I have been blessed with a truly amazing church. One that is full of people that love me and my family tremendously. Everyone is always so interested in Logan’s achievements and our struggles with autism. I always feel so loved and cherished by my fellow church members.
One of the things that my church does well is to make church work for Logan. I feel like everyone involved with him is just as invested in making church work for him as I am. His teachers will ask me for ideas or my opinions on ways to make him successful. There are several people who will be his 1:1 aide during class time or worship time to help him feel competent (Thanks Kim, you totally rock!).
Let me brag about several specific examples of how my church adapted to make it work for Logan. last year, Logan was really comfortable in his Sunday School class. He liked the teachers. His best friend, Thomas, was in there with him. All was well except he was technically supposed to move up a class. Developmentally , he would do better with the younger class that he was already in at that time. All I had to do was to go to the children’s pastor and the Sunday School director and make my case. They were all for it if it worked for Logan.
This year, he obviously needed to move up. I debated for several weeks about what to do. It got put on the back burner as I had to find something for him on Wednesday evenings asap. The RA program was not working for Logan and it quickly turned into a safety issue. So, I spoke with the middle school youth leaders to see if it would be possible to have him try it out. They agreed to it without hesitation. Kim, my angel, took it upon herself to be Logan’s aide and to help him as needed. He blossomed immediately in that class.
Then God answered my prayers. Turns out that the middle school youth leaders are also the 6th grade Sunday School teachers. How awesome is that?! Logan would have the same people on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. I simply send him to the room and don’t worry about him again until the end. I can serve in the church or plug into the sermon. My thoughts do not turn to are his needs being met at all. He participates well in class and thoroughly enjoys his time in there.
This is but one way that my church has embraced Logan , autism and all. From camp to nursery detail to giving him a part in the musical so he could feel special. Everyone speaks to him and allows him time to process and answer. They shake hands with him (sometimes several times in one morning) even though he always extends the wrong hand. They step up and help him when they see he needs it without waiting for me to ask or even notice sometimes. They include him on all the activities allowing us to pick the ones that are suitable for him. They celebrate his successes and pray about his deficits as much or more than Michael and I do. Most importantly, they love him for Logan. Not Logan the boy with autism. Just Logan. We are truly blessed to have found this church. God is good all the time! He will bless these people for being the hands and feet of Jesus! Thank you!