Sundays for a pastor can be long and grueling. For someone on the spectrum they can cause a meltdown or a shutdown.
Now, I have to say first off that I love being a pastor. I love being of service to God in this way. But having Aspergers means that I have limits to what I can do pastorally and some days, I get stretched to those limits.
Part of what stretches those limits include is having lots of facetime with folks. In the few hours I am at church, I spend a lot of time greeting folks and engaging in small talk (something I’ve had to learn over the years which I still don’t get). Throw in an occasional meeting after church and I’m running towards home and a nap (decompression time).
I’ve been thinking what church can be for other persons on the spectrum and I have to think that it can be equally tiring if not moreso. Any type of religious gathering, be it in a mosque, synogogue or church is a communal event and that means meeting people. It’s a lot of sensation that hits you in the face and can not only be draining, but probably overwhelming.
There’s really no other point to this article except that when we think of persons with autism who go to church, we might want to be mindful of them as they try their best to worship with others.