April is Autism Awareness Month. As some of you are aware, our four-year-old Kenslee has been diagnosed with autism. She is nonverbal and very shy. We’ve been wondering how and when to bring her to church. COVID has not helped Kenslee and her younger sister Hanna as they really have never been to church (Hanna never).
We believe that our faith is very important to us and especially the ability to worship together. We know however that kids with Autism can be a little disruptive. In fact, Kenslee, because she is nonverbal, will make vocal sounds (humming, laughing, even crying) and her arms will be raised at shoulder level and flapping (it is called stimming). Kenslee reflects the third of the people with Autism. She may not be able to verbalize but she is able to understand what is being asked of her, it just takes a few moments for her brain to catch up with the words spoken to her.
We hope you will not be surprised or disrupted (maybe even have some extra patience) when you meet Kenslee. She is very shy, but she might try to take your hand and direct you to what she needs (probably food…like her grandfather!).
Alison Goodrich Hughes