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Attending Religious Services with an Autistic Person


Updated February 27, 2009

Religious Services: A Critical Family Experience:

Autism should not stand in the way of experiencing religious life. Yet many families feel ostracized from their own religious communities because of an autistic child. The organizations listed below provide resources for with you and your congregation to ensure access to religious services and rites -- for your whole family.

Attending Catholic Mass:

In the Catholic faith, young children are expected to attend Mass. This can be especially difficult for autistic children. The National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry has created an entire website that offers tips and ideas for including developmentally disabled individuals at Mass and in Sunday School.

Attending Evangelical Services:

The Christian Council on Persons with Disabilities offers support, resources and ideas for evangelical churches interested in including persons with developmental disabilities.

Attending Jewish Services:

The National Jewish Council for the Disabled offers conferences, camps, programs, curricula, and classes. Children can prepare for Bar and Bat Mitzvah, take part in youth programs, and become fully included in Jewish life.

Interfaith Gathering:

The National Organization on Disability runs an annual conference, That All May Worship, which includes individuals and institutions of all faiths in national events.

Inclusion and the Muslim Faith:

This article on inclusion in the Muslim community, reprinted in the National Organization on Disablity website, describes efforts by Muslim communities in various American cities to provide greater access to individuals with disabilities.
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