This is a choice no Christian parent should have to make; whether to send your child to a Christian School where they will learn the most important news about God’s love through Jesus Christ, or a school where his/her special needs can be met.

Last year Ben attended Trinity’s two year old preschool program for two mornings a week. Since he is still mostly at that development level but much bigger (and strongger) than the other kids, that option would not work for him this year. Neither will the three year old classroom as he would still need more attention than can be reasonably be asked of the two teachers there. It wouldn’t be fair to the other children and it wouldn’t be fair to the teachers.

So, Jen and I sought out the (very good) special education program in our county’s schools. Two weeks ago Ben was evaluated by a lot of good, qualified staff at a local elementary school. Today we went in for the (unsuprising) results: Ben is eligible to receive services through the school. We went over the goals for Ben and set up an IEP for him.

Starting next Thursday, Ben will attend this school from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in a class with four other students. He will have fun and learn and also receive help in areas he needs it.

Jennifer and I are pleased with the staff, the school, and the plan and, even though we know he will still get the Christian education he deserves simply because we will teach him those things no-matter-what, it breaks our hearts that our Lutheran school system does not do a better job at seeing this as a wonderful ministry opportunity and outreach (except for some, not in our area.)

Don’t get me wrong; we understand the challenges and pragmatic issues associated with getting special education within our Lutheran schools – some of which seem overwhelming. But we are unconvinced that many of the issues couldn’t be worked through if given the time and effort.

Anyway, Ben will do well and be fine and, like I said, we are pleased with the plan. We just hope that someday we can work toward a time when all of God’s children have an opportunity to receive a quality Christian education. – Be sure that Jennifer and I will be working toward that goal.

God bless.

Author: Scott Heitshusen

Lutheran (LC-MS) pastor in Sealy, Texas. Amazing wife, Jennifer, since 1991. Two sons, Daniel (b.1999) and Ben (b.2001). Ben has Down syndrome. Wonderful daughter-in-law, Rachel, since 2020. Jesus. Family. Others. Passionate about abolishing sex trafficking.

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