Can I tell you something. Got to tell you one thing. If you expect the freedom that you say is yours prove that you deserve it. Help us to preserve it or being free will just be words and nothing more.
Kansas, 1974

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Autism and faith, inclusion and exclusion

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs.


Below are two recent posts from Autism Vox. One is about the refreshing recognition that autistic individuals and other individuals with disabilities should be included in religious communities. The other is a disturbing demonstration that not everyone is willing to make that happen.
Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community

Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community is a new resource for clergy, religious educators, and families of autistic children to develop “inclusive spiritual supports” for autistic individuals in religious settings. The 52-page guide was developed by the Autism and Faith Task Force of COSAC, New Jersey’s main autism organization, and the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, which is in the Department of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.


Priest Files Restraining Order Against Parents of Autistic 13-year-old

This story about a Catholic priest filing a restraining order against the parents of an autistic 13-year-old to keep them from attending church on Sundays in Bertha, Minnesota, is why resources like this are more than needed—-and a spirit of inclusion and mutuality.

It's a bit disturbing to see some arguing in the comments that the priest was right to seek a restraining order against this family. We aren't the first family in our church to have special needs children and we won't be the last. I'm fairly confident that if our boys ever got to be "big and scary" the last thing on anyone's mind would be trying to convince us not to come to church any more.

2 comments:

  1. Is the priest that filed the order not familiar with this passage?

    Matthew 19:13-15 (King James Version)

    13Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

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  2. I can't believe that a priest would do that. Our church started a ministry to accomodate a young girl with autism to make sure her and her single mom were able to be a part of our community. I can't imagine my pastor asking them not to come.

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