What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
First off, apologies on the show not getting up as it should be. I have been awfully busy around here, but I am trying to get that taken care of. If you do not know, April is Autism Awareness Month and we have been looking at the subject of autism. This week, we’re going to have my friend Stephen Bedard come on to talk about his book How To Make Your Church Autism Friendly.
So who is Stephen Bedard?
According to his bio:
Stephen Bedard has a BBA from Brock University, Mdiv, MTh, MA degrees from McMaster Divinity College and is a current DMin student at Acadia Divinity College. He is a chaplain in the Canadian army reserves and an adjunct instructor at Emmanuel Bible College.
This is a personal field for Bedard as well as he has two children with autism. This book that he has written is a labor of love. Also, if you’re someone who doesn’t have much time for reading of this sort, then you will be in luck again. The book is incredibly short. I read it on a flight from New Orleans to Knoxville and even then still had plenty of time left over. Yet this book is packed with great information and short stories that will open your eyes to the reality that is autism. Bedard was fortunate to find a church that was autism friendly and did indeed treat his children well.
Bedard and I will be talking about these matters. Are there some things that the church is doing that is really turning off people who have autism? Naturally, churches cannot do everything as random people in the church might not be as familiar, Still, there are things that churches can do to play their part. More and more families are being affected by the realities of the autism spectrum and these are situations that need to be addressed. As more and more people are diagnosed with autism, churches will indeed have to adapt to this so they can meet the needs of this rising demographic, including their spiritual needs.
Do children’s groups need to get equipped to be autism-friendly? Children who are on the spectrum will behave different than children who are not. Will other parents need to be aware of this? What about events in the church? What happens if a child with autism is in a church service and suddenly starts to act up. How should a good pastor handle this situation? Will some times be more frightening for people on the spectrum?
These are important topics indeed and we will be talking about more of them, including Bedard’s own personal experience with this reality. It is my hope that in hearing this, you will realize how important it is that your church be autism-friendly and that you will also really consider getting Stephen Bedard’s book and letting your pastor have a copy of the book as well.
I look forward to this interview and I hope you’ll be watching your podcast feed.