Is Your Church Open to Autism?
It's everywhere, bursting from our schools and neighborhoods and playgrounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 110 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. But with numbers like this, shouldn't our churches, of all places, be bursting with autism too? Certainly our pews are packed with families basking in the love and support of the church. Right?
The truth is that most families with autistic children can't make it to the door of the church. So our churches don't always see the need. I know, because for many years we were one of these invisible families. Church, like the rest of life, just didn't work. There were barriers, unspoken requirements, like sitting still and staying quiet and paying attention. But there isn't a pause button for autism. Max didn't seem to fit. For five years we stayed home on Sunday mornings. Actually, we stayed home most every other day too, me and my beautiful son, isolated like ...1