I’m not sure where you are located, but are there any groups or organizations in your area that have support for families of children with special needs? It can be difficult for families of typical children to relate to families of children with autism and other special needs. I have a child with Aspergers and apraxia (a speech disorder). It can be very socially isolating, but after a while I stopped caring what other people thought of me. Also, if they gave me nasty looks or made nasty comments, I sometimes replied “Thank you for your help” or “Thank you for caring about my situation” and let them think on it. Maybe not the best way to handle it, but I got tired of people making assumptions about what was going on with my children. People assume it’s “bad parenting” and not something more. I think perhaps a “sit-down” with the priest at your parish is in order and better support is needed. I have been told a few times that my child is welcome in our parish – at this point, I do believe it. But I am also at the point where I would have few problems politely talking to other parishioners on attitudes and assumptions about autism and other developmental challenges. More work on inclusion is needed, and unfortunately “mom cliques” are alive and well in Catholic schools and parishes. Do not be intimidated by them – what you are handling is challenge enough, and you are stronger inside than you give yourself credit for. Remember you are strong in God, pray often every day, and ask Jesus and Mary to walk with you always.