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From Your Grace's perspective, what kind of service can the church provide for autistic children? There are several other servants that would like to offer a service to this population. They have started by meeting one Saturday each month for a sort of spiritual day that begins with a Divine Liturgy followed by activities. Other high school youth present accompany each child with autism as a "buddy". The child with autism is befriended and the high school youth are able to serve a brother/sister simply by giving them accompany for a day. Another purpose of such a day is to give the parents a break. Aside from those goals, I'm having a difficult time understanding what these kids need spiritually. They are all at different cognitive levels; so it is difficult to generalize a program. So, should we work towards their potential, individually, and teach them basic Sunday school lessons or just make sure they have a basic tolerance for the Divine Liturgy while providing them with a fun and safe atmosphere? I have a master's degree in speech-language pathology and work at a school for children with autism. I can help parents in working with their children but I am totally lost on addressing those children's spiritual needs. Thank you in advance for your time.
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