Joyce Inouye lives in Southern California and is a certified Learning Disabilities Specialist. Joyce pioneered the “Special Needs Institute” of the Southern California Association of Christian Schools International, has taught at La Verne University and presently teaches online courses for the graduate school of Fresno Pacific University. She also has a private practice called, Christian Educational Therapy. In 2012 Joyce began making trips to Japan to bring help, information, and hope to the learning disabled and to their families. I met her on one of those trips.
JapanCAN: Why do you do what you do?
Assuming you mean the ChildD Ministry in Japan… How does one say “No” to God? As my son was initially fundraising for doing mission work in Japan through Asian Access he surprised us by sharing a video he had created to raise awareness about Japan. When I heard about the suicides and the numbers I just COULDN’T let that go… I just wrestled with this fact… thinking, “Did my son have a typo of too many zeros? Checking the Internet, and being upset that the Japanese are killing themselves with such numbers, I would continue to come to one conclusion saying, “Come on… honestly, what can I personally do? I am one person. I can pray… perhaps stand in the gap? But that’s about it?” I remember wrestling with the suicides and shaking my head saying, “the pressure, the father/mother wounds, the culture’s confusion, the fears, pride, and ultimately the historic rejection of Jesus as Lord all contribute to this.
My heart was being molded toward Japan because my son was called to Japan to serve, and since the tri-disaster in 2011, I had the opportunity to pray for Japan and serve CRASH. I distinctly remember talking to one of the leaders of CRASH… as they invited me to train at their organization. They told me that in Japan, there is little to no information for those with Learning Disabilities, then they asked, “Would you come and train us?” My response at that time was, “I don’t travel. But one day I will visit my son in Japan… I will let you know, I can train whoever you can gather.”
Then the following week, God spoke clearly saying, “Many of those who committed suicide had undetected Learning Disabilities.” I remember falling to the ground and saying… “Lord… really?! Are you kidding me? Why did you say ‘learning disabilities?”
Within months divine “happenings” started to line up, and then next thing I was wrestling with was the high honor to be asked by Hiro Inaba President of CHEA Japan to be the Keynote speaker of the winter convention in Hakuba, Japan. I knew it was an irrefutable call from God… but I fought it. It just didn’t make sense… how could I make a difference by speaking at this conference?
JapanCAN: What are some of the big challenges for parents in Japan who have children with learning disabilities?
First of all… there is a lack of accurate information. I realize the culture does not lend itself to acknowledge weakness or differences. As a result those with unique and special needs do not have their needs positively addressed.
Secondly, when parents do address their children’s needs, I find them focusing on their child’s differences/weaknesses/unique ways. This would be fine if they would also focus on their child’s natural strengths and talents. This is paired with a lack of information in a society that shuns differences, academic challenges, and places high priority on being excellent and perfect.
Lastly, and most importantly… “Hidden disabilities”(those challenges that are not visible) are global. They are in Japan, and growing more prevalent with each year. In America, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has risen 53% in the last decade! More and more children are being diagnosed around the world. Yet, without God’s Kingdom perspective, Satan has an “open door” to twist Truth and bring in ungodly beliefs.
I have found the enemy attacks multitudes of Christian parents who have children with unique learning challenges — whether it be ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism, and/or process disorders. As the parents address these challenges to the best of their ability, even with God’s Word, the enemy’s strategy is to raise up conflict, division and distractions. This wears down already weary “brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ”, evoking fear for their children, upset, envy, bitterness, and opening the door to becoming very wounded in the process. The Guilt, Fear, Anger, Conflicts, etc. affects their quality of life.
I believe God has called me to be part of His amazing story. It is about the Christian families and children in Japan. I am there to let them see how important it is for them to have Kingdom perspectives in their battles. How the Lord delights over them with singing, and how God is with them, and He has equipped them to do a great work in a land that needs Jesus.
JapanCAN: What resources are available in Japan?
Over the two years God has raised up several strong indigenous leaders wanting to be trained by the ChildD Ministry. They have shared, “there are websites and books that inform the Japanese what a disability is and generally how to accommodate. But the books do not bring HOPE, and often times lead the families to using too much medication. We feel it puts the focus on how different their child is and how weak they are. It identifies their children by what they do… versus who they are.
We have a Japanese website which a plethora of information, with much more to come.
The ChildD Ministry also goes to Japan twice a year to speak at conferences and to meet families for appointments.
In 2016 we will begin training a few seriously interested individuals how to help those who have unique and learning needs.
The ChildD Ministry will provide webinars so that training, resources, and needs can be addressed online.
As God broadens and expands special needs programs in Japan our hope is that a growing number of people living there will have a Kingdom perspective regarding learning challenges. And this is just the beginning… there is more to come.
JapanCAN: My understanding is that there are three primary learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. If that is accurate, please describe each one briefly and why we need to understand them.
There are three recognized learning styles that used to reign as how children learn best.
Visually: means that children learn best by what they see. This includes children who have no weaknesses visually or processing in the brain what they see.
Auditorially: that children learn best by what they hear. This includes children who have no difficulties hearing or processing in the brain what is said.
Kinesthetically: that children learn best by doing. This includes children who work best by actually doing, participating, being active in what they are learning.
To the world, educators and parents globally, these three ways of learning have been well documented.
But in my 39 years in the field of Learning Disabilities, and my understanding of God’s Word, I believe there is a learning style that I have been using that has turned the severe academic learners into victorious students! It is learning through God’s individual design. I call this style, “Suite W.” Only because “Suite W” is an acronym that defines its meaning.
- Strengths: Teaching through their “strengths.”
- Uniqueness (Psalm 139:13-14): Embracing the individual uniqueness not squelching it down.
- Interests: Teaching using their interests.
- Temperament: Recognizing their character, personality, attitude, frame of mind, emotions, creation, and their heart, blessing them in the positive and God honoring.
- Energies: Recognizing their longevity to tasks, what motivates them, accommodating for their needs.
- Weaknesses: Using their strengths to remediate their academic, emotional, intellectual, social, physical and Spiritual weaknesses.
JapanCAN: Which learning style does the Japanese school system cater too?
Honestly? I have not been to every classroom in Japan’s school system. Truly, it is not always the curriculum that develops knowledge and learning, but the teacher, who sets the tone of the classroom. From what teachers in Japan have shared, students learn mostly by lecture (Auditory) and when doing independent work it shifts to visual with rare opporunties for Kinesthetic learning.
Specialist in Learning Disabilities, Christian Educational Therapy
731 N. Beach Blvd. Ste. 209A
La Habra, California 90631
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