I am a pastor and a father of two children with autism. My children live in a group home in another city and so have not yet been to the church where I have recently started pastoring. However, we do have a young man with autism at our church who is at a similar end of the spectrum as our children.
Knowing that everyone with autism is different, I have not tried to apply my understanding of my children on him. When I first met him, I said hello to him the way I would any other person.
He ignored me.
The next number of Sundays I greeted him again and he continued to ignore me (at least on the outside). Slowly, I noticed that he would give me a glance when I would say hello.
This past Sunday, after the service he approached me and asked me to pour him a cup of coffee. I asked him if he wanted milk and sugar, he responded and he got his coffee. It was our first conversation together and I was very happy.
I want to share this because you may meet someone with autism (on either end of the spectrum) and they may not respond to you. Do not push them but do not give up either. Make yourself available, show your interest, and let them come to you when they are ready. It is worth the wait.