An exploratory study of attitudes towards autism amongst church-going Christians in the South East of England, United Kingdom

Krysia Waldock, Rachel Forrester-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Access to church communities can be difficult for autistic people. Whilst specific autism guidelines are available for churches to follow, their dissemination among church communities, as well as churchgoers’ attitudes towards autism is unknown. Semi-structured interviews were used with twenty-one adult church-goers from four Protestant churches in England, UK. Using a grounded theory approach to analyse the data, three themes were identified: “different understandings of autism”, “degrees of ableism” and “idiosyncratic practice”. We found positive and pejorative attitudes; this mix of perspectives reflecting the idiosyncratic practice among churches. Recommendations for further research and church practice are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-41
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Disability & Religion
Early online date11 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2020


  • Autism
  • Christian Religion
  • Church
  • Attitudes

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