The CDC has said that 1 in 68 children are born with autism. In Canada, the numbers are about 1 in 94. Those are some pretty significant numbers.
My question to you is: Do you have people with autism in your church? I don’t mean just children, but people in general.
If you do not have any, I would encourage you to ask why. Have you had families with autism that have visited and not come back? Is there something about your service that might turn off someone with autism? Do you openly reject people with autism because it might spoil the “show” (this actually happens more often than you would think)?
Perhaps you have people with autism at your church and you don’t realize it. Many people have a stereotypical idea of what a person with autism is like. There are people who have what was once called Asperger’s Syndrome (that diagnosis is now just Autism Spectrum Disorder) who may lack what you consider to be autistic traits and just seem to be socially awkward. Take some time to talk to some of those people who are on the fringe of your church community and try to understand them better.
If you do have people with autism in your church (and I hope you do), what are you doing about it? Are you as interested in accommodating a person with autism as you are a person with a wheelchair? How do you include them? Are you intentional about embracing them or are you paralyzed with uncertainty about what to do?
Martin Luther King Jr. once said that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. I hope that we have made progress with bringing the races together. How segregated are we when it comes to people with developmental disabilities (or disabilities in general)?