Pittsburgh Autism Ministry at North Way Christian Community

Come as you are...

…maybe that sounds like a nice phrase to hang on the wall, but an impossible one to live by, especially if your family is made up of neurotypical and neurodiverse children. Maybe you’re thinking: “You don’t know our family. We don’t look like everyone else here. If we come as we are, we might be loud. We probably won’t make it through the whole service. We might create a scene.” We know. And it is okay. Come as you are. We cannot wait to meet you.

Our mission is for families with a child (or children) on the autism spectrum to come as they are, so that together they can all know, experience, and follow Jesus. Our goal is to provide a loving and welcoming environment for your whole family — a place where you all feel safe to come as you are

We seek to provide an engaging, inclusive place for your children to grow in a relationship with Jesus and with their same-aged peers. 

Your children, both neurotypical and neurodiverse, will be well taken care of as they experience the love of Jesus. At the same time, you will be able to participate in our worship gathering and experience much needed worship, teaching, prayer, and community.

All you have to do is come. You do not have to wait until you have everything “figured out.” You do not have to worry about being embarrassed. Just come and experience the hope of the Gospel: the good news that invites each one of us to come as we are and encounter the love of Jesus.

Play Video

Our Location

Centrally located in the Western Pennsylvania / Pittsburgh Region.
Located a short drive from routes 65 & 79 north of Pittsburgh in Sewickley.

Let's connect.

We would love to hear from you! Please use this form to reach out to our Autism Ministry Director and team. Someone will personally reach out to you whether you’re interested in more information and/or volunteering.

Meet Sarah Conway

North Way Christian Community’s Autism Ministry Director

  • Masters Degree in Special Education
  • Bachelors Degree in mathematics 
  • Certified 7-12 math and 7-12 special education teacher
  • Has gained experience teaching in a learning support classroom and working as a paraprofessional
  • Nearly five years working in family ministry
  • Four year intern with North Way Student Ministry program at Sewickley Valley
  • Born and raised in Sewickley Valley
  • Has relatives who are speech delayed and on the spectrum providing her with one-on-one experience

Respite Night & SVSA/TOPSoccer Camp

We are partnering with SVSA/TOPSoccer to give caregivers a weekend full of opportunities for respite and exciting activities for kids with disabilities in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

Respite Night

On Friday, June 10th we will be hosting a respite night at the Sewickley Valley campus. The respite night will be for children in grades kindergarten through 12th and will take place from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Caregivers will be able to drop off all children (with disabilities and any siblings), be asked to stay for a short programming piece, then encouraged to get dinner nearby. A list of recommended restaurants will be provided. Dinner, activities, and a short programming piece will be provided for all children. Registration for caregivers for this event can be found here and must be completed by Friday, May 27th to secure a spot.

Interested in volunteering for this event? Register here!

Soccer Camp

On Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 11th, SVSA/TOPSoccer will be providing a soccer camp for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade with any type of disability! This will take place at Graham Park. Registration for this can be found at https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/svsasoccer. Start by clicking “register” in the top right corner, then once you have an account, add your child, look for events, and choose the TOPSoccer event. More information for this event can be found here.

Interested in volunteering for this event? Email topsoccer@svsasoccer.org!

Upcoming Events

Friday, February 11, 2022

Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older. This coming year, on Friday, February 11, 2022, Night to Shine will celebrate its eighth anniversary as thousands from around the world will come together to honor those with disabilities. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Night to Shine 2022 will be a worldwide Shine-Thru Parade and Virtual Celebration. Learn more from Tim Tebow.

Questions? Contact Sarah: sarahc@northway.org


Frequently Asked Questions

Our vision is for all kids to know, experience, and follow Jesus. To pursue that vision, the Autism Ministry will be closely tied to Kids Church and will provide necessary accommodations and modifications as needed. We will also utilize fully equipped sensory rooms to provide children with special needs a personalized sensory input as needed.

We are counting down the days until we get to open our doors! Our current timeline is to launch this ministry in early 2022 once our volunteer team is fully staffed. If you would like more information, please fill out the contact form above.

Someone once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Our goal with this ministry is to go far, not fast. We want to provide the best Kids Church experience for neurotypical and neurodiverse children. To do so, we will need to build a ministry and team that can go far, together. At this time, we are equipped to provide an excellent, safe, and loving environment for children on the autism spectrum. As we learn and grow as a ministry, our dream is to be equipped for additional special needs and disabilities.

There are many ways to get involved and use your gifts to care for and disciple children. We will have a wide range of serving opportunities available for varied experience levels and will also provide training. If you are interested in joining this team, please fill out the form above for an application.

Since the Autism Ministry is closely aligned with Kids Church, it is designed for preschool and elementary age children (3 years old– 5th grade) who are on the autism spectrum. As we learn and grow as a ministry, our dream is to be equipped for additional ages.

Our Autism Ministry will be available during our Sunday morning worship gatherings at our Sewickley Valley location.

Yes! This ministry is open to all families. We love meeting new people and hope this ministry is a blessing to the community. If you know someone who would like more information, please fill out the form above or provide them with a link to this website: http://northway.org/autismminsitry

Yes! We want to help all of our children celebrate the diversity in the body of Christ. It is our goal to have an inclusive program, that includes all children in the Kids Church classrooms with their same-aged peers. This does mean that neurotypical kids will have the opportunity to be in Kids Church with neurodivergent kids. This will allow all children to learn more about their peers,

develop new social skills, and learn what it means to love everyone like Jesus.