Isolated, stressed, rejected and ostracized. These are just some of the feelings parents of children with disabilities feel in their sacred spaces. I am the mother of a 13-year-old son who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder nine years ago. Over the years, I have discovered that finding a supportive place of worship and community members committed to inclusion can be a challenge. Despite increased public awareness of autism, it remains poorly understood. The children of Black and Latinx American families are still screened less for autism, further decreasing the likelihood of our ability to recognize and understand it. Due to this lack of understanding, my son and I, along with many other Muslim parents and their ASD children, have struggled with being unable to engage in cultural, spiritual and recreational activities in our religious communities.
Faith & Autism: Inclusion Within Our Sacred Spaces