Ocoee church offers autism-friendly Christmas service

Church partners with ALERT for special service

By Shannon McLellan - Social Media Producer

OCOEE, Fla. - An Ocoee church is making sure children with autism can celebrate the Christmas season in a way that will fill them with holiday cheer, while making sure they are not overstimulated.

Ocoee Oaks United Methodist Church has partnered with Autism Law Enforcement Response Training (ALERT) to give children with autism a safe place to celebrate Christmas.

The service is designed to mimic a traditional Christmas Eve candlelight service, but with special attention given to light and volume. The church encourages the children to worship and sing, in an environment that will not make them feel overstimulated.

Instead of candles, the church will offer the children glowsticks to "demonstrate that Jesus is the light of the world." Also, 20 sensory kits donated by ALERT will be available for use at the service. 

The church says it is excited to offer the church service to families with members diagnosed with autism.

Ocoee Oaks United Methodist Church says space may be limited and they encourage families to register in advance for free tickets to the service. Families can register on the event's Eventbrite page here

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