Well, this post isn’t what was on the agenda for today, but I had to pull it up to the forefront.
It’s been a hard couple of autism weeks. Those of you with autistic kids will totally get it.
There was an incident at school last week. A phone call from the principal. Then there was another incident at church on Sunday. Then one at home.
None of the incidents were huge ordeals (no need to worry, Daddy!), but all of them combined have raised the stress level around here. So I was already on edge.
Then the final straw was a message I got today.
It was from my friend who’s a single mom raising a child with autism. She texted me wondering what to do when a church friend blocked her on Facebook for posting articles about autism. This “church lady” frequently tells my friend that autism isn’t real, that it’s just an excuse for bratty behavior, and that my friend needs to “mom up” and make her child behave.
Yep, she actually said “mom up.” Aaaargh.
When I got my friend’s message, I wasn’t sure whether to throw something, scream a bunch of expletives, or just curl up in a ball and cry.
I’m having all the feels about this one and I can’t get my thoughts to cooperate with me on the keyboard. So until I can wrangle ideas into some sort of cohesive sentence or two, I decided to bring back a post from the archives that addresses some of these issues.
It’s a post I wrote two years ago when we were still at our former church. In it I tackle the topic of taking an autistic child to church and dealing with people’s reactions.
Nutshell, y’all, there’s too much shaming going on in our churches. And a lot of that shaming is centered around people who are “different.” I’m so tired of it, and I’ve preached my message up and down on this blog.
But apparently the truth isn’t getting through. So do me a favor? If you find this post helpful, will you share it with somebody who needs to read it? Because this is enough already.
The “Showing Up Naked at a Party” Dream
So you know that dream where you show up at a party and suddenly realize you’re naked? You know that feeling you have in the dream where you hope no one will notice and you frantically try to find a way to cover up or just get the heck out of dodge?
That’s what taking a child with autism to church feels like.
It’s like getting dressed with all your buttons buttoned and your zippers zipped, but knowing you’re just one wardrobe malfunction away from being shamed.
Taking a child with autism to church feels a little like public nudity.
Like coming up out of the swimming pool and losing your swimsuit. In front of people.
And it’s how those people react to your “wardrobe malfunction” that makes it so hard.
Maybe you’ve met some of these people. Keep reading to see if you recognize any of them. . .
And then leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Or even better, share it on social media so we can get the word out?