Let No Special Need Hinder the Spread of the Gospel

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | September 2, 2014

Thirteen-year-old Dylan Vegeais has curly blond hair, blue eyes, and autism. He loves music and makes up his own songs. He can name all 43 types of butterflies at the zoo exhibit and can tell you who made which escalator in the local mall.

He has also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid inside the skull), and oral aversion. He’s prone to seizures.

In most Sunday school classrooms, Dylan would have a difficult time.

But when Dylan steps into his room at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, he’s approached by Victor, a volunteer with a great voice and a guitar.

Victor starts in on “This Little Light of Mine” and pretty soon, Dylan’s holding up his finger-light.

Dylan’s classroom is special. It has the usual table and chairs along with brightly colored toys. But Velcro holds the door shut—one of the kids is a runner, and the Velcro slows him down enough to let a volunteer catch him before he escapes, teacher Shelley Swanson said. The room is meant for STARS—College Church’s name for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities—who don’t fit well into a traditional classroom.

This room is part of a growing trend among…

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