Abstract

Although the prominence of spirituality and religious connections among the people of the United States is well documented, little is known about the place of faith in the lives of youth with developmental disabilities. In this qualitative interview study, we examined the perspectives of 20 young people with intellectual disability or autism on their faith, spiritual expressions, and disability. Participants identified key spiritual expressions and themes reflecting the importance of faith in their lives. They also shared perceptions of their disability in the context of their faith, highlighting affirmation and acceptance of their disability. We offer recommendations to families, faith communities, and service systems for supporting the spiritual formation, expression, and connections of young people with disabilities.

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