Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Mystery of Autism

Many of us have differing experiences with Autism. There are those who have a child who is Autistic. There are those who are friends of those families. There are those who have siblings who are Autistic. Caring and nuturing these precious children of God is challenging. I recently read an article from a homeschool company who has an autistic daughter. I thought you might appreciate these thoughts:

Dear Friends,
For the last three months 8-year-old Krissy has brought sunshine and laughter to our home. Better still, through her autism she has brought us fresh insights into our responses to God's sovereignty.

The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. But one of the most heartbreaking characteristics is the remoteness, a seeming complete disregard for the thoughts of others.

When fireworks startle a typical toddler, he will quickly seek the face of those he trusts. If they are happy and at ease, he will relax. An autistic child cannot do this and therefore has less ability to cope with the uncertainties life throws at him.

A child who is unable to sense his parent's serenity during change may respond violently to something as simple as a modification in daily routine. Likewise the same child will not be aware of the parent's alarm as that child eases the family pet out the second floor window.

While society presents a case for how liberating it would be to be free of the thoughts and opinions of those around us, autism presents us with a different view. Difficulty interpreting tone of voice or facial expressions and not learning to watch other people's faces for cues about appropriate behavior will result in impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and severely limited activities and interests.

Sadly, in many ways, we display autistic behavior toward our Almighty Creator. When we find ourselves unable to respond appropriately to the irregularities of this life, or when we passionately cling to our possessions and schedules, it is probably because we are not "looking to God's face" to help us interpret His plans for our lives.

The autistic child is often described as being in his "own world." As we make every effort to draw Krissy out of that world we are daily thankful that God is relentlessly doing the same in our own lives.

May your hearts be full of hope as you work to prepare your children for eternity,
Timberdoodle Co
Dan, Deb, Joy, Hope, Grace, Abel, Pearl and special guest Krissy

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