Wow, this one’s hard. I found this link from a friend on LJ. Briefly, a priest has to get a restraining order on a family at his parish, because the family’s autistic son was disruptive and threatening to the other people.
Now, we aren’t talking about minor disruptions and stimulating behaviors, here. We’re talking about a 6-foot, 225 pound teen pulling a little girl onto his lap, starting other peoples’ cars, knocks people over, spits, and urinates. (Who leaves their car keys in their cars? Maybe I’ve been living in the city too long.) Lest I sound like the evil childfree person, I can’t help but feel for the family, as well. I can only imagine what it’s like to raise a special-needs child, and they do need a place to worship. Although it does sound like the parish tried to work with the family.
If you were the pastor, what would you do? If you were the family, what would you do?
I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently, were I the pastor. Perhaps if I were the mom, I’d take turns attending Mass, or get someone as a caregiver to watch the son during Mass, because it sounds like the family needs some extra help. (Or perhaps find a lower-key Mass that we could all attend that wouldn’t set off my hypothetical son so badly.)