What began as a 15-year-old’s Eagle Scout project is now Loyola Press’s newest interactive resource for children with autism and special needs preparing for their First Communion: the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit.
Three years ago, Brendan Rizzo noticed his parents were having trouble finding resources for his sister Danielle, a child with autism, to prepare her for First Communion. Brendan was developing an Eagle Scout project; with his sister as his inspiration, he created a special-needs lending library at his parish for his project. Brendan’s parents, David and Mercedes Rizzo, also contributed to his work by producing a series of learning tools to help Danielle and other children prepare for their First Communion.
After many months of working in conjunction with the Rizzos, Loyola Press is proud to announce the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit. The kit contains eight pieces, including picture cards that help children maintain focus during Mass and a matching puzzle that helps children differentiate between the Host and ordinary food. This kit also includes social stories and picture exchange communication system (PECS) strategies. The learning tools in this kit have been used successfully by Danielle and many children like her to participate more fully in the Mass and become prepared to receive the Eucharist.
Here are what users of the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit have to say:
The kit is a valuable tool that provides a child with autism an opportunity for a successful First Holy Communion.”
—Lisa Borges, Executive Director, The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc
“These materials are well-thought-out and prepared, reflecting an understanding of the needs of children with autism and other developmental disabilities with respect to learning and sensory processing. These materials would be very useful for anyone preparing a child with learning challenges to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”
—Diane L. Williams, Ph.d., CCC-SLP
“Being a mother of a son with autism, I have lived the challenges of trying to catechize him in order for him to receive the sacraments and better participate in the Liturgy of the Mass. The Rizzos have created a beautiful missal and activities that teach and supplement our Catholic faith in a beautiful and enriching way for children with learning disabilities.”
—Michaelann Martin, mother of 8, speaker, and co-author of The Catholic Parent Book of Feasts and Family Matters
To order the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit (ISBN: 978-0-8294-3580-1), please call 800-621-1008 or visit www.LoyolaPress.com/special-needs.
For more information on the Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit or to share your thoughts, e-mail Carrie Freyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.