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Autism and Your Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder Paperback – July 14, 2011


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Autism and Your Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder + The Special Needs Ministry Handbook: A Church's Guide to Reaching Children with Disabilities and Their Families + Special Needs Smart Pages: Advice, Answers and Articles About Teaching Children with Special Needs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Faith Alive Christian Resources; 2nd edition (July 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592555721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592555727
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Autism and Your Church contains lots of practical tips to successfully include individuals on the spectrum in church." --Temple Grandin, author of "The Way I See It"

"I love what Barbara Newman is bringing to the body of Christ. Her book is a gift. Our families need the church, but more importantly, the church needs our families." --Emily Colson, author of "Dancing with Max", winner of the Autism Society of America's Literary Work of the Year Award

"A diagnosis of autism is often very isolating for an individual and his or her family. While the church should be the first to welcome and enfold each member of the body of Christ, it is often ill-equipped to deal with the unique needs of those affected by autism. This book provides helpful information about the diagnosis; practical, easy-to-implement strategies; and loving reminders of our mandate to interact with each person as a valued imagebearer with gifts to enhance our community of believers." --Laurel Falvo, Certified Family Life Educator, Executive Director, The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding

About the Author

Barbara J. Newman has been a teacher and consultant in the area of inclusive education for more than twenty years. Her tested strategies and personal stories will empower your church to follow her lead. Barb has also written "Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karen Jackson on September 20, 2011
I think that Autism and your church is a very thorough guide for churches and hits on all aspects of including those with ASD into the church. As a parent of a child who has autism, (my daughter is not very verbal) I especially appreciated the first section and the examples presented in "Seeing People through God's Eyes". My favorite line is in the story about Jessica where Jessica says "My body has autism, but my spirit does not". I confess to getting teary-eyed here. I too choose to believe that my child's autism does not impair her spiritual being. As Barbara continues on the next page, "God will take who she is and fill her with his Holy Spirit to serve him and touch others around her." This is the message I try to convey with our work with FIN and in talking to both people who work in the church and parents.

The only thing I would note is section 5, "An Action Plan". It has been my experience that many small churches (and even some bigger ones) can get intimidated by the idea that a whole program or ministry needs to be developed to effectively include people with autism. While this may be needed eventually, many smaller churches need to figure things out for just one individual member with ASD. I always urge people at the churches I have spoken with, to start with the individual and do not worry about being a big organized ministry. Use strategies like the ones described in Autism and your Church to help them be included and see where that leads. In many cases, word might spread about your success, (this has happened at my church) and others may join the church who need similar support.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Atlanta Shopper on January 10, 2012
This book is written precisely for servants and leaders inside a church. It is a concise yet comprehensive manual that requires no translation for the big-hearted lay person called to help in a church's special needs ministry. A volunteer training session could be developed around the content of the book. I appreciated the effective word pictures that the author paints for a lay person, like myself, who has no credentials in the area of special education.

Below is breakdown and brief description for each section of the book:

Introduction - This overview provides a number of valuable pointers for a church team that wants to more effectively minister to and with individuals impacted by autism. This section could be especially useful for developing opening words at a volunteer equipping event for the children's ministry and/or special needs ministry teams.

Section 1: God's Handiwork - The framework for the book and for how to view disability inclusion is established. Again, wonderful ideas and analogies are provided to help every lay leader inside the ministry.

Section 2: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - The definition, explanation, and examples offered in this eight-page section of the book are worth the purchase price alone. I have learned (the hard way) that trying to provide a definition of autism can be received offensively without a careful choice of words. Barb does a beautiful job of respectfully and candidly explaining the ASD diagnosis in laymen's terms. Barb also weaves in stories of how differences attributable to ASD may show up in the church setting.

Section 3: 10 Strategies for Including Individuals with ASD - This 50-page section of the book is the meat of the resource.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Keating-Velasco on October 16, 2011
I have a full review of this book on the Our Journey Thru Autism website.

Here is a glimpse at that review:

By providing helpful tips on understanding children, youth and adults with ASD, this book focuses on how important it is to see each person as a unique individual created by God. Autism and Your Church offers advice on the administrative side of a program as well as specific suggestions on managing behavior challenges and finding strengths in individuals with ASD. It also offers personal glimpses into real scenarios to help you learn from them as well as see how autism presents differently for each individual. Having the reproducible samples in the last chapter that can easily be used and/or modified to meet your church's needs is extremely handy.

I found this book to be a terrific resource for any church who is striving to welcome families impacted by autism with open arms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Cassel on January 9, 2012
What does it mean to be a child of God? What does it look like to be made in His image? How can a faith community become intentional about including individuals whose social awkwardness and unpredictable behaviors may bring about a desire to walk in another direction? Barbara J. Newman addresses these questions with purpose, compassion, and a willingness to step outside of the norm. Whether guiding the reader in learning how to look at experiences from the eyes of the person with ASD, discussing options for developing a workable plan of inclusion, or tackling the difficult topic of behavior management, Newman packs a wealth of information in this guide to radical, biblical inclusion. While Newman readily admits that there is no specific formula for success, and not all concepts benefit all people, the provided action steps and ample resources make this book a valuable resource for congregations seeking to welcome all of God's children.
- Sue Cassel, Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet); author of "A Journey of Hope: A Spiritual Path Toward Hope and Joy in Caring for Your Child with Special Needs."
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