Should we be discussing the latest autism-vaccine controversy?
One of this past week’s top news stories has been about the autism-vaccine study and the alleged falsification of its research methods. I think most parents (special needs and typical) have been interested in the story and the newly discovered information from the late 90’s study. As we engage in conversations on recent headlines, it is important to remember that many families affected by autism still hold strong views on both sides of this controversy. As children’s ministry team members, advocating a position on this topic may potentially dilute our influence in the lives of families affected by autism.
Never short on opinions, I certainly have my views on this controversial subject. But frankly my opinions are irrelevant to my calling…which is to help churches successfully include children with special needs. I care more about a family’s connection inside a church (and ultimately with Christ) than I care about their views on the autism-vaccine link.
Encourage children’s ministry leaders and volunteers inside your church to remember their calling. When conversations arise about the autism-vaccine controversy, listening and learning about a family’s specific experience is far more important than expressing a personal view. For more on this subject see my earlier post: Avoid Controversial Topics & Remain Focused on the Mission.