An excellent article by an anonymous parent of a son named Ian with autism; they have had good experiences in their Orthodox Christian Parish, in terms of receiving support and encouragement.
The multi-sensory (chants, incense, icons, etc.) and repetitious, unchanging nature of Orthodox Christian Liturgical Worship has proved to be effective means of gaining and holding young Ian’s interest. And the fellowship after Divine Liturgy has also been helpful toward Ian’s socialization.
Life in a family with a member who is disabled is a struggle- typically, significantly more so than for the rest of us who count ourselves fully “abled.” A compassionate Orthodox Christian Parish community will serve as a spiritual hospital for such. And indeed for all.
The article can be accessed on Pages 4-5 of the March 2010 WORD Magazine, a publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America: