I see from an item on About.com's Autism site that this Sunday, February 8, is Autism Sunday. Church leaders from around the world have agreed to make the second Sunday in February an International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger Syndrome.
This is a parent-initiated observance: Autism Sunday was started in 2002 in the United Kingdom by Ivan and Charika Corea, parents of a child with autism. Writes Ivan, "Our son Charin has been our inspiration. We see him as a real blessing from God." It would certainly be nice if more folks in the pews saw children with autism and other special needs that way. Maybe Autism Sunday could also be an International Day of Not Glaring at Children Who Behave Unpredictably in Church, or International Day for Figuring Out How to Do More Than Just Pray for Children With Special Needs.
With those children with autism rapidly becoming adults with autism, and adults with disabilities being moved from institutions to community placements, churches need to figure out ASAP how to make individuals with special needs full members of the family of God -- not once a year, but every Sunday, every day, in every way possible. That's something to pray for, right there.
You can find more information on Autism Sunday on these sites: