Opinion | Sexuality

Is Your Church Open to Autism?

Churches that make space for autistic children on Sunday mornings will be disrupted—by joy.

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?

Not exactly.

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 ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
November

Support our work

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.