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Catechetical Resources for Children and Youth with Disability



Network of Inclusion Catholic Educators (NICE), University of Dayton:

1Sacramental Preparation Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation: Individualizing Lesson Plans,

Sacraments: Gifts for All. (Confirmation, Eucharist, and Reconciliation available)
Welcome One, Welcome All: Inclusive Religious Education Resource Binder.
1All About Mass - Student Edition (Uses limited vocabulary and simple images to explain the mass in a way that both young children and adults with developmental disabilities can understand.)
Contact: Margaret.Shufflebarger

web, 1-888-532-3389.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Program to Improve Catholic Religious Education for Children and Adults with Mental Retardation

  • Level based Student Activity books are also available.

  • Published by Diocese of Pittsburgh; distributed by RCL-Benziger

Series of picture books published by Diocese of Pittsburgh and distributed by RCL-Benziger:

  • My Church: A young girl shares her Catholic Deaf Community

  • Created in God’s Image: A Photo-essay on Faith, Family, and Friendship

  • Seeing Through God’s Eyes

  • Just Like Me

  • We Go To Mass (geared for children with autism)

  • One Flock, One Shepherd: A Collection of Prayers by Parents of Children Who Are Disabled

My First Eucharist. This video and teachers guide created by the National Catholic Office for the Deaf (NCOD) provides a signed and closed captioned sacrament preparation to assist in preparing deaf children to receive their First Eucharist. (Penance Program will be available soon) Distributed by RCL-Benziger and NCOD (
Contact: RCL-Benziger - or 1-877-275-4725.
Labosh Publishing:

The Child with Autism Learns the Faith: Bible Lessons From the Garden of Eden to the Parting of the Red Sea by Kathy Labosh. (ISBN: 0974434140)
Contact: Labosh Publishing: East Petersburg, PA, 2007. .

Cardinal Stritch University Bookstore:

Journey with Jesus: Call to Love by Sr. Sheila Haskett, O.S.F. Suggestions for Special Religious Education for Persons Categorized as Severely/Profoundly Mentally Retarded.  Topics covered:  Call to Be; Call to Respond; Call to be Loving.
Call to Communion; Call to Reconciliation.  Call to Service (Confirmation). Each of these also has a black line picture book for the participants. (Note: These are for those with special education needs, but not classified as severely/profoundly mentally retarded.)
Seasons of Grace: Sacramental Preparation for Mentally Handicapped Teens and Adults by Brigid O’Donnell.
Journey with Jesus Gospel Study: A Curriculum Guide for Adult Special Religious Education by Sr. M. Sheila Haskett, O.S.F., Ph.D. and Sr. M. Coletta Dunn, O.S.F., Ph.D.
Contact: Cardinal Stritch University Bookstore; (414) 410-4035 or 1


Creative Teaching website. Offers creative resources to use for reinforcing the understanding of Sacraments and teachings of Catholic Church. There are resources for readers and nonreaders, useful for learners with and without disabilities. Creative Teaching games and activities have been granted Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur that is referenced on the website. 1-586-992-2368 or

This Is My Church. A power point template of a church tour that you may insert digital photos of your own church to share with your child(ren) to become familiar with it. Department for Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities, Archdiocese of Newark. or 973-497-4309.
Catechists for All Children by Dr. Joseph White and Ana Arista White, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2002. Offers insights and methods for accommodating unique emotional and behavioral needs in the classroom. Available from Our Sunday Visitor, 800-348-2440,
PARENT GUIDE - Baptism and Beyond: Preparing for Baptism and Nurturing Your Child’s Spirituality by Kathy Coffey. Denver, CO: Living the Good News, 2000. ISBN: 1889108723.
1Awakening Spiritual Dimensions: Prayer Services with Persons with Severe Disabilities by Fr. William Gillum, OFM Cap. Available from: AuthorHouse 1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200 Bloomington, IN 47043, 800-839-8640 or or book order hotline 888-280-7715,
1disAbility Awareness: Activities for Children, Teens and Families (Catholic Edition) by Joann E. Davis. This book offers children at home or in a classroom setting an understanding of what persons with disAbilities go through everyday. Over 50 pages of mazes, puzzles, coloring sheets, beatitudes of acceptance, Saints with disAbilities, Braille , signing pages, and more. or 517-787-1189.
Opening Doors to People with Disabilities: The Resource File, Books A & B, Janice L. Benton and Mary Jane Owen, ed, 1997. Available from the national Catholic Partnership on Disability, 202-529-2933,
Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

Bishops’ Statements/Publications:

  • Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities, 1978, rev. 1989.

  • Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, 1995.

  • Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities: A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1998.

  • National Directory for Catechesis. USCCB, 2005.

  • Special Needs Resource Directory, published by the USCCB Department of Education and posted on their website in Adobe Acrobat at the link below. Revised in 2004.

Contact: USCCB Publishing, 800-235-8722,


The Good Shepherd & The Child: A Joyful Journey by Sofia Cavalletti, Patricia Coulter, Gianna

Gobbi, & Silvana Q. Montanaro, M.D. Oak Park, IL: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Publications & LTP, 1994,
Exceptional Teaching: A Comprehensive Guide for Including Students with Disabilities by Jim

Pierson. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-7847-1255-7.

Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community. A resource booklet for faith communities on

including people and families living with autism. It is a collaborative product of The Elizabeth M.

Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and

COSAC (The New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community). It is

generously funded by a grant from The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation.
A Place Called Acceptance: Ministry with Families of Children with Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer


Sharing Faith: A Comprehensive Approach to Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry by

Thomas H. Groome, Eugene OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998.

A Guide for Special Education Bible Teaching-Reaching Ministry by Athalene McNay. Nashville,

TN: Convention Press, 1997.

1Autism and Your Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Barbara J. Newman, 2006. This book will enable church leaders to more fully include children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) into the Church. Available from Faith Alive Christian Resources, 1-800-333-8300,,
Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities by Barbara J. Newman, 2001. Available from Faith Alive Christian Resources, 1-800-333-8300,,

1Learning the Lord’s Prayer; Time with God and other titles available from Friendship Ministries, 1-800-333-8300 or

What is God’s Name? by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. Woodstock VT: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 1999,, ISBN 1893361101.
Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families &

Congregations by Eric Carter. Baltimore, London, Sydney: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2007.


Taste and See, The Goodness of the Lord by Therese Johnson Borchard. New York/Mahwah, NJ:  Paulist Press, 2000.  ISBN:  0809166658.
What is God Like? by Marie-Agnès Gaudrat. Collegeville MN: The Liturgical Press. ISBN: 081462510X. There are other books in this series which are excellent, including: The Presence of God. ISBN: 081462135X and The Love of God. ISBN: 0814621376.
A Walk through Our Church by Gertrud Mueller Nelso. Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press, 1998. ISBN: 0809166488.
The Story of Creation with Catholic Scripture by Allia Nolan, Tracey Moroney, illus. Melville NY: Regina Press, 2002. ISBN: 088271094X. Also in the series: Noah’s Ark, The Easter Story, The First Christmas.


Signs for Catholic Liturgy and Education and other titles and videos available from the National Catholic Office for the Deaf,, 301-577-4184 (tty), 301-577-1684 (voice).
Catholic Prayers in American Sign Language (DVD with accompanying booklet) available from Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic Deaf Apostolate, 1-215-587-3913,
Signing the Scriptures: A Starting Point for Interpreting the Sunday Readings for the Deaf (separate volumes for Year A, B and C) by Joan Blake. Chicago IL: Liturgy Training Publications, 800-933-1800,;
Liturgical Signs & Prayers: A Resource for Deaf Ministries (video) produced by the Deaf Ministry Offices of the Archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore, 2008. Available from the Center for Deaf Ministries, Archdiocese of Washington, 301-459-7464, or Deaf Ministries for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 410-347-0704, or the Catholic Information Center, at – video online dictionary. Has religion section, as well as other categories.
In Silent Prayer: A History of Ministry with the Deaf Community in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Father Anthony Russo. Traces the history of deaf ministry in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia through insightful text, as well as historical documents and photographs. Describes how this service can be further shaped and improved. Offers specific examples of how to establish an effective ministry, with a discussion of the ideas and attitudes necessary to effect change and progress in ministry today. Purchase from the publisher:

Youtube video, “Waiting for the World to Change”

Published by and available from Garlic Press,

  • Signing at Church for Adults and Young Adults. Order # GP-098.

  • Signing at Sunday School. Order #GP-099.


Xavier Society for the Blind –Provides free spiritual and inspiration reading materials and lending library services in Braille, large print and audiocassette formats. 1-212-473-7800; 1-800-637-9193.

Large print Lectionary and Sacramentary available from the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, 1-202-529-2933,


The New Brain: How the Modern Age is Rewiring Your Mind by Richard Restak, M.D. Rodale:



Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, Bipolar, and More! by Martin L.

Kutscher, MD with contributions from Tony Attwood, Ph.D. and Robert R. Wolff, M.D. London

and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2005.
In Search of Better Angels: Stories of Disability in the Human Family by J. David Smith.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc., 2003.

Mental Retardation and Intellectual Disabilities: Teaching Students Using Innovative and

Research-Based Strategies by Michael L. Wehmeyer and Martin Agran. Boston: Pearson Custom

Publishing & AAMR, 2005.


My Best Friend Will by Jamie Lowell and Tara C. Tuchel, M.S., CCC-SLP. Shawnee Mission, KS:

Autism Asperger Publishing col, 2005. Jamie introduces us to her friend

Willie, who has autism. She does so in a way that is both informative and natural, as if we were

sitting together in person. In the process, we learn many specifics about autism, which is part of

his uniqueness, but also about the things that she and her friend shares. Jamie is a 5th grader

from Wisconsin. She and Willie have been friends since Kindergarten.

the AUTISM ACCEPTANCE book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin.

Watering Can Press, 2006. ISBN: 0975986821, This is an activity

book that provides downloadable lesson plans to be used with grades K-8 to engage children in

learning to embrace people’s differences and treat others with respect, compassion, and

When My Autism Gets Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

by Kari Dunn Buron. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Co., 2003,
The Science and Fiction of Autism by Laura Schreibman. Cambridge, MA & London, England:

Harvard University Press, 2005.

You’re Going to Love this Kid!” Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom by

Paula Kluth. Baltimore, London, Sydney: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Col, 2003.

Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals

Catherine Maurice, ed., Gina Green & Stephen C. Luce, co-ed. Austin, TX: Pro·Ed, 1996.

Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism by Sheila Wagner, M.Ed. Arlington,

TX: Future Horizons, Inc., 1998, 1999.

Inclusive Programming for Middle School Students with Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome by Sheila

Wagner, M.Ed. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons, Inc., 2002.


Eagle Eyes: A Child’s Guide to Paying Attention by Jeanne Gehret, M.A. ISBN 0962513644.
Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception by Thom Hartmann. Introd. by Edward M.

Hallowell, M.D., For. by Michael Popkin, Ph.D. rev. ed. Grass Valley, CA: Mythical Intelligence, Inc., 1997.

All About Attention Deficit Disorder by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. Glen Ellyn, IL: Child

Management Inc, 1996.


  • Journal of Religion, Disability & Health

  • Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Research in Developmental Disabilities

  • Behavior Modification

  • Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

  • Journal of Behavioral Education

  • Education and Treatment in Mental Retardation


NCPD – National Catholic Partnership on Disability,
NAfIMNational Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry,
NICEThe Network of Inclusive Catholic Educators,
NCOD - The National Catholic Office for the Deaf,
Church Access for Persons with Disabilities; Catholic Theological Information & Practical Advice -
Religious Education Resources, Resources for inclusion of children with disabilities
Spiritual Connections with Tip Sheets for Clergy, Congregations, and Religious Educators – .
US GOVERNMENT Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - (alphabetical listing)
US GOVERNMENT Department of Education -

  • The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities –

  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities -

  • COSAC – The New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community - .

  • United Cerebral Palsy –

  • Autism Society of America –

  • The National Association for Down Syndrome –

  • Tourette Syndrome “Plus” - - awesome website on Tourette Syndrome “Plus” many useful resources for other disabilities as well.


  • Children and Adults with ADD/HD -

  • Website on learning disabilities, including adhd -

  • Unfortunately, will be going off the web sometime soon, but transferring ownership. So perhaps will still be helpful.

Disability Ministry Toolkit, August, 2008, National Catholic Partnership on Disability,

This document may be freely reprinted; please credit NCPD.

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