Church Bars Family of Autistic Child from Church

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vulcanpastor
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19 May 2008, 10:09 am

I wanted to link to two articles about a priest in central Minnesota that has placed a restraining order on the family of an autistic teen citing he could be a danger to churchgoers.

As a pastor, I find this treatement of the child and family horrible.

Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 17, 2008



Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 19, 2008

Dennis
Minneapolis, MN



SotiCoto
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19 May 2008, 10:14 am

It is for his own good.
He is better off not setting foot into such a cesspool anyway.



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19 May 2008, 10:16 am

Wow. 8O



tailfins1959
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19 May 2008, 10:48 am

I blame the mother for not planning this out with the priest BEFOREHAND. There are some activities, especially a men's group he could participate in.


Quote:

Walz alleges that Adam struck a child during mass and has nearly knocked elderly people over when he abruptly bolts from church. He also spits and sometimes urinates in church and fights efforts to restrain him, Walz wrote.


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Last edited by tailfins1959 on 19 May 2008, 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

lelia
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19 May 2008, 10:52 am

This is so sad. I wish the priest and other people of the church had come up with a better solution. His behaviour is scary and dangerous, but could be accommodated. An aide to keep him from grabbing people or jumping into other people's car, racing after him while the family gets to visit a little. Leaving one aisle open until the boy has left the sanctuary.
I'm so glad our church lets our thirty-year-old daughter with autism plus wander the santuary during the sermon, examine the babies, pat the bald men, take supplies from the nursery and sunday school. They even forgave her for setting off the fire alarm.



spudnik
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19 May 2008, 11:07 am

tailfins1959 wrote:
At least the teen won't get molested!

And they refer to us Baptist Fundamentalists as judgmental. As long as he doesn't like other boys, he would be welcome in my church.

They are just as bad as fundamentalists baptist, only not as sexually frustrated.
The parent doesn't have control of her child, and there are concerns of safety
with this kid, as he gets into a highly agitated state. The priest and his
congregation may have over reacted with this situation, but the parent shouldn't
be forcing her son to sit though an uncomfortable boring church sermon, there
are prayers for the sick the priest could have given him, which is really for the
mothers beliefs, the mother is making a big show of this for the attention, her
son could really care less about this stupid situation. The same thing would
happen in a theater, restaurant, or any other crowded place, including a
fundamentalists baptist church



tailfins1959
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19 May 2008, 11:12 am

spudnik wrote:
tailfins1959 wrote:
At least the teen won't get molested!

And they refer to us Baptist Fundamentalists as judgmental. As long as he doesn't like other boys, he would be welcome in my church.

They are just as bad as fundamentalists baptist, only not as sexually frustrated.
The parent doesn't have control of her child, and there are concerns of safety
with this kid, as he gets into a highly agitated state. The priest and his
congregation may have over reacted with this situation, but the parent shouldn't
be forcing her son to sit though an uncomfortable boring church sermon, there
are prayers for the sick the priest could have given him, which is really for the
mothers beliefs, the mother is making a big show of this for the attention, her
son could really care less about this stupid situation. The same thing would
happen in a theater, restaurant, or any other crowded place, including a
fundamentalists baptist church



A group of big male church members could designate an area for this family. Also, they could be designated a time to enter the building complete with "ushers".


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Dark_Red_Beloved
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19 May 2008, 11:24 am

tailfins1959 wrote:
I blame the mother for not planning this out with the priest BEFOREHAND. There are some activities, especially a men's group he could participate in.


I would be very cautious about placing blame in situations like this, but I can tell you one thing:
there is more than enough mother guilt going around as it is, no matter where one falls on humanity's spectrum-- and especially in regard to the autistic spectrum. Parents are often their children's sole champion and defender. Let's build up them instead of tearing them down.

Goodness knows they could use some encouragement and support.



Last edited by Dark_Red_Beloved on 19 May 2008, 11:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

demeus
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19 May 2008, 11:26 am

I have read this story and the first thing that comes to mind is that both sides have lost.

The parents cannot win in this case because the pastor has the backing of the other parishioners. As such, the family is left alone. He also has the legal backing of the courts and the sheriff (it is obvious if the sheriff is threatening to arrest her). She did the right thing by going to another parish. The next question now would be if the diocese decided to set up the restraining order so that it was valid for any parish within the diocese.

At the same time though, the church has now had publicity that it did not want and will go beyond the individual parish. It is suggested that 90% of persons with disabilities do not attend church at all. It may be because these people do not feel wanted at the church. This church also lost a person who was a big contributor to the church from what the first article said.

Finally, if the church was really worried about liability issues regarding cars that are running, then why did the priest not call the sheriff and have them had a ticket to the person who started the car and left it running. That is illegal in Minnesota.



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19 May 2008, 11:29 am

Blessing in disguise. They probably would have done something crude to the kid thinking he was possessed like some other church did.



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19 May 2008, 11:45 am

From what I have seen on the news and reading online, he really shouldn't be in a crowded place.
This 13 year old kid is bigger then some men at 6 feet tall and 225 pounds, he does get physical
with people, and has hit and knocked over people in the church, I know he can't help what he's
doing, but this is a mater of public safety. The church also tried to accommodate the family, but
as this kid has grown, the problem has gotten worse.
tailfins1959 maybe if you should read the link, before making judgment calls on other religions,
fundamentalists baptists preachers are justs as capable of being sexual deviants too, it seems
to be an issue with people in control of a congregation.
http://www.startribune.com/local/190333 ... page=1&c=y

I have to say, I am an agnostic, Ex catholic, and have no love for the church, for personal reasons.
But I don't like to see anyones religions put down, and its not anybody's right to do that either



Last edited by spudnik on 19 May 2008, 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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19 May 2008, 11:55 am

Well then...why didn't the family go to another church?


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19 May 2008, 12:34 pm

AnonymousAnonymous wrote:
Well then...why didn't the family go to another church?

The mother is just looking for attention, and thinks its her right to cause this commotion,
anyone else would have tried to make an effort to find another church, or have made
better arrangements accommodate them, the poor kid doesn't need or want this attention



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19 May 2008, 12:45 pm

Obviously, the autistic teen cannot be allowed back in the church. Not simply because of his autism. He must be barred from the church because of his negative and disruptive behaviours. Is it his fault that he carries on like this? No. However, it isn't the fault of the congregation, either. If the kid can't be accomodated fairly, too bad.

Clearly the congregation is terrorized by an individual who cannot be reasoned with or disciplined due to mental defect. Because of the mental defect, it cannot be explained to him why his behaviour is unacceptable. Through no fault of his own, the kid just doesn't get it. He's completely oblivious to social rules, but affected by them nonetheless.

This is unfair to everyone, including the autistic teen. We cannot make excuses for these individuals. They can't be blamed for the consequences of their actions, though this is hard for me to accept in my heart of hearts. Likewise, the church doesn't deserve to endure the boy's behaviour. They deserve to worship in peace.



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19 May 2008, 12:57 pm

AnonymousAnonymous wrote:
Well then...why didn't the family go to another church?


Do YOU want to change your routines? :wink:


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19 May 2008, 1:12 pm

I'd willingly accomodate another's needs, but only within the bounds of reason.