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Massachusetts church offers service for autistic children

Massachusetts church offers service for autistic children

The Reverend Kevin Olds is an Episcopal priest and a father, with a three-year-old son who has been diagnosed on the austism spectrum. His family’s continuing journey since that diagnosis now includes an upcoming service at his Saugus, Massachusetts parish that responds to the needs of autistic children, as reported in Wicked Local Saugus:

Loud music and bright colors can make church an uncomfortable place for autistic children — a reality that led St. John’s Episcopal Church to offer a sensory-friendly service tailored for kids on the autism spectrum and their families.

It’ll be held on October 15, and in advance of that, A Special Grace‘s the Reverend Rebecca Black has been working with St. John’s people to create a liturgical experience that includes Play-Doh, toys and activities:

Olds explained that the service — which has a theme centered around the New Testament story of the Feeding of the 5,000 — will begin with a welcoming activity that includes a reading from the Lego Bible. From there the kids will branch out to four different stations where they will participate in activities that are easy on the senses.




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Michael Harlow

This is awesome! I grew up in the Episcopal church. I haven’t felt comfortable bringing my very vocal 5 year old autistic son to service. A service that I could bring him too and not be nervous that he was disturbing someone’s experience would be great. I’m going to send this to my local church.

Mary Basta

Wow, this is so exciting. I have 2 boys on the spectrum. One is very sensitive to noise levels and very tactile. Awareness is so important to being a church that includes all. Glad someone finally acted on this. Would love to hear more about how it went.

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