Husbands and wives worshiping together is taken for granted by millions of couples.
But author Kathleen Bolduc says for parents of special needs kids, an hour together at church may never happen because one of them must be with their child.
’I don't think it's too much to expect that we can go to church on Sunday morning and be able to worship with our spouse," Bolduc says.
Bolduc, the mother of an autistic son, was a featured speaker Thursday at a symposium on special needs at St. Peter's United Methodist Church in Katy.
The event was designed to teach religious leaders in the Houston area how to minister to special needs families.
The symposium was the brain child of Leslie Phillips, founder of the Katy Faith & Disability Network.
"They need fellowship, they need support, they need to feel like they belong. And they need people who seek to understand what's going on in their lives,’ Phillips says.
Bolduc says more churches should supervise special needs kids while their parents worship.
St. Peter's United Methodist is one church that has already created a network of volunteers to help with special needs children and adults.
The church's special needs coordinator Sarah Morrison says she began recruiting volunteers about two years ago.
"Through exposure people become more comfortable and they learn. It's the best way. You can't teach them from a book," Morrison says.
Without support, many special needs parents choose to stay away from church.
It isolates them and robs their children of a chance to grow closer to their church.
"Suddenly you realize that the most critical thing in your child's life is missing and that is a spiritual education," Phillips says.