In 2016, Battlefield, Missouri became the first town in Missouri to proclaim they were "Autism Friendly" . With the support of a nonprofit, Stars for Autism, they brought Autism Friendly Training to the town. They reached out to local businesses and organizations
to bring autism specific training to their employees so that families and individuals affected by autism would be better understood. This Autism friendly training was also provided to EMTs, Fire Fighters, Hospitals, and Police Officers. This was such an impactful declaration that cities all around this area reached out to Stars for Autism to see what they could do for their city and communities.
Many people from the autism community were expressing need for this type of training for their Faith Communities and in their churches. Steps Care is excited to partner with Stars for Autism to bring training that would give faith communities the tools needed to be supportive and accessible for those with autism.
Steps Care works with faith communities by showing where supports and accommodations are typically needed. Understanding behaviors, and autism tendencies that make going to church a challenge is crucial for success, for both the church and the individual with autism. Shelli Allen, Steps Care founder, talks about first-hand challenges that have presented in her family's faith journey. What works for one family may not work for another. There is not a one size fits all here. Autism is a spectrum. Ministry must be flexible and tailored to each individual Strengths and weakness all considered. Church is for everyone! Everyone included.
As Autism Friendly Cities are proclaimed, Steps Care is here to help faith communities embrace families and individuals with autism.
If your church is needing autism friendly training or is needing us to tailor a training for a specific need concerning disability ministry email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Call us. We love helping however we can.
For information about our friends, Stars for Autism, check out their website at stars4autism.org