The following series of stories about living with autism was awarded second place (silver) at the 2019 Australasian Religious Press Association awards dinner. The stories originally featured in the April 2018 edition of The Lutheran. Download a PDF of the series.
Living with autism
by Lisa McIntosh
Sixteen-year-old Geordie Mills is in Year 11 at Golden Grove High School in Adelaide’s north-eastern suburbs. Along with what for most people is the toughest part of high school, and dealing with all the usual pressures of being 16, he has the added challenge of living with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s falls within the autism spectrum as a subtype and is a condition that affects the way people communicate and relate to others. For Geordie, one of the most difficult things about living with autism is struggling to ensure other people understand him –and for him to understand others as well.
Dwelling in God’s word: A study on pastoral care for people with disabilities
by Pastor Tim Ebbs
For a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), everyday experiences, sights and sounds can present heightened challenges and cause anxiety. How might God’s word guide us in practical, pastoral care for those with autism and their families? We should highlight gifts and look for opportunities for people with ASD to grow in a way meaningful to them, as well as the congregation. What do they enjoy? What special role could they have to give them a sense of belonging? Listening, praying for, and accepting people with ASD is crucial.
Biggest challenge our greatest joy
by Kirra Lewis
Parenting a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a challenge that can push people to breaking point. But, along with the hard years, Kirra and her husband Rowan have experienced wonder and delight in having 11-year-old Asher in their family, along with Elijah, 13, and Aliya, 9.
Supporting families … what can we do as church?
by Lyn Roehrs and Lyn Benger
Statistics show there are many families living with autism, but what can congregations do to support them? At the Ark Salisbury Lutheran Church in suburban Adelaide, members have developed programs, groups and facilities with the aim of making life and worship more welcoming and less overwhelming for people with sensory issues.
READ MORE STORIES ABOUT autism