Friday, April 18, 2014

Autism Understanding & Acceptance 2014 Day 20: Church

Easter Sunday it seemed appropriate to post about our churches.  In our experience, they have been an unblinking support to us throughout T's childhood.  He was born into our church choir family in Virginia, and a bigger and more loving extended "family" could not have been desired.  Our kid had more aunties and uncles than he could count!  When he was a year old, we moved to a new state and started over with a new church.  His delays started showing up not long after we moved, and that church wrapped themselves around us through the scary build-up to diagnosis day, then supported us afterwards.  And then a few years later, we made our move to that state's capitol city, where we remain.  That was a scarier church hunt, having an elementary aged child with autism in tow when visiting a new church.  I'm thankful to say that anywhere we "church shopped" we were welcome, but our current church has embraced T beyond tolerance (that word is kind of tricky for me - when I see it on bumper stickers - don't we want to go beyond "tolerance" to embracing & including?).  Have there been bumps in the road?  Certainly - but the constant message is that T is loved and wanted there and we are all going to make it work however possible.

T is not a fan of unexpected singing AT ALL.  And sometimes, even expected singing is completely not cool with him.  But we walk into the sanctuary on Sunday mornings, and he looks at us and says "Sing".  He enjoys it.  He is happy during the services.   It's just more fuel to fire my belief that this child is connected to God.

Sometimes he's quite vocal about how happy he is, and God bless the people who sit near us every week, we've never gotten even a sideways glance.  

Thanks be to God for churches that welcome ALL - and I mean ALL God's children.  

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