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.