April is Autism Awareness Month

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 4, 2012

caleb with autism holding a ballDo you have a child with autism? Or do you know a family who does? “Autism is the fastest growing disability in the United States, and the numbers are increasing around the world,” says Joni Eareckson Tada. As the numbers increase, so does the need for individuals and churches who are equipped to reach out to children with autism and their families. Is your church ready to embrace families with autism? Joni and Friends’ television episode, Making Sense of Autism, is a great resource to get you started. Available online or on DVD, this informative 2-part episode is easy to share with friends, family members, and churches. Part 1 introduces the challenges of daily life for families with an autistic child and addresses the misconceptions and falsehoods surrounding autism. Part 2 reveals feelings of fear, frustration, and isolation so often felt by these families and provides ideas for ways the church can embrace and include them in the body of Christ. This month, discover what these families need most from the church – as well as the blessings that come from including every person in the body of Christ.

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I am so glad to see this topic from a Christian point of view. Perhaps as the awareness is increased, in time the churches and bible study groups will feel more comfortable including us the adults with Asperger Syndrome. Several of us have been diagnosed later in life (formely or informaly). And we did not benefit from the wonderful education now available. Some of us who own business do not desire to disclose our condition and we are satisfied with the label of "a bit on the excentric side". Most churches and bible study groups do not welcome a more direct approach of our questions, specially of a doctrinal nature when we question the origin of mentioned sources and would like referral of even printed materials that do not contain biblical or extrabiblical references. Discernment and credibility are important to me and to others who are to shy to press the matter any further after the first negative response. Some of us might not be at home with the social nuances of a neural-typical person, however the Lord made us, also relational in His design. Consider, for He does not make mistakes on His Sovereign will.
  • April 17, 2012
  • 6:08 p.m.
  • Hannah
My 17 year old adopted son has autism. He is a very good piano player. The abuse done to him at a public high school, 2 years ago, has severely affected him. There are people/kids out there in the public schools who wait to victimize our vulnerable kids!
  • April 16, 2012
  • 11:51 a.m.
  • Jeff Lucia
I am a father of an autistic child who is diagnosed in the mild to moderate range. He is a smart little boy who loves to imitate sounds... but he also insists on certain rigid routines. Thank God we were given important info (via the internet and other sources) early on and that we started early intervention and other treatments. There is a lot of various treatments and therapies out there... more than 20 yrs ago... so don't lose hope... autism is treatable!
  • April 10, 2012
  • 9:30 p.m.
  • Bruce Brenan
I attend Newspring Church in SC and volunteer in a special needs area of children's ministry there. We have several children with autism and this is a great resource!
  • April 10, 2012
  • 2:42 p.m.
  • Kayla Adkins
We are an Ohio Family who is both affected by autism, and have been incredibly blessed by Joni and Friends Ohio. We have been so touched by their outpouring of support, and their geniune acceptance and love of our fmaily as a whole, and of my affected son, Nathan. We pray for all involved with Joni and Friends, that they each be blessed, and continue to bless others as they reach out to families like mine, and change their lives for the better.
  • April 8, 2012
  • 7:11 p.m.
  • Vicki Sotack
May our beautiful God, who knows what we need before we ask, provide an abundance of His peace to the precious souls living & loving with special needs, including the puzzle that is autism. Thanks 2 those who, for no other reason than it is right, reach out in love to the isolated...we need you! Love Corrie
  • April 5, 2012
  • 6:24 p.m.
  • Corrie Maland
My 9 year old granddaughter, Cadence Post, has autism I my daughter is really super with understanding her needs and wants. CADENCE has improved in alot of areas. She still has hard days some days at special needs school and at home. Noises are very disturbing to her, example her 2 year old sister when she gets upset over something and cries and screams, it really can make CADENCE have a meltdown. SHE'S a very loving child and so precious to us. May GOD BLESS EACH HOME THAT IS TOUCHED BY AUTISM.
  • April 4, 2012
  • 6:34 p.m.
  • Rita McBrayer
Great article. Thanks for being aware of and helping families with children with autism.
  • April 4, 2012
  • 12:25 p.m.
  • Matt