engage young people with faith and ideas of inclusive games and sports.

Download the Working with Young People with Additional Needs resource

Disability Advice Network & Disability App - Boys' Brigade

The Boys' Brigade have a Disability Advice Network with a range of leaflets on different areas of disability.

The Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland have launched a Disability App to provide quick, basic information for youth leaders on 25 different disabilities that affect children and young people.

The app is available on both Apple and Android platforms. This could be on hand and a helpful and informative tool for your congregation and children’s/youth leader volunteers to help include all young people in our congregational life.

Find the Boys' Brigade Disability app in the app store

Book: Top Tips on Welcoming Special Children

A guide for anyone helping children with special needs to know God. Containing stories from group leaders and parents, the book examines what we mean by special needs and what the Bible says on the subject. With practical ideas for welcoming special children into churches and children's groups, this book also explores the implications of the Disability Discrimination Act for churches.

Buy Top Tips on Welcoming Special Children from the Scripture Union website

Facebook Group: Additional Needs Alliance

A discussion group on Facebook about ways to support children with special and additional needs (and their families) - and about raising awareness of the subject on the local and national church agenda. Join the Additional Needs Alliance Facebook group