I read a story on Fox News today about a mother of a 13 year old autistic boy who wants to take him to church despite a court order that bans the boy from the church. The pastor of St Joseph Church in Bertha Minnesota had to go to court and obtain a restraining order barring Carol Race’s child Adam from St Joseph due to his disruptive behavior. According to court documents Adam spits, urinates and once struck a child during Mass at St Joseph. Race states that Adam doesn’t spit, and that the urination is incontinence. She does admit that Adam once struck a child. I tend to doubt Race’s contention that Adam doesn’t spit and that the urination is only incontinence. Why would a pastor of a church go to all the trouble of obtaining a court order if Adam was not doing exactly what the pastor claims he was doing? If Adam was only incontinent no one in the church would have noticed the urination if he was wearing an adult diaper. And Race does admit that her son once struck someone. So why would she continue to insist that her son be allowed to attend services? I can speak with some authority about autism as I have an 18 year old severely autistic stepson who does none of the things that Race’s 13 year old son does but would still be disruptive in church due to his mannerisms and noises that he makes. Why do you think that most autistic children attend special education classes in school? It is because they would be disruptive in regular classes, besides not getting the level of care that they can only get in special education classes.
Instead of insisting that her son be allowed to attend church services despite being disruptive and dangerous, Race should be investigating whether there are special worship services that are available for autistic children. I see this type of behavior from parents all too often. How many times have you read where a child has been suspended from school or punished for genuinely bad behavior only to have their parents stand up and defend the child’s behavior? When a child is wrong the parents should accept the fact and work to resolve the issues that led to the incorrect behavior instead of defending the child’s poor behavior. Parents, your child is not always right and there are cases where you have to accept the fact that your child may not always be able to get their way. The good of the one does not outweigh the good of the many, if I may borrow from Spock.