Why we don't sit in the front of church anymore

by Mary C

As an Aspie with SPD (tactile and auditory), "Billy" knows what is expected of him at church at 11 years old, and most times does well.

WELL... this time in church he decided that he wanted to sit much closer to the front so he could be closer to God, so we sat in the second row. Mr. Mike walked in and sat behind us before mass (Catholic) started.

After about 15 seconds into the first song, I noticed Billy covering his ears and he visibly started getting upset (tensing up, looking behind us, angry face, etc.), and I quickly realized that Mr. Mike was singing VERY loudly, and VERY off key, so bad an alley cat's ears would hurt.

Billy asked to move to the back of the church. I told him that I would respect his request, but he had to wait until the end of the song. The song continued and he made the request 2 more times with his ears covered. Mr. Mike has a very loud voice, and CANNOT carry a tune. He continued to cover his ears and got more visibly upset. The song ended, and we moved back 5 rows.

As an older gentleman, I don't think Mr. Mike realized what had actually occurred; my other son didn't even realize what had happened.

Billy slowly calmed down as mass progressed and he did not cover his ears again. As we're walking out of church, I was informed that we were not allowed to sit in front of Mr. Mike again.

And to this day, 6+ months later, we have NEVER sat in the first few rows again because if Mr. Mike comes, we do not want to be seated in front of him.

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