An important tool for any church seeking to be more inclusive of the autistic community is to connect with the right resources. This will help to educate a church on what autism is and is not. It will also help the church to connect with others who are working in the community. That networking component is essential in helping to persevere through the challenges.
An important area of connection is your state’s autism network or training center. In my ministry, I have been blessed by the work of the Kentucky Autism Training Center and West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University
There are faith-based organizations that are important allies in resourcing the local church with information on reaching out to the autism community.
Key Ministry works with helping the church be more inclusive of all people with disabilities.
The Autism Faith Network, Inc. guides churches on how to be more welcoming toward individuals and families on the spectrum.
Autism Pastor is a Facebook page run by Rev. Lamar Hardwick. On the spectrum himself, Hardwick has written an essential book for churches called “Disability and the Church.”
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is an organization that seeks to provide more rights for individuals on the spectrum.
The Banquet Network works to provide more acceptance and opportunities in the church for special needs individuals and families.
These are just some of the people and organizations that are essential pieces of connection for churches wanting to build a connection to the autism community.
As well, I am always available to consult with a church on how to get started.
All you have to do is ask.