We went to church yesterday for the first time in awhile. I love attending services.. but churches aren't always the safest places for kids with special needs.
I know.. I know.. I was surprised by this too..
You see? My son has Autism with a side order of Bipolar.. add in the fact that he is also still a kid? It can kind of be a mess at times …
When my son is distressed he quotes movies.. Blue's clues, Dora, Alone in the wilderness, Peter Pan.. you name it.. he quotes it..
…but talking in church is typically frowned on.. even if it's in the back corner of the back row by a cute boy with lots of freckles.
We have gotten a lot of dirty looks.. a lot of stares.. and shushed more than a few times… throughout the years…
The problem is?
The more shushes.. the more glares?? …the more anxious he would get… the more he would quote.. AND the more often we would end up in the lobby listening over the speakers.
So we stopped going to church for a while… choosing to worship at home.. where he was safe..
When we lived in Missouri we found a church that smiled at my son when he quotes randomly in the middle of service. They high fived him in the lobby.. and we went to church regularly…
It was amazing..
But when we moved back to Michigan .. finding a new church was a little daunting and my son was very unstable.. so we kept our services at home again.
Yesterday we attended church with some friends at their invitation. We have attended this church a couple times with these family friends and another family as well. But my son was unstable and it was still uncomfortable for us.
But this year has been a good year for us, and my son is making great strides. So? So we made plans.. marked it on the calendar like it was an appointment.. and we went to church.
We arrived at church .. my daughter in jeans.. my son in his favorite 3 piece suit.. and we were greeted by a handful of people.
ALL of us were greeted.. especially my son.. who was obviously overdressed.
The extra effort that the congregation put into making him feel welcome.. and the extra effort our friends went through ??
It meant that my son sat through the 2 hour service holding my hand … mostly quietly.
To someone who goes to church every week it might not seem like much..
But to a mom who thought church was an impossible task?
It was a modern day miracle…