I love this board!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    We had a visitor to our church today, she is looking for a Sunday School and church community to join. Her five year old daughter has High-Functioning Autism (HFA). The look of relief on this mother's face when I could assure her we wouldn't give up on finding a way for her daughter to fit in with us, that we'll meet her where she's at, is something I soon won't forget. She hasn't been to a church in over a year because she felt self-conscious of her daughter's behaviors. But they both seemed happy and excited when they left today. The little girl is verbal, but has very poor eye contact. She also sensory seeks by touch and smell. I already have a squishy ball for her to play with during class. She's absolutely beautiful and the other kids took to her right away.
    I thank the member's of this board for all of the information they have given over the years. You all are the greatest.
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    How wonderful for her and OF you! It's always such a relief to find people who understand.

    I do have to ask though, what's High-Functioning Autism (HFA)?
  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm sure it meant more than you will ever know to this mother to have her child welcomed. :beautifulthing:
    Church and the church community has not been a welcoming,safe place for some of us.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Integrated Listening Systems (ILS): It's great to be able to give something back.
    Mstangchic: High-Functioning Autism (HFA) = high functioning autism.
    Fran: We left our last parish because I felt judged negatively because Duckie was so difficult. We chose our current parish because she was welcomed despite her issues. Places of worship should be the most welcoming and safe place for anyone to be.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hey - WE got ASKED TO LEAVE our church - because of Dudes behaviors over and over. I even explained them to the pastor but after about 2 years of rolling around under the pews, and being aggressive - a tap on the shoulder and a trip to the pastors office.....

    I felt basically the talk was - WE like you, we like your tithe - can you find a sitter for your son on Sunday. :devil2::devil2:

    I have never been back. I have nothing bad to say about them - but it jaded me on a lot of "going" to church requests.

    You're friend is lucky -

    You're a good person TM.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Star: We just met, though I've met the girl a few times over at the school. FWIW, my church offers two sessions of Sunday School: one between the early service and choral service at 9:30am and a second during the choral service at 10:30am. I personally look upon the later session as respite for the parents, lol! They get to listen to the sermon in peace. We're used to difficult children. Our parish is small, with a small Sunday School. We have only eight to ten kids regularly attending. Of those, one has ODD (Duckie) and one has ADHD. I think this little girl will fit in nicely. :winks:
    I could never imagine asking a child to leave church. Shame on those people!
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    TM, she must have felt like you were an angel sent to her. Your post gave me warm fuzzies all over.

    The world needs more people like you, and more random acts of kindness like that.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    BBK- I believe that each and every one of us, given the same circumstances, would have reacted the same way to this woman and her child. We've all been there done that, whether our particular child(ren) have autism or a totally different set of issues.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Too right TM.

    Your post reminded me of my sunday school days as a child many years ago. We had a girl that was in our class who had pretty severe cerebral palsy and looking back probably autism with some other issues. I recall her name to this day. She drooled terribly because she had trouble closing her mouth, was nonverbal but would make various disturbing sounds often loudly. Sometimes she had trouble even sitting in her chair. But our sunday school teachers all had the same attitude. She belonged. We were taught acceptance, kindness, and patience along with our sunday lessons because she was there every single sunday. We even were inspired to get creative because it was expected she was to be included in every activity to the best of her ability.

    Now that I think of it, we had many special needs kids during the years. I don't recall even one, even some of the worse difficult child's, ever being told they weren't welcome.

    I'm glad the mother and daughter found acceptance. I know for the girl that was always in my sunday classes, it was the most socializing she ever got, and the only place she ever belonged.

    And now that I think about it, I wonder if much I learned during that time didn't carry over into my adulthood and with my own difficult children.

  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Lisa: This Mom said the girl is doing well academically. She is working on socialization with her. I think she came to the right place. We've got a very caring group of kids. They really tend to relate to the struggles and accomplishments of others. And the adults know enough not to judge others harshly. It's apropos that our church recently underwent construction to make us handicap accessible. We're very accepting and tolerant, we hold each other up. And open to all.
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Integrated Listening Systems (ILS): Now is a good time to try on congregations for Beaner. Most Sunday Schools only run to Pentecost, which is May 3rd for us. I can pm my denomination to you if you like, because we tend to be an accepting group of people. Otherwise, look for a church that fits Beaner's needs. I went for a smaller parish because I wanted the parishioners to get to know Duckie rather than just think she's a bad kid. Find a loving place, that will value your family.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    That really warms my heart, TM. We belong to an extremely child friendly church and I have felt that exact same way when I was going to another church and felt those very unfriendly stares when Missy wasn't behaving to their standards. It's sooooo important for the parents to feel welcome like that. I'm so glad you were able to touch the heart of someone today!
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As others have said it must mean so much to that mom to have her daughter feel welcomed! I'm so glad she has you in her life.

    difficult child bothers me too much in church. The people there though have never complained-maybe because we don't take him often. Mostly these days I just go by myself. It is such a peaceful time for me.
  14. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    church as always been an important part of our family life. Finding a church that accepts a difficult child is a wonderful thing. We have a number of difficult children at our church and they are all accepted by loving teachers, understanding parents, and patient elderly. As an earlier poster on this thread said, church should be a place of acceptance.

  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Loth: I don't understand why a family would stay at church where all aren't made to feel welcome, it really wouldn't be a community. I'm glad you are happy where you are at now.
    Sharon: Duckie occasionally sits with a friend of mine when she's uncooperative with me.
    LDM: difficult children are everywhere else, why not church? To me, it's the perfect place for a struggling family to be.
  16. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    That is wonderful that you made them feel welcome.

    I do have a flip side to this though - the youth group my son is going to had a girl there that needed extra help. I don't know if she was diagnosed with anything or on medications. The youth director tried to help numerous times including talking to the grandparents that she lives with. She was a bully and most of the other teens were afraid of her. I agree that everyone should feel loved and welcomed at a church, but when you have one that is making life miserable for the other 20 or so kids what do you do? Like I said different things were tried for her and she refused the help that would have allowed her to stay. She was not kicked out, she left.
  17. Christy

    Christy New Member


    We can all imagine how relieved that mother feels that her child was welcomed with open arms. How nice that your church has someone like you.

    Way to go!