Preparing your ASD child for altar service, Part Five: Dos and Don’ts for Parents (and *FREE* social story!)

preparing for altar service pt5

Last one today! Yay! It’s a short one, but it’s because I have this super surprise for you. I’ve worked with the incredibly talented Gabe Wilson to come up with a social story called “I Serve at the Altar.” Download it for free, print it, and read it to your kids, as a thanks for reading this series. This one was really exciting for me! Thanks for reading. 🙂

Let’s round it out with some keep-it-in-mind points.

Dos and Don’ts for Parents

1. From the start, DO educate your priest on your child’s needs, triggers, challenges, and strengths.

2. DO consider including Dad, a brother, or an older, experienced server in the training process. Make sure this is a person who knows your child’s triggers and can recognize the subtle beginnings of a meltdown.

3. DO talk with your priest before feast days or services that include extra prayers after the regular service (or other exceptions). Some exceptional moments to consider: kneeling prayers of Pentecost, memorials, the palms on Palm Sunday.

4. DON’T make assumptions about normal practices, and discuss them with your priest.

  • How will the use of the holy water brush affect him?
  • Prostrations in front of others, in vestments (such as on the Sunday of the Cross)
  • Does he have any depth perception issues that would cause trouble with stairs during processions?

5. DON’T underestimate the potential for distractions and hazards when he sees something he likes.

  • Does he flap his hands or arms when he hears certain words or sees certain things?
  • Will he obsess over the flame and refuse to put out the match?
  • Would he chant or call out at inappropriate times?

And…that’s a wrap. I hope you love this download–because I really do!

I Serve at the Altar

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