Disabilities and Religious Needs

Disability and Faith

Today I met with the group home where our children with autism live. It was a time to discuss how they were doing and how their needs can be best met. One of the things […]

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Fragile Bones – Review

Disability and Faith

My daughter brought home a number of books from her school library and I was pleased to see one was Fragile Bones: Harrison and Anna by Lorna Schultz Nicholson. This book revolved around two high school […]

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The Bible and Disability: A Commentary – Review

Disability and Faith

I’m currently doing research into what the Bible says about disabilities. This led me naturally to The Bible and Disability: A Commentary edited by Sarah J. Melcher, Mikeal C. Parsons and Amos Yong. The Bible […]

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Autism and Faith

Disability and Faith

Someone recently asked me about people with Asperger’s Syndrome and the challenges of Christian faith. Asperger’s is now known simply as autism. I have heard people claim that people with autism struggle with faith. It […]

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The Challenge of Having a Nonverbal Child

Disability and Faith

Our two children with autism are considered nonverbal. That doesn’t mean they have no words, just that they do not typically communicate with verbal speech. Most times we can deal with it. They have no […]

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Chronic Pain and Invisible Disabilities

Disability and Faith

When people think about disabilities, probably they think of someone with Down Syndrome or a person in a wheelchair. But there are disabilities that are invisible. There are number of these invisible disabilities and one […]

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Disability in the Hebrew Bible – Review

Disability and Faith

Two of the biggest interests for me are the Bible and disabilities. When those two things come together, II am happy. That’s why I enjoyed Disability in the Hebrew Bible. Things can get complicated when […]

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Becoming Friends of Time – Review

Disability and Faith

Advocating for people with disabilities is very important to me. However, I have caught myself getting impatient with people with disabilities, whether physical or developmental. While I am aware things can take longer, I have […]

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Disabilities and Healing

Disability and Faith

One of my favourite podcasts is Unbelievable? hosted by Justin Brierley. Usually they scratch my apologetics itch, but recently they touched on another special interest of mine: Disabilities. One of the questions dealt with was […]

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Should Parents Call Themselves Autism Moms and Dads?

Disability and Faith

I have recently come across comments by people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder who find the labels “autism mom” and “autism dad” offensive. This rather surprised me. The idea is that autism belongs to the […]

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Disability and the Way of Jesus – Review

Disability and Faith

Two of the biggest interests in my life are biblical studies and disability theology. Disability and the Way of Jesus by Bethany McKinney Fox satisfied both those needs. This is a very important book for developing […]

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The Sounds of Autism

Disability and Faith

I recently mentioned that we had a great service at our church this past Sunday. One of the things that made it a good service was a family that was visiting. This family happened to […]

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Animated Explanation of Autism

Disability and Faith

There has been much work done on autism awareness but there is still a long way to go. This is a great little video on autism. I love how it doesn’t present autism as something […]

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Did Disabilities Win the Game of Thrones?

Disability and Faith

I found the final episode of Game of Thrones interesting on a number of levels. One of those was the way disabilities were portrayed, not just throughout the series, but in the conclusion. NOTE: SPOILERS […]

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Remembering Jean Vanier

Disability and Faith

One of the Christians that I have tremendous respect for is Jean Vanier. I was sad to hear of his death. Even at 90, he had so much to teach us. The L’Arche website describes […]

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Reflections on a Recent Funeral

Disability and Faith

I recently did a funeral for a member of our church named Dianne. I didn’t know Dianne well, as her health didn’t allow her to attend much since I became the pastor. I did know […]

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Should You Wear Blue on World Autism Awareness Day?

Disability and Faith

Many people, especially those with friends or family with autism, wear blue on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). It is a way to raise awareness and show support to those with autism. But did […]

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Including People With Disabilities in Faith Communities – Review

Disability and Faith

One of the most important issues for me is to make sure that people with disabilities are welcomed into our churches. One person who has done a lot of work in this area is Erik […]

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What Churches Need to Know About People With Disabilities

Disability and Faith

Yesterday, we had a town hall meeting at our church. This was to look at, among other things, ways we do outreach and ways we welcome. Numerous topics came up and one of them was […]

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Christ on the Psych Ward – Review

Disability and Faith

One of the most important conversations needed in the church is that of mental illness. There are different ways we can do this. It can be by describing the facts of mental illness or telling […]

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Uniquely Human – Review

Disability and Faith

I have read many books on autism but Uniquely Human is one of the best. As I read it, my initial reaction was, “I wish I had read this book when my children were diagnosed!” […]

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The Reality of Welcoming People With Developmental Disabilities

Developmental Disabilities

I am committed to welcoming people with disabilities, both physical and developmental, into the church. But there is a danger that we romanticize what this looks like. Sure I can share some beautiful stories but […]

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Redefining Perfect – Review

Disability and Faith

When a couple begins to have children, at least in the back of their mind, they are hoping for the “perfect” family. But what happens when a child is born with or an adult acquires […]

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Good News: A Pastor Who Cares

Good News

Our son Logan has started attending a church in the city where his group home is. I have mentioned this before and we are thankful. I care as a father but I can also see […]

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The Paradox of Disability – Review

Disability and Faith

One of the first times that I heard about the intersection of faith and disability was a discussion about the L’Arche communities. L’Arche was founded by Jean Vanier and Vanier has done much to raise […]

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Is it Wrong to Label People With Autism?

Autism

I recently had a discussion about using labels when describing people on the autism spectrum. Some of the people in the discussion felt strongly that labels are completely inappropriate. What do I mean by labels? […]

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Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness – Review

Disabling Mission Enabling Witness

I recently read Enabling Mission, Enabling Witness by Benjamin T. Conner and I absolutely loved it. I am currently doing some research into disability and theology and this book just got me more excited about […]

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Disabilities and Disabilities

Disability and Faith

I’m thankful that more people are talking about disabilities these days. But what do we mean by disabilities? Some may refer to “people with disabilities” as if they are one monolithic group but that is […]

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Top Five Things I Wish People Knew About Autism

As I approach my fiftieth birthday, I’m writing a number of top five lists. Since autism is something that is close to my heart, I need to blog about this as well. Autism awareness has […]

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Autism and the Double Meltdown

Autism

We went to visit our two children who have autism and who live in a group home. Logan is 17 and Abby is 16. The visit didn’t turn out the way we expected. Abby was […]

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An Autistic Thanksgiving

Disability and Faith

I suspect that most families have unexpected situations and uncontrollable factors when it comes to family dinners and holidays. This is definitely true when the family includes autism. This past weekend was the Canadian Thanksgiving, […]

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People With Autism Become Adults

Disability and Faith

I have been doing some informal research into how many people with autism are in churches. I had a very interesting comment that I think reflects common thinking on autism. One pastor responded by saying, […]

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How Apologetics Intersects With My Interest in Disabilities

Apologetics

Two of the areas that I write on the most are Christian apologetics and disabilities. This makes sense. My faith journey includes a period of atheism and I am a skeptic by nature. In addition, […]

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What Our Church Does For Disability Ministry

Disability and Faith

When people find out that I’m interested in disabilities, I often get asked what we do at our church for disability ministry. Like myself, people are always look for ideas. So when I get asked […]

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Autism and the First Day of School

Disability and Faith

Like many parents, we sent our children off today for their first day of school for the year. We took the obligatory pictures of our three children and posted them on Facebook. Except we have […]

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Good News: “Go Away!”

Good News

How many parents think it is good news when their teenage daughter tells them to go away? This one does. A couple of days ago, I was visiting our children, Logan and Abby, at their […]

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First Thoughts on The Good Doctor

Good Doctor

The Good Doctor is a medical drama that airs on ABC and which features a doctor with autism. It is based on an earlier South Korean series. At this point I have only watched the […]

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The Hope’s Reason Podcast

Hope's Reason

I have been podcasting for quite a few years and I do enjoy it. Although my original podcast has been taken down by me, I am still active in podcasting. I offer a podcast that […]

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Disability Stereotypes in Movies

Disability

One of the pet peeves of many people in the disability community is how people with disabilities are portrayed in movies and television shows. Very often, stereotypes are used for people with disabilities. People with […]

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Why I Don’t Talk Much About Ableism

Ableism

For years we have heard about sexism (discrimination against a gender, usually females) and racism (discrimination against a race, usually non-whites). People may be less familiar with ableism. What is ableism? The Centre for Disability […]

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What is a Disability?

Disability

I recently asked a question on a couple of Facebook groups that I belonged to. One group was about autism and the other about sarcoidosis. I asked members whether they identified as disabled. Interestingly, many […]

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Asperger’s From the Inside Out – Review

Asperger's

Before there was just an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there was also an Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). The simple definition of AS is that it is autism without the language deficits. However, AS has disappeared as a […]

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Inspiration Porn

Disability and Faith

This past week, I was at the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. There was so much that I learned but one of the terms I came across for the first time was “inspiration porn.” […]

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This is What Autism Looks Like

Autism

It is important for me to share information about autism. It is vital that our society grow in autism awareness. But is autism is more than a diagnosis, it is about people. Autism never happens […]

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Making Plans With Autism

Disability and Faith

A few weeks ago, we were staying at a hotel with our three youngest children. One of the reasons we went to the hotel is that it had a pool. Since the hotel was in […]

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Good News: A Beautiful Day For a Walk

Good News

My Good News is that I took a walk to Tim Horton’s. How is that Good News, other than the fact that I really enjoy their steeped tea? This weekend included a visit from our […]

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An Important Question For Churches and Disabilities

Disability and Faith

Our church has a Bible study that takes place Sundays after the service. We were looking at Paul’s vision for the unity of the church in Ephesians 2. One of the participants asked a question […]

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Why I’m Glad My Children Didn’t Come For a Visit

Autism

Our two oldest children have autism and live in a group home about an hour and a half away. They normally come for visits every other week. Last weekend they were supposed to come for […]

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An Autism Challenge

Autism

Our society has come a long way when it comes to autism awareness. People know more about autism than ever before. But how well do they know people with autism? As a part of autism […]

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Churches Need More Than Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness

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 […]

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Caring for Special Needs People in Your Small Church

Special Needs

One of the most practical podcasts that I listen to is the 200 Church podcast. I was quite happy when I heard they were doing an episode on special needs. Co-host Jonny Craig has a […]

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Stephen Hawking and Disabilities

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking just recently died. There is much about Hawking that I disagreed with. He denied the existence of God and thought heaven was a fairy tale. I suppose he knows the truth now. But […]

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31 Days to Become a Better Pastor: Embrace Those With Disabilities

Pastor

Many churches have embraced the concept of disabilities. Churches want diversity of gender, ethnicities, age, economic status and others. But what about disabilities? I need to confess that I’m biased in this area. In addition […]

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Interview With Lamar Hardwick

Lamar Hardwick

I’m grateful to Lamar Hardwick for sharing his experience with autism. Lamar blogs at The Autistic Pastor. 
Could you share a little about yourself and what you do?
 My name is Lamar Hardwick. I am […]

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Miraculous Healings From Autism?

Autism

I came across an article from the Charisma magazine website written by Becky Dvorak titled Miraculous Healings for Autism Begin to Manifest. How do I respond to this? When our children were first diagnosed with autism, […]

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Autism: Explaining the Enigma – Review

Autism

I recently read the book Autism: Explaining the Enigma by Uta Frith. It is an older book, having been published in 1989, but it is still useful. I have read many books on autism but […]

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Wonder – Review

Disability and Faith

Our family was able to watch Wonder, a movie that we have wanted to see for sometime. The movie is about August “Auggie” Pullman, a boy with a facial deformity. For the first time, he is […]

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The Autism Opportunity Easily Missed by Churches

Autism

My observation of churches is that there is an increase in awareness and compassion about autism. The media has really brought autism to the forefront and a variety of advocacy groups have promoted autism awareness. […]

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A Relic From the Past

PECS

Our family recently moved to a new house. It is not surprising that in the packing and unpacking that long lost items turn up. I recently noticed on the floor something that I hadn’t seen […]

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Reflections on Teaching Accessibility Ministry

Accessibility Ministry

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to teach a module as a part of the Certificate in Accessibility Ministry at Tyndale University College. I teach biblical studies regularly at Tyndale but topics related to […]

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Breathe – Review

Disability and Faith

Last night I watched the movie Breathe, directed by Andy Serkis. The movie stars Andrew Garfield (Amazing Spider-Man) and Claire Foy (The Crown). The movie is based on a true story about Robin Cavendish, a […]

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How to Become a Disability-Friendly Church

Disability

You may or may not know that I used to be the associate editor for Faith Today magazine. Although I have moved on to other endeavours, I’m still very excited about the magazine. I sometimes […]

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Don’t You Dare Judge!

Group Home

One of the outcomes that some special needs families experience is that the children move into a group home. How that takes place depends on the situation. Ideally, the family is aware of the need […]

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Stay Engaged With Your Special Needs Child (Part 2)

Special Needs

This is the first of two-part guest post by Bryan Stoudt. Visit Bryan’s website at the link found in his bio at the end of this post. You can find the first part here. Last time, […]

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Special Needs Families Are Not a Monolithic Group

Special Needs

I speak often on the needs of families who are dealing with disabilities. My prayer to that the church will respond to those special needs. But the challenge is that the needs of each family […]

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Stay Engaged With Your Special Needs Child (Part 1)

Special Needs

This is the first of two-part guest post by Bryan Stoudt. Visit Bryan’s website at the link found in his bio at the end of this post. You can find the second part here. Our special […]

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A Simple Way to Make Your Church More Accessible

Disability and Faith

When you think about an accessible church, what do you think of? Perhaps the installation of an elevator or a wheelchair ramp. Maybe hearing assisting devices or specially designed washrooms. Those are good but there […]

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The Moment That Haunts Me

Healing

They say you should never live with regrets. That may be so, but there are certain events that I do regret that I didn’t act differently. I will share one moment that still haunts me. […]

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Recognizing Autism

Disability and Faith

One of the most important reminders about autism is that everyone with autism is different. My mantra is “if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.” The worst […]

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5 Ways Churches Can Help Support Families With Disabilities

Disabilities

One of my passions is to help churches be welcoming and safe places for families with disabilities. I come at this both as a pastor and as a father of two children with autism. My […]

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The Power of Little Victories

Disability and Faith

What are the things that you celebrate as a parent? It may be your child getting their driver’s licence or graduating from university. We may be looking for the big things to get excited about. […]

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Autism and Mental Health

Autism

Although autism is not a mental illness, there is a connection. The stress of either being on the autism spectrum or caring for someone on the autism spectrum can greatly affect mental health. I had […]

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What Does Jesus Want Our Churches to Look Like?

Disabilities

I was preparing for an upcoming sermon and came across an interesting passage. He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends […]

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The Reason I Blog About Autism

Disability and Faith

I often say that I blog for myself, that it is it is a way for me to sort through my thoughts and at times vent about what is bugging me. But I must confess […]

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A World Without Disabilities?

Disabilities

CBS recently reported on Iceland and how they have almost “eradicated Down Syndrome. One of the people in the article said: My understanding is that we have basically eradicated, almost, Down syndrome from our society […]

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Disabilities and the Innocence of Children

Disabilities

We had an interesting conversation the other day. Our three youngest children are aged 9-11. We were talking about what it will be like when they get their driver’s license. Our youngest, Faith (aged 9), […]

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When People Stare

Autism

I recently shared about taking our son with autism out to the park. While we see Logan regularly, it had been a long time since he had been out in public. That is other than […]

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Seven Years Ago Today

Disability and Faith

Today it is seven years since our daughter went to live in a group home. She was seven years-old at that time. That means that she has now lived half her life away from us. […]

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Disabilities and the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

Disability and Faith

One of the hardest hitting parables that Jesus ever taught was the parable of the sheep and the goats from Matthew 25. There is a danger of protestants passing over this parable out of a […]

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Why I Tease My Daughter With Autism

Autism

My oldest daughter is 14 years-old and has autism. And I like to tease her. Don’t worry, I don’t tease her about having autism. I’m not that much of a jerk. Abby doesn’t like it […]

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How Diverse Do You Want Your Church to Be?

Diverse

I have listened to a number of podcasts and read some books that have argued for increased diversity within the church. I am all for this. One of the things that I love about Queen […]

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Good News: First Communion

Good News

Today may have been one of the most amazing mornings at church in my life. I shared a couple of weeks ago about how we brought our son with autism to church for the first […]

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Wrestling With an Angel – Review

Wrestling With an Angel

When it comes to being parents of children with disabilities, there is a connection that goes deep. Even if we have never met or our circumstances are different, there is a commonality and emotional bond. […]

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Don’t Pet the Service Dog!

Service Dog

I was at the hospital today visiting someone. As we walked into the hospital, we saw someone with a service dog waiting to pay for parking. I also the person in front of us reach […]

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Autism and Quality Time

Autism

Last weekend, our children with autism were visiting from their group home. It is always great to have them with us. At one point, Our daughter Abby was playing in the backyard. I grabbed a […]

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A Place of Healing – Review

Autism Blog

Perhaps one of the first Christian “celebrities” that I ever heard of was Joni Eareckson Tada. She has an amazing story and has accomplished much more than many people without a disability. However, early in […]

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Good News: Bringing Our Son to Church

Good News

Today was one of the happiest Sundays in my life. Many people take it for granted that they can go to church as a family. In our case, our two oldest children have autism and […]

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Do You Have People With Autism in Your Church?

Autism Blog

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 […]

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Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan: A Spectrum of Love – Review

SuperCaptainBraveMan

I recently encountered a series of books called The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan. While I haven’t read the first book, I was sent a copy of the second book called A Spectrum of Love. The premise […]

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Be Careful With the Advice You Give Autism Parents

Autism

It is common for parents to share their wisdom with each other. Experience provides little tips that we can share with others. This is completely natural and a good thing. But be careful with the […]

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Bitter-Sweet Sixteen

Autism

Our son Logan turned sixteen just the other day. On his birthday, we gathered the family together and went to a used car lot. We looked around, found a car at a reasonable price and […]

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Good News: Thankful For Autism Awareness

Good News

About fourteen years ago, when our son Logan was diagnosed with autism, I was pretty ignorant about autism. I only knew what I saw in Rainman and St. Elsewhere. Many of our friends and family […]

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My Six Favourite Autism Memories

Autism

Our two oldest children have autism and our experience with them has shaped our entire family. Although there have been some hard days, we have also had some great times as well. I may share […]

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Why Should the Church Care About Autism Awareness?

Autism Awareness

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day and April is Autism Awareness Month. But why should the church care about autism awareness? Shouldn’t we just leave autism awareness to secular social programs? I would like […]

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Marriage and Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome

What do you think of when you think of autism? Nonverbal children rocking back and forth, perhaps banging their head? Autism includes that but also is so much more. What if I told you that […]

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My Problem With the R-Word

R-Word

I was recently watching the Netflix series, Luke Cage. Throughout the series, I was bothered by the generous use of the N-word, even by the residents of Harlem. I have learned to have an uncomfortable […]

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Tips to Becoming an Autism-Friendly Church

Disability and Faith

The CDC has reported that 1 in 68 children are born with autism. Your church needs decide if you want to include or exclude people with autism. Most churches take the steps to be accessible […]

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5 Things You Should Know About My Children With Autism

Disability and Faith

Autism awareness has come a long way but there is still far to go. I have two children with autism. They are both on the severe end and are considered nonverbal. If you met them, […]

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Five Reasons Why King Solomon Was on the Autism Spectrum

Disability and Faith

This article is a guest post by Ron Sandison. You can find his bio at the conclusion of this post. As a theologian and prodigy with autism I have felt a close connection to King […]

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Thoughts on The Accountant

Disability and Faith

I have been hoping to see The Accountant for some time and finally got to watch it today. I was not disappointed. It was one of the best movies that I have seen in a […]

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