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CockneyRebel
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13 Jan 2024, 9:24 pm

I think that autistic children should be able to go to church with their families. Inclusion is good for autistic people of all ages and levels. With a little extra planning, it can be done and that's how this family does it.


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MatchboxVagabond
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13 Jan 2024, 9:31 pm

I'd say it's a resounding maybe. Personally, I found Church to be horribly boring and the whole concept of believing something that didn't make any sense and wasn't particularly logical was just not going to work. Ever. I'm also aware that some autistic people really love the rules and order that an organized religion can bring, so perhaps it's a good idea, but just pay attention for any indications that it's not working and actually involve the kid in the decision making process to the extent possible.



TwilightPrincess
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13 Jan 2024, 9:34 pm

I hated going to church when I was a kid. Maybe it would’ve been okay if the church had a Sunday school with qualified adults. It’s awful having to sit through boring sermons that are intended for adults though.


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funeralxempire
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13 Jan 2024, 9:35 pm

Quote:
Should You Bring Your Autistic Child to Church?


No, probably not.


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14 Jan 2024, 11:30 pm

I agree with the above members who said that they found church to be incredibly boring. Now, I haven't been diagnosed with autism (yet) (I have been with ADHD, as a child). But I think that my lack of enjoyment of church may have been tied to neurodivergence and potentially traits of autism. That being that when I was in church, no matter how much I tried to, I could never feel anything at church. Whatever everyone else was feeling, I didn't. I've always wondered what was going on with me that I couldn't? Now I think I may be arriving to my answer.

It took me a while, but when I became consciously aware of that, I left the faith because I had no reason to believe.

Taking me to church as a child may well have been a big mistake, because I was unable to feel what others were that drew them to it and I wanted to be anywhere but in church.

I can go into a church today and listen and understand (but still not feel anything) better, but I cannot believe. I'm curious to see if an alternate universe I had not gone to church as a child and instead started going as an adult if I would have become a believer. There's no way to know, I guess. But I will tell you one thing for sure: If your kid is like me, taking them to church is a mistake if you want them to be a believer. Sounds contradictory, I know.


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Edna3362
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15 Jan 2024, 12:16 am

That depends on the individual.
But then, not all parents are in-tuned to what their children needs and wants, let alone if the child is autistic.


Personally, I shouldn't be bothered at all in childhood. I still do not prefer to because me going to the church is utterly pointless unless there's an appointment or that I have to wait or attend for someone.
Going to the church from my experience is not even a place of socialization -- thankfully.

A supposedly a place of worship and listening is just this mere weekly routine and appearances that people attends to church because they're "god fearing good people". :roll: It's just some ritualistic culture thing that I have to respect for other's belief and ways of life (like any other), not something important, meaningful or resonating -- no matter how inviting or inclusive people are, I do not see what they see.


But -- my concept of worship is different ever since as a child; so does my concept of what is sacred.

I get spirituality, but I don't really have a what is called a 'religion' and I have language processing issues combined with the sensory aspects that made all sermons and scriptures as meaningless noise and patterns of sentences unless said words and wording is translated into something I may able to discern and describe.


Heck, I can and know how make a prayer 'alive' -- but the routine ritual of having to do prayers on every other time of the day or hours of an event is... :? It just feels like something to re-enact.
Especially, more especially when I have to be mindful of words and wording whether it's speaking, listening, reading -- it just KILLS the entire point for me.

This applies going to the church and going to the church is just more sensory assaulting and can last hours long.


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MatchboxVagabond
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15 Jan 2024, 12:12 pm

Harmonie wrote:
I agree with the above members who said that they found church to be incredibly boring. Now, I haven't been diagnosed with autism (yet) (I have been with ADHD, as a child). But I think that my lack of enjoyment of church may have been tied to neurodivergence and potentially traits of autism. That being that when I was in church, no matter how much I tried to, I could never feel anything at church. Whatever everyone else was feeling, I didn't. I've always wondered what was going on with me that I couldn't? Now I think I may be arriving to my answer.

It took me a while, but when I became consciously aware of that, I left the faith because I had no reason to believe.

Taking me to church as a child may well have been a big mistake, because I was unable to feel what others were that drew them to it and I wanted to be anywhere but in church.

I can go into a church today and listen and understand (but still not feel anything) better, but I cannot believe. I'm curious to see if an alternate universe I had not gone to church as a child and instead started going as an adult if I would have become a believer. There's no way to know, I guess. But I will tell you one thing for sure: If your kid is like me, taking them to church is a mistake if you want them to be a believer. Sounds contradictory, I know.

I hadn't considered that, yet think the many years I went to church there were only a couple times that I actually felt anything other than boredom during normal services.



DanielW
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15 Jan 2024, 12:32 pm

no, not unless they show a clear desire to AND they are welcomed rather than tolerated (which is not likely) Church services were and still are too loud too bright, too crowded, and not worth the lingering sensory issues.



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15 Jan 2024, 12:59 pm

Regarding the origional question, it really depends on the individual child and how they can cope with the enviroment.

One can say the same question but swap "Church" for "Shopping mall" or "School" etc, etc, etc.

There is the spiritual element that is a difference in some churches that does make it easier for them to cope, and what I mean by spiritual element, is when the tangable form of the Holy Spirit flows through the meeting... I have seen the strongest man go backards on to the floor! BUT during those times one is so relaxed in the presence of God that even the most sensitive of traits one may have subsides!


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15 Jan 2024, 1:03 pm

^ That sounds dangerous.

Typically in church, especially those without Sunday schools, parents of young children insist upon behavior that is not developmentally appropriate - like sitting still for long periods of time, etc. Kids can move around in shopping malls. Schools cater to children's needs specifically, not that they are perfect by any means, but there's an ever growing emphasis on evidence-based practices. The purpose of schools is to educate, not indoctrinate.


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Fenn
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15 Jan 2024, 2:26 pm

We always did. They like it.


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MatchboxVagabond
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15 Jan 2024, 8:59 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
^ That sounds dangerous.

Typically in church, especially those without Sunday schools, parents of young children insist upon behavior that is not developmentally appropriate - like sitting still for long periods of time, etc. Kids can move around in shopping malls. Schools cater to children's needs specifically, not that they are perfect by any means, but there's an ever growing emphasis on evidence-based practices. The purpose of schools is to educate, not indoctrinate.

Definitely, it's going to depend a lot on the particulars. Some kids are going to be able to handle and enjoy it, but many won't. Some churches have multiple services with one that's more targeted towards families with younger children and some won't.

It would be nice to give a more definitive answer than perhaps, but really, both churches and autistic children vary wildly, and a one size fits all answer isn't likely to apply.



TwilightPrincess
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15 Jan 2024, 9:06 pm

It’s not just about what kids can handle or enjoy. Something can be tolerable and even enjoyable but unhealthy nonetheless. The Bible has a lot of harmful passages, and religious indoctrination can cause many problems overall. Churches that push a literal interpretation of the Bible can hinder kids’ science education. Granted, it wouldn’t be as bad in very liberal churches that do not teach that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. To cite a concrete example, I think it’s abusive to take kids to anti-LGBTQ+ churches because of the possibility of kids internalizing homophobia or transphobia which can increase the risks for depression and even suicide.

Perhaps it would be helpful if the church openly and honestly discussed textual problems and valid criticism of the Bible, so kids wouldn’t view it as some ideal which could cause problems down the road on an individual level even if the church isn’t openly homophobic/transphobic/misogynistic, etc.


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MatchboxVagabond
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16 Jan 2024, 8:47 am

TwilightPrincess wrote:
It’s not just about what kids can handle or enjoy. Something can be tolerable and even enjoyable but unhealthy nonetheless. The Bible has a lot of harmful passages, and religious indoctrination can cause many problems overall. Churches that push a literal interpretation of the Bible can hinder kids’ science education. Granted, it wouldn’t be as bad in very liberal churches that do not teach that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. To cite a concrete example, I think it’s abusive to take kids to anti-LGBTQ+ churches because of the possibility of kids internalizing homophobia or transphobia which can increase the risks for depression and even suicide.

Perhaps it would be helpful if the church openly and honestly discussed textual problems and valid criticism of the Bible, so kids wouldn’t view it as some ideal which could cause problems down the road on an individual level even if the church isn’t openly homophobic/transphobic/misogynistic, etc.

This is true, although most of that has nothing to do with the religion and be everything to do with ignorant people using religion to rationalize their own views. It's certainly an aspect to consider the same way that I wouldn't recommend attending services at a church that doesn't take the protection of minors fromvabuse seriously.



TwilightPrincess
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16 Jan 2024, 10:11 am

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
This is true, although most of that has nothing to do with the religion and be everything to do with ignorant people using religion to rationalize their own views.
Most of it has to do with the Bible itself. I know lots of people who don’t particularly like various things that are in the Bible but feel like they are wrong because they view it as God’s Word. I was there once, and it wasn’t a great place to be. It’s hard for people to know where to draw the line when it comes to stuff their holy book says. Even Jesus had harmful views and gave damaging advice on various topics. It’s kind of hard for believers to ignore those things when they view him as God/part of God/the Son of God/whatever.


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NibiruMul
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16 Jan 2024, 6:18 pm

My mother brought me to church until I made Confirmation when I was 13 (I'm Catholic, BTW). I didn't really like going to church cause it could get boring pretty quickly. I remember once Mom got mad at me for yawning in church, telling me (in these exact words) "you don't yawn in God's house". Ironically, my mom is not particularly religious, and now she hardly ever attends church (in fact, she doesn't have time for it now because she has to take care of my grandma) I did enjoy some of the music, and I often looked at the hymn books in the pews to pass the time when I got bored. I do still identify as Catholic, but I don't go to church because it just doesn't occupy my attention span.

My parents both went to single-sex Catholic schools, but I went to a secular public school. It used to be that Catholic families were expected to send their kids to Catholic school unless they were really poor. Nowadays the majority of Catholic kids go to secular schools. Nowadays, you're no longer even required to be Catholic to send your kids to Catholic school.