Autism Awareness at the Basilica of Saint Mary

Did you know…

  • 1 in 68 children, 1 in 42 boys, will be diagnosed this year with an autism spectrum disorder
  • There are currently 70 million individuals in the world with autism
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States
  • In the past 6 years, the prevalence of autism has increased 78%

Some Tips for Parishioners:

  • Every person is a gift from God, has a human and universal need of spiritual connection to our Creator and his Son, Jesus Christ. Even persons who are non-verbal can acknowledge this connection through gesture or respectful temperament.
  • Some individuals may be unable to attend the entire Mass. They may need extra space in the pew or need to take a break. Their parents may need to bring books or Mass kits for them.
  • Some individuals may be uncomfortable in large crowds and may be sensitive to loud sounds. They may make noises to express their discomfort, cover their ears, speak out, or become distressed during loud music or loud speaking. Sometimes, wearing headphones can help minimize the sounds or leaving the main body of the church for a while may be helpful. Your patience and understanding help minimize the distress experienced by the person or family members.

More information on the web:

Pathways – Inclusion in Ministry 

Questions? Contact:

Dr. Nancy Emanuel
Coordinator for Special Needs Ministries
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

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