Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
September 9, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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September 9, 1990

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PAGE 6 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC SEPTEMBER 9, "Reaching," from page 1 as lectors, Eucharistic ministers or cat- whole new dimension of relating hasknew they wouldn't have said that parishes and help catechists meet their echists." been opened up to disabled childrena child without a disability." fiE] needs. Until recently, handicapped children and adults. Prickett, also the mother of ten-l[ The eventual goal of all special reli- were often considered as eternally in- She offers gende advice about re- old Sarah, says that it was a blessing gious education, even at the youngest nocent, going "straight to heaven" and acting to and interacting with handi- her to talk to close friends who well| age, is to make the person feel a part not needing the sacraments, capped children and their parents,just listen. !H[I of the parish community, she says Things began to change in 1975 "Children stare,' she says, "because Prickett doesn't know where Wee start with the religious education when Public Law 94142 was passed, they want to know. Adults look awayfledgling ministry will take her, but [ program and try to help the children mandating public schools in Americabecause they want to avoid feeling un- expects new demands for other servic [ . , f~ perceive themselves as a part of that,to provide education to all children - We say we re here for chddren[ Prickett says. "Just think what a witness regardless of handicap or condition. We start with the religious kindergarten through 12th grade," st ][ - ' e0 it would be to the community, she adds After this, parents began to be much education program and try says, but I can t say no to sore with excitement, "if adults with dis- more aware of their children's needs. asking for help with an adult in an R.: Gi [ abilities could truly become a part of "It's notlike somethingyou don't talk to help the children perceive class. Her commitment to thoseWltI the parish, being seen at socials, serving about anymore, says Prickett, and a themselves as a part of that. special needs in religious educational t u "][1 simply put: I wxll not leave them 1 i ............ comfortable. The worst thing a person lurch." AI :I omplete can do, she says, is to ignore the dis- Prickett's office is in Morris Hall * ability. The main thing people want !s St.John's Catholic Center. She [Travel to be accepted as they are, and that s reached through the Office of Religi l . [,Z l Educatin' P" O" Bx 7565' Little ! very hard fr us t d' Prickett says' 72217; 664-0340.especially if the disability is disfiguring. iil: She advises people to talk to disabled ii;[ ! I Obusiness or BoB E , [ pleasure Ownor/Idanago r people about ordinary things, like a [f,l:l child s age or school, an adult's family. [O major credit cards Keep in mind, she adds, that the per- [ accepted son is so accustomed to his or her own ' ? disability that others need not be afraid . , [ NDfTN i)$ TN AVIEL to ask "do you need help? When the child is born and the [ 224"8442 or to[[ free, disability becomes known, parents l 1-800-441-8687 grieve, just as if the child had died. [ 9107 Rodney Parham RO., What they've lost is their dreams and L Suite 5 Little Rock .) expectations ofthe perfect child they had hoped to have. Prickett says that 3! ..... the process of accepting the loss, and ::ii~ 7, then accepting the child, takes years and often goes in cycles. When talking " " to parents Of children with disabilities, it helps to remember this, and to know that parents just want to be able to talk Children stare becattS i!! Industrial Fasteners and Supplies 500 North Olive St., North Little Rock, AR 72114 372-7127 or AR Watts 1-800-482-9023 Brenda Kent Terry Kent Lauraetta Edgar Gall Clayton Raymond Clayton about.abut the normal things all parents talk they want to know. Adtd i[ "They want to hear 'what a beautiful, look away because they baby!', or 'how's she sleeping at night? she says. "It didn't offend me whento avoidfeeling uneomf0t people said things like I'm sure he's a able. " real blessing', but at the same time I II i I Some 70 coordinators of parish religious education programs recently ] tended a workshop at St. John S Center In Little Rock to prepare for t :i| current catechetical year. Topics included leadership styles, Myers-Briggr0 i1 personality type Indicators and volunteerism. Among the presenters We;,, ij " " Sharon Stevens, Henry Tuck and John Heird. The annual C/DRE Institute ;ii sponsored by the diocesan Office of Religious Education under the directlO , , of Sr. Maria Kleinschmidt, DC.