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A_Johnson
A_Johnson asks:
Q:

Lower function autistic teen and church attendance

So my step-son is autistic and on the lower end of the scale. He is considered non-verbal too. To give you an idea he is 17 and his favorite show is Caillou and he will walk into a street without looking.  
Even though I live in a state known for recognizing autism early and higher numbers of autistic children I am not sure local churches have caught up with the rest of the state. Church is a place where I would like to return and I am not knowledgeable enough to start teaching a special class myself. Have other families found ways to attend church, without missing out and still not overload their child?
In Topics: Learning disabilities, Mental retardation, Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Jun 17, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I know of many families who go to their place of worship with their autistic child or young adult. Some have chosen to have "pre-emptive" conversations with the clergy, such as to alert them for verbal outbursts or if the child hums, stims or can't sit for long periods of time.

I would recommend setting reasonable parameters, such as only attending the first 15 minutes until your son becomes use to the sights and sounds of the church environment.  Consider bringing something to occupy his time, hands or cover his ears if he is sound sensitive.

For more great suggestions I recommend these resources:

http://www.TheCoffeeKlatch.com  - a group of parents and professionals coming together to help kids on the spectrum and other learning challenges.

The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Free Spirit Publishing: http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=788

Spirt of Autism - a grassroots website  http://www.SpiritofAutism.org

 Ministry Article regarding special needs inclusion- http://www.autismkey.com/church-inclusion-increases-for-autism-families/


Best wishes!

Louise Sattler, Psychologist

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LouiseSattler
LouiseSattler , Child Professional writes:
Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I know of many families who go to their place of worship with their autistic child or young adult. Some have chosen to have "pre-emptive" conversations with the clergy, such as to alert them for verbal outbursts or if the child hums, stims or can't sit for long periods of time.

I would recommend setting reasonable parameters, such as only attending the first 15 minutes until your son becomes use to the sights and sounds of the church environment.  Consider bringing something to occupy his time, hands or cover his ears if he is sound sensitive.

For more suggestions I recommend these resources:

http://www.TheCoffeeKlatch.com  - a group of parents and professionals coming together to help kids on the spectrum and other learning challenges.

The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Free Spirit Publishing: http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=788

Spirt of Autism - a grassroots website  http://www.SpiritofAutism.org

 Ministry Article regarding special needs inclusion- http://www.autismkey.com/church-inclusion-increases-for-autism-families/


Best wishes!

Louise Sattler, Psychologist
> 60 days ago

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