My friend Cam sent me this and graciously agreed to let me re-post it on here. I hope you will read and take to heart the insights coming from someone with autism and how we might better connect and relate. You can read more of Cam’s writing here: http://tornadocam.wordpress.com/
This prayer for the first Sunday in Advent from The Revised Common Lectionary is so fitting as we continue to explore the themes of Calling Out the Humanity in One Another this week, and as we begin the Advent season:
We seek the mighty God
in the most unlikely places
as a child in a stable,
and in an empty tomb.
May God hear these prayers,
which come from the unlikely corners of our lives.
Prayers of the People, concluding with:
Give us ears to hear, O God,
and eyes to watch,
that we may know your presence in our midst
during this holy season of joy
as we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Autism and Humanity
Recently a friend of mine has been blogging a series with the theme of Humanity. Some of the themes that come up are who is human, humanity and Christianity, and the oppressed. As I was reading it made me think about Autism and Humanity. I myself I am Autistic and sometimes I witness, read about and have seen our humanity taken away. We that are Autistic are humans and valuable too. We are also loved by God as well.
I am an Adult who has Autism but yet sometimes the world can be a hostile place. Granted, there is a lot of support for Autistics, but there is a lot of oppression too. If statistics are right we have the highest unemployment rate of any group. Those of us that have a job are often underpaid or denied chances to move up in the work force. Another thing is their are laws that tend to dehumanize us. For example, in some European Countries we that are Autistic can be legally euthanized. In America they are 20 states that have laws that could prevent a person who has Autism from marrying. Autism is not mental it is neurological but some states consider Autism mental. These states’ laws have language that can be interpreted to include Autism under mental thus denying them marriage. Moreover, the media has sometimes labeled us as anti social monsters, who can not show empathy and compassion. All of this is dehumanizing us.
Autistic people are human. We have proven that we can show concern for others, be compassionate, genuine and have empathy. We may or may not be social but we are human. The question is what is humanity. My answer to that is humanity is showing genuine, empathy, compassion, being loyal and having a relationship with God. So yes we who have Autism are human and we are a part of the world. Sometimes when I try to be social I often have a concern how will I be seen? How will I be judged? Will I bee seen as a person who is different and odd or will I bee seen as a fellow human being. The great civil rights leader Martin Luther King said he had a dream were people would not be judged based on their color. I myself have a dream. My dream is that we that are Autistic would not be judged for being different and for being Autistic. But we will be seen as fellow human beings who have a place in the world and can contribute to society. My dream is that we will be seen as and treated as human beings.
Not only I’m I Autistic but I am a Christian. However, sometimes I have been told you cannot be a Christian cause you lack empathy you don’t understand. I even had friends who I thought were Christian abandoned me cause I was different. But despite these messages I know that I’m a Child of God and that Jesus loved me just like he loves everyone. My other part of my dream is that I would not be seen as a person with Autism who attends Church. But that I’m a fellow Christian and loved by Christ. I think faith is an important part of humanity. God loved us so much that he sent his Son to die on the Cross (John 3:16) If you confess and accept Jesus as your savior you shall have eternal life and be saved (taken from Romans 10:9). So we have a loving and forgiving God that wants to have a relationship with us. As I stated to me that is a big part of being human too is having a relationship with God. We that are Autistic can also have this relationship.
I hope we that are Autistic will stop being seen as different, non humans and people who cannot relate. Instead we will be seen as fellow human beings, who have Humanity.