Parents, carers and disabled parents
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LizMLizM Member Posts: 1
My grandson, autistic and moderate learning difficulties, aged 7 finds church difficult. Has anyone made up a social type story for church/God? Sounds mad, but we don't quite know where to start and if anyone has done something and found it useful, it would be helpful to know. Thanks Liz


  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Wow I remember the embarassment of hiding as my son screamed and ran round the church. Thankfully our vicar is VERY understanding. But it was totally unfair on the church members.
    What did help, is the parents set up a children's church service in the adjoining hall. Whilst the church members had their service I escorted my son to colour in and have activities aimed at his age groups. The idea being that the children joined the adults for the last 30 minutes service and didn't get too disruptive. As my son wasn't so accommodating I would sneak out after the children's sessions. It was enough for him to cope with, but I couldn't expect anymore from him. It did help more people understand his needs and appreciate he wasn't a naughty child, just frightened and unable to cope.
  • JimJamsJimJams Member Posts: 175 Listener
    It depends on how difficult your grandson is finding church, if you are literally dragging him along kicking and screaming then I would say,there is something about the church he does not like or finds uncomfortable, could be the noise or the lighting. This can be really frightening for an autistic child, and it really depends how badly you want him to attend church, you have to judge which battles are worth winning and which are not, if he does not like to go to the church, try an alternative smaller quieter group or church or just do stories, prayers at home. It is diffucult for an autistic child to imagine, therefore the concept of god can be difficult as they cannot see it physically , god would need to be something they can see or touch, or something like a statue to associate with god. It could also be a matter of waiting till he is a bit older and calmer to try church again. I hope some of my comments can help , my son is severely affected by autism, I find I have had to change my whole way of life to accomodate the condition and some battles just cant be won.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    I agree with Marie. If you are struggling constantly it will drain you and then you really need to look at perhaps stepping back and trying again in a few months time when your son is alittle more mature, or ready to handle the situation again. I was fighting weekly to get my son to attend the swimming centre to wait for 30 minutes whilst my daughter had her swim lessons. He got sooooooooooo bad throwing chairs and screaming I was dreading going every week. No doubt he sensed my fear as well. But when his school teacher came along after school to observe she was horrified and suggested....I don't take him! I arranged for someone else to escort my daughter to her weekly lessons. the siblings often miss out, but my daughter learnt to swim and my son was calmer. Shame life has to evolve around my son all the time, but at least we all get a little quality peace if we adapt accordingly.
  • fairywishesfairywishes Member Posts: 25
    I have found it very difficult to take my daughter and son to Church. It's ok if I just have one of them, as I can give them all my focus. It's difficult as the congregation don't understand and frown when my daughter (aged 6) acts up. I am now not trying to take my children - sometimes my daughter, when she wants but I've decided they don't get anything from it and I'll teach them my beliefs myself. Good luck with it all though.
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