Left to their own devices, children with Asperger’s Disorder will often go through life like a train on a track: one way, straight ahead, never varying, and avoiding the unexpected.
It is hard to live a life of faith without the flexibility to take-risk, something that is difficult for an Apsie. Aspie’s need to learn how to go off-roading. Tell the child – and show them through many experiences over the years – that taking risks and steps of faith is a good thing and to not be controlled by fear. Compliment the child when they are flexible, bending and changing and trying new things.
Youth workers can partner with the parents by helping these children develop skills at surviving in the world. Plan to take them places they might enjoy, such as restaurants, on public transportation, and to age-appropriate entertainment during youth group outings but be aware, that too much pressure to read so many pieces of sensory and social information at once can be exhausting and stressful. Plan your activities accordingly. It is appropriate to increase your expectation as the child gets older and working in partnership with the parents makes discerning this easier for the youth worker.
This really is an issue of teaching the Aspie how to have faith. Faith is a gift that is given to some of us by the Spirit in a supernatural way but a child with AD may struggle with the flexibility needed to respond to Spirit’s promptings. Walking with and modeling way to do this will reinforce in the Aspie a healthy expression of faith where one can take risks in following the God who loves them and allows them a seat at the kingdom table.
Hope it’s helpful,