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Respect Life Contact:

Bob Wurzelbacher
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Bob Wurzelbacher  
100 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513)263-6674 voice
(513)421-1582 fax



Noelle Collis-DeVito
Kara Ross

1520 South Main Street
Dayton, OH 45409
(937) 281-4128 voice

Autism & IDD



Organizations for Autism Support


Autism Society of Ohio

Mission: The Autism Society of Ohio is an affiliate of the Autism Society of America, the nation’s leading grass roots autism organization. The Autism Society exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people with ASD, advocating for appropriate services across the life span, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, and advocacy.

The Autism Society of Dayton– This is the Dayton affiliate of the Autism Society of Ohio and it offers specific resources for those who live in the Miami Valley. They share local events, agencies, and resources for families who have Autistic children as well as ways for the community at large to learn and support such families.

The Autism Society of Cincinnati– This is the Cincinnati affiliate of the Autism Society of Ohio and it offers specific resources for those who live in the Greater Cincinnati Area. They share local events, agencies, and resources for families who have Autistic children as well as ways for the community at large to learn and support such families.


The Mission of St. Thorlak

We offer spiritual reflection and ministry with emphasis on reaching and learning from people affected by autism, but our ministry is for all hearts who hunger to be known for who they are (… that is to say, all hearts).
Our methods are inspired by the life of Thorlák Thórhallsson of Iceland, whose teachings and example led many in his day to experience rich, spiritual nourishment in remarkably simple ways.



Organizations for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Support


National Down Syndrome Society

Mission: The National Down Syndrome Society is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

Vision: The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities.


Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association

Mission: Our Mission is to provide information, resources and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families and their communities.

Vision:Our Vision is to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.


Children & Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Mission: We believe in improving the lives of people affected by ADHD.
CHADD is a membership organization, that produces the bi-monthly Attention Magazine (for members), and sponsors an annual conference. The National Resource Center on ADHD (NRC) is the CDC-funded national clearinghouse for evidence-based information about ADHD.

National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities

Mission: Rooted in Gospel values that affirm the dignity of every person, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. CLICK HERE for Autism Resources or CLICK HERE for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Resources.

Click here for NCPD Brochure



Sensory-Friendly Mass


In an effort to embrace and welcome the members of our church with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other special needs, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has begun hosting Sensory-Friendly Liturgies particularly in the Dayton Deanery. These Masses include lower lights, softer music, and shorter more literal homilies. We also use the Children’s Lectionary for more literal readings. The biggest difference is that we encourage families and individuals to get up and move if needed, to bring alternative seating, fidgets or noise cancelling headphones. We try to create an accepting environment and work to eliminate the stigma that many with special needs encounter. To read about our efforts click on the article below:

Interested in hosting a Sensory-Friendly Mass at your parish?
CLICK HERE for our Resource Page.


Our Facebook Page is designed to share resources and to act as a sounding board for the special needs community here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Follow us @specialneedsAoC or click the heading on the right to be taken directly to our page.



Media Resources for Families & Individuals

Local Sensory-Friendly Events

If you are looking for local, family-oriented events, these articles have some great suggestions:

Sensory Friendly Programs- Cincinnati Parent

Sensory Friendly Programs- Dayton Parent


Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC: The Autistic Priest

Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC also known as the “Autistic Priest,” hosts a variety of Social Media Platforms in which he shares his experiences as a priest with autism. Fr. Matthew is a huge advocate for Autism Awareness and has worked especially toward reaching out to evangelize Catholics with autism. You can follow Fr. Matthew on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube to hear more from him.

The Autism Society of America

Not only do the local chapters of the Autism Society provide excellent services, the Autism Society of America offers a plethora of resources based on human development and various life situations. This resource library includes booklets for parents, siblings, educators, adults with autism and those who interact with children with autism in many walks of life. This includes resources for social workers, first responders, and other professionals.


Milestones Autism Resources

Located outside of Cleveland, the Milestones Center provides resources for families to build strategies for success with their child with Autism. The Center also works with individuals with ASD as they grow into adulthood. Finally, the work with professionals to educate and raise awareness of how those with ADS are able to integrate and succeed in society. There website includes over 1,400 resources for all who are navigating life affected by ASD.



Parish Resources for Welcoming Those with Special Needs

The National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion

Mission: Our mission is to inspire schools to begin the process of becoming inclusive, to educate teachers, parents, principals and priests on what it takes to be an inclusive school and to provide the educational research and real life experiences that support it.

Institute for Pastoral Initiatives: University of Dayton

As part of the University of Dayton, the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives serves as a support network and resource to individuals with disabilities and their families by providing DVD’s, and print resources, consultations, and networking opportunities on the national and local level.

The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives believes in valued parochial school and religious education programs which acknowledge the gifts and talents of all students. IPI supports individuals with a vision of creating church and school communities that are open, accepting, and supportive of individuals with disabilities.

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation

Certificate in Special Needs: This certificate program is designed for adults in schools, parishes, or dioceses who are already teaching and ministering in special needs, or preparing to embark on such a ministry.


PRINTABLE RESOURCES- Also Located on Our Sensory Friendly Mass Resource Page