Mother told she'd be arrested if she brought her Autistic son to church so what?

United States
May 20, 2008 7:19am CST
It was a Fox news article from MN. The Autistic child (Who is over 6' tall and 225lbs) was said to have been spitting, urinating and hitting other children - the mother denied the first, the article said that a restraining order was placed on the son - which had already been violated. Many others on MyLot are very upset and disturbed by the fact that the church put a restraining order on someone else because they are supposed to be loving and accepting. Honestly though, I really don't understand why people are getting so upset over this issue, if it were any other person everyone would be like yes! Tell them to leave, it is unacceptable behavior. But because he has Autism he is looked at as a different person and is allowed to do whatever he wants? Do you honestly think that a church would put a restraining order on someone just out of the blue? No, it has probably been a persistent problem that they have asked the mother to take care of and she doesn't. I have seen it happen so many times in churches where children pose a threat to other children and their parents let them do whatever they want, and after a long while are eventually asked to leave due to the disruptive/violent behavior. While Autism can be a serious condition, it can also be controlled - as I have worked with many Autistic children and know that some have slight Autism and others have very severe Autism - and in all cases, the children were able to distinguish right from wrong after a little bit of training and education. Autistic children in most cases are incredibly smart and will understand when you talk to them, people just dismiss this fact and say that they have a disability and treat them with special means and allow them to get away with things that normal children would not get away with. While I understand that it can be difficult to have a child with Autism, I do not think it should be an excuse to allow them to get away with things. Also, it is not like there is only one church out there, why is she so persistent on going to this one? Personally if they did not want me there and put a restraining order on my son, I would not want to go back! This to me just shows that the mother is persistent and does not listen and believes that she and her son deserve special treatment. I don't see the big deal with the church asking them to leave.
2 people like this
5 responses
20 May 08
I haven't actually heard anything about this case, so I assume it's happened in America? The Americans do tend to get over-emotional about events that are irrelevant to them. I think that this individual's behaviour must have been persistently detrimental to the running of the church, and they must have asked them to leave peacefully. As this was obviously ignored, the church were obliged to involve law enforcement, hence the restraining order. I imagine the problem people have here is that the man is autistic, and therefore 'cannot help' his actions. He may not be able to control them, but his mother can control where she takes him. Some may say that churches should be free for all, but if this man was causing distress, upsetting the rest of the congregation, then is it fair that they should all have to find an alternative church to get away from his behaviour?
1 person likes this
• United States
20 May 08
I won't try to judge the situation all that much, as I have not been attending the church. It does seem like an odd thing that the church took it so far as to get a restraining order. I thought churches were supposed to be welcoming and understanding of all types of people. Hum.... I will say that I just feel horrible for the mother. It can be so straining and difficult to raise a special needs child. I can't imagine trying to do the right thing for my child, and expose him to god and religion just to be shunned in such a way. It seems like this kid might benefit from the love of God, I hope she finds a new church that can work with her to understand and control her special needs child so that he can experience the warmth of god and those people that will look past his disability
20 May 08
I see where you're coming from :) If people really want to go to church, then in theory they should be able to. Maybe this particular man would benefit from smaller services in a different environment. However, I do not believe that a church (or any other public building) should have to tolerate extreme, abusive behaviour, even if the individual concerned is autistic.
@TriciaW (2441)
• United States
20 May 08
hhmmm a child of God not be allowed to attend church. Not sure I would want to answer that question at the gates. One other thing I must say, having myself worked with children who were Autistic.. they do tend to react differently in different situations. I can also bet that if that mother cannot take her child to church with her she wouldn't be able to go to worship the Lord either because there are not a lot of people that will watch an autistic child on a Sunday morning. It is a fact that the divorce rate of children with disabilites is very high therefore I am betting the father is not in the picture to help this mother at church. I have myself watched people who are in church actually get up and move to another pew because someone with a child with Downs sat in their pew. So yes I have strong views on how a church would react to a child with special needs. Oh and not only did I work with children with disabilities I am a mother of a child with a disability.
@tandy41 (16)
• United States
20 May 08
First of all how old is this child? At 6' and 225lbs, this so called child could really hurt another small child or adult. I can understand the disability, what I don't understand is how the mother can expose other children to it. Expecially one of this nature. This child need's help not an enabler such as his mother. But I guess we all have to ask ourselves, What would Jesus Do?
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
20 May 08
You pretty much already know where I stand on this but since you supported me over there, I had to come here and show my support. For anyone who didn't read my opinion on the other discussion, it's basically like this...read CherBear's discussion again, take out the parts of her personal experience working with Autistic children and what she has seen in church, and then you'll have my opinion as well. I think there is a lot more to this story than we've been told. Maybe the church did try to work with her so she could safely attend and maybe she refused. Maybe she has tried very hard to control his behavior, maybe she hasn't. Maybe she can attend a different church, maybe she can't. The only definite thing we know is that at least one other child has been hurt already and that was enough to make the church feel the others were in danger if the autistic child continued to attend. I don't know but I bet they tried to do it politely at first. By the time the restraining order came in to play the mother had already shown her own rudeness. Sure, people with disabilities should be allowed to participate in mainstream society. I have no problem with that, however I do feel that precautions need to be taken if it is felt that they are a danger to themselves or others...just like a person without disabilities. If this was a child without Autism (or anything else) who had a tendancy to be violent, the outcry would be the complete opposite. People would be outraged that the mother hadn't taught her son better (I got someone quite upset for saying that in the other discussion), they would agree that the church had every right to kept that boy away, they would be commenting on how his size made him even more dangerous rather than saying his size didn't matter because he was still just a little autistic boy that shouldn't be judged harshly. I know I've rambled and said more than I needed to so I'll just end with this even though I know it could get some people riled up...I am a mother so I am not heartless when it comes to children but NONE of my children would be allowed to stay in the nursery or Sunday school room with a child of that size with a history of violence whether he was autistic or not. I'm sure I'm not the only parent who would feel that way so I stand by my opinion that the church did the right thing in this case.