Adapted by the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) Autism Task Force from CATECHESIS/ATTENDS MASS PARTICIPATION: GETTING TO KNOW THE PERSON
The Religious Education/Faith Formation Parent Interview
For a Person with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
When speaking with parents…
- Present an overall attitude of openness and a desire to be supportive.
- As you do with any new family, it is good to get a sense of the role that faith plays in their life. Remember, also, though, if they have not been able to attend Mass regularly, it may be because they are very de-energized from dealing with disability in their family. A welcoming community can go a long way to helping them participate more.
- Let the parent(s) know that in order to provide as positive an experience as possible, certain information is very important. It is also helpful to determine the program, materials and behavioral approaches used that are the right choice for now.
- The following form is for the interviewer to use for recording responses of the parent.
It is important to recognize and respect the confidential nature of such a document. Again, let them know that the reason for requesting it is to improve the quality of the experience for their child. A conversation with the person’s teacher can be very helpful. Also, often teachers want to help. Particularly as s/he works on Mass attendance and preparation for Sacraments in Church, there are ways the teacher can facilitate the development of Mass behaviors.