The Old Testament chronicler gives us precise information about the importance King David placed on the use of music in the liturgy to be celebrated in the temple in Jerusalem that his son, Solomon, would build. Levite families would serve as instrumentalists and singers under a system of 24 shifts during the year: "They were all under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God . . ." (1 Chron. 25:6).
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs" – Matthew 19.15a
Resource for Leaders:
Social Principles of the United Methodist Church on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1752
DISC (Disability Concerns) is a resource from the UM General Board of Global Ministries for persons with disabilities, their families, friends, caretakers, congregations and clergy
Autism and Faith is a resource(PDF download)for including individuals with autism in faith communities written so that others will not feel alone
Developing Inclusive Ministries in Congregations provides a list of resources (PDF download)to support congregations in welcoming people with special needs
Beginning and Strengthening Inclusive Ministries and Congregations
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center provides downloadable tip sheets on supporting, teaching, and understanding people with specific disabilities while meeting their spiritual needs http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/site/services/disabilityservices/tipsheets.aspx
Autism and Alleluias by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc provides insight into the life of a family with a child with autism, and their struggles and blessings in being a part of a congregation.
Books for Children:
My Friend with Autism: A Coloring Book for Peers and Siblings by Beverly Bishop. Ages 4 through 8
Why Can’t Charlie Talk? by Debbi Spencer Ages 4 through 8
PDF Download of this resource: Welcoming Children with Special Needs