There has been an increase in autism awareness, both in general and in the church. That is a good thing but more is needed. Autism awareness means that people know what autism is and may even have some understanding about what people with autism need.
But more is needed.
It is time to move beyond autism awareness and embrace autism acceptance. Acceptance moves toward intentionally making churches welcoming places for individuals and families with autism.
I have talked with numerous people who have found churches to be unwelcoming to those with autism. Some families have told me that they were informed by their churches that their children were not welcome. Sometimes churches are not that forthright and they respond with negligence.
Churches need to be proactive in welcoming people with autism. We need to go out of our way to not just avoid negative messages but to actually send positive messages. Are we ready for this?
You can get my book, How to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly.