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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mother Told She'd Be Arrested for Bringing Autistic Son to Church

I read this and began thinking that if this boy was my son, something would have to change. Him. Me. Church. Something. By the time I finished it, I'd made my decision. What do you think. Here's all I have on the story. Stick with the facts as stated.

BERTHA, Minn. — The mother of a 13-year-old autistic boy says she wanted to take him to Mass on Sunday despite a court order that bans him from her church.

Carol Race ended up attending a different church — after the Todd County, Minn., sheriff stopped her and said she'd be arrested if she brought Adam to the Church of St. Joseph in Bertha.

There is a restraining order barring Race's son from St. Joseph's. The Reverend Daniel Walz wrote in court documents that Adam's behavior was disruptive and dangerous. Adam is more than 6 feet tall and over 225 pounds.

The pastor wrote that Adam spits, urinates and once struck a child during Mass.

Race says Adam doesn't spit, and that the urination is incontinence. She admits he once struck a child.

Race has already violated the restraining order once, and is scheduled to appear in court for that on Monday.

My $ 0.03 worth:

We have handicapped/disabled persons in our own congregation. I've been in congregations where the brain-damaged individual was handicapped (I grew up with that term. I'll use it.) young adult. He was disabled by a accident. His interruptions occurred when he involuntarily vocalized (un-intelligebile utterances. Later on, he was capable of some speech.) at inappropriate times. One look at him and you knew that he was "disabled." As a congregation, we treated him as we would an infant - we ignored his interruptions. His loving parents were embarrassed enough. We did not ignore him as an individual, though. He was welcomed and cared for by our people.

Probably some of us felt uncomfortable around him, as I did. I did not, and still do not, know what to say or do around a person profoundly disabled.

Others evidently feel that way about me! ;>)

I met my first severly handicapped person when I was about 15. He was a quadraplegic in a wheel chair due to polio. Then I corresponded briefly with a youngster in Corpus Christi in an iron lung - polio. By the time I entered college, I met an adult quadraplegic due to a broken neck. Each of these taught me to live the life I have been given.

Ironically enough, I could/can be described as one of those persons. I was born with deformed hands, wrists and forearms. Corrective surgery at age 5 allows me the use of the most severly deformed hand. That work allowed me to earn a decent living as an electronic technician for many years until other, invisible, conditions put me on disability. Don't go telling me I can not sympathize/empathize because I can't imagine being other than "normal.' What ever that is. Enough about me, back to our regularly scheduled blog.

The 13-year old at 6', 225 lbs. needs to be controlled in public. Controlled to the extent he is no longer perceived as "dangerous" by most people who meet him. Any one that believes a 13-year old can't beat-up on you never met our son. Our play-fights occasionally got out of control as we became "enthusiastic." :>)

A 13-year old boy in an adult body can be dangerous. Spitting on people is probably illegal in that jurisdiction and certainly unhealthy to those receiving it, whatever his intent. Incontinence can probably be dealt with.

Carol Race appears to be out of control herself. She has contributed to a situation where the sheriff has been asked to intervene on behalf of the parish. Ms. Race has "already violated the restraining order once, and is scheduled to appear in court for that on Monday." Hmmmmnnnn!

As you read my two-pennies worth, you'll find that I do not believe restraining orders are not worth the paper they're written on unless all parties are already law-abiding citizens. Then they are probably unnecessary. The restraining order certainly hasn't worked in this case. I wonder why?

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