Autism and Church

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Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Our churches have a problem, a major problem in my opinion. To be blunt, many congregations are clueless about how to deal with illnesses and medical conditions.  If someone is ill at home or in a hospital, the church will pray and pray for them; a smaller effort might be made to visit and perhaps lend a hand in some way or another; however, at the thought of the ill person coming back to church, everything freezes up. Again, bluntly, people with medical conditions get on congregants' nerves.

A glaring example too many churches suffer with is what to do about children with autism. Why are these children deemed 'different'. A simple silent classification preempts a wide variety of choices and options for such children (and anyone else who is out of conformity). Why can't brothers and sisters recognize that one of the most wonderful examples of Christ-likeness awaits in the opportunity to receive and embrace an autistic child or adult? Why are they shuttled off to 'special' classes or groups? Are we afraid? Uncertain? Clueless? Or, worse?

No disrespect intended to programs and music ministries; but how can we spend weeks and months in rehearsals, planning, and preparation for passing events, but never find a moment to gear up a reception team (or the congregation as a whole) to welcome these wonderful people. Matthew 25 has a few words of wisdom for Christians on this subject.

 

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