Participation in worship and faith communities has long been shown to benefit church members and lead to a higher quality of life. However, many families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not feel supported by their local faith communities, and the nature of ASD contributes substantially to the lack of support. For those with disabilities, inclusion in the community is increasingly seen as a right, and people with autism can easily be more included by adopting a welcoming and accepting atmosphere, using disability organizations as consultants, and training clergy and lay leaders alike to help individuals with autism integrate into the faith community. Inclusion of people with disabilities into the community is an example social justice, so social workers can play a key role in advocating and assisting faith communities towards adopting these simple and attainable solutions.

Author(s): Katie Terry

Journal: Social Work & Christianity

Date: 2015

Volume: 42

Issue: 4

Pages: 449-469



Disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Categories: Congregations, Service systems