Did you know that attending church can be difficult for autistic people? The lights, sounds, and crowds can cause sensory overload, which is often misinterpreted as a tantrum or bad behavior. Even still, there are things that can be done to accommodate the needs of autistic persons at church. One idea is to create a sensory-friendly environment. As part of our Accessible Faith Initiative, we will be providing 20 FREE sensory toolkits for places of worship!
What is a sensory toolkit?
A sensory toolkit is a set of tools and toys that can help calm a person’s nervous system when they are overstimulated. This can be very helpful for autistic people.
Why does my place of worship need a sensory toolkit?
There are many social expectations that come along with church attendance. One example would be sitting still. Another is remaining quiet during the sermon. Abiding by these rules can be difficult for some autistic people. Having supports in place like a sensory toolkit may help an autistic person fully participate in the worship service without experiencing sensory overload.
What will be in the free sensory toolkits?
The sensory toolkit will include a variety of calming items such as:
- Fidget spinners
- Liquid Motion Timers
- Stress balls
- And more!
How can my place of worship get a free sensory toolkit?
We’re glad you asked! Here’s how it works!
- Places of worship are asked to share information about the Autism Faith Network on their social media page.
- On the post, please do the following:
- Tag the Autism Faith Network so that we will know you made the post. Once we see your tag and acknowledge your post, you will be entered into the drawing for a sensory toolkit.
- Be sure to use the hashtag #autismfaithnetwork on your post.
- Your post must be public and must come from the official social media account of your place of worship.
- Need a sample post? Check these out!
- Our church is partnering with the Autism Faith Network to spread autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion! You should too! https://autismfaithnetwork.com #autismfaithnetwork
- Autism Faith Network has a new resource hub! It has lots of information and videos for places of worship interested in learning how to be more inclusive for autistic persons and their families. Check it out! https://autismfaithnetwork.com/resources #autismfaithnetwork
- On May 2nd, we will randomly draw the names of 20 places of worship. Winners will be notified and have 7 days to respond before another name is drawn.
When can we enter the giveaway?
Places of worship can submit an entry for the sensory toolkit giveaway from April 1, 2022 – April 30, 2022. Be sure to tag the Autism Faith Network so that we can see your post! Also use the hashtag, #autismfaithnetwork.
What if we don’t have a social media account?
No worries! You can choose to do one of the following:
- Share information about the Autism Faith Network during the announcements or on your newsletter.
- Print out information from our resources page and place it on a display table to share with your congregation.
- Conduct an activity that promotes autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion. Here’s a list of ideas!
After you have done one of these things, send us an email with a picture or a note from your faith-based leader to verify your participation.
What else do we need to know?
Our sensory toolkit giveaway is only available for places of worship in the continental United States.
What if we have more questions?
Please leave a comment on this post or send us an email. We are very excited about this giveaway and we know it will bless places of worship all over the United States! Please tell a friend!