Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

One of the aspects I love about my church is that it has many children with special needs. Parents have told us they feel more comfortable letting their children "make a joyful noise" here, because we let children be children, and accept them for who they are, developmental delays, communication disorders, and all. We have a few little ones we've been watching grow and mature over the years. We love them, but I don't know if they feel the same love for us- the very nature of church can be difficult for some of our little ones.

As you can imagine, if you are sensitive to noise the church choir & its organ may not always be your cup of tea- and if you self-stem by clapping, or stomping your feet, it may be a long, difficult hour of trying to stay quiet.

Then there is the time for passing-the-peace, which requires everyone to stand up, shake hands with those around them and make small talk for about 2 minutes before sitting down again. Once again, I imagine this time is difficult for someone with autism- the noise level rises suddenly, you have to touch strangers, make eye contact, AND small talk. People you only kind of know get in your face and force you to talk to them. Typically our church children with autism stay in their seats with their eyes on a coloring book, frantically trying to pretend it's not happening. (There are times when I'm feeling particularly anti-social that I'd like to copy their coping strategies)

This morning however, one friend with autism stood up, turned around, and shook hands with us, "Happy Easter!" he exclaimed, jumping up and down. He then ran down the aisle, shaking hands with everyone he could reach. As he made his way back to his seat he exploded with pride- "Mom, I think I passed the peace!"

He certainly did.

1 comment:

Mary said...

That is so sweet! I love it. Happy Easter!