I may be going out on a very thin limb in writing this post but I feel very strongly about this particular subject and the advocate in me isn’t prepared to sit down and shut up this time. It was conveyed to me recently that my children need healing and I prickled at this suggestion. More than I expected to.
I have come to realise that being both an autism parent AND a Christian who believes in healing can be a very contentious mix at times. And it’s probably not for the reasons that you think.
I believe in a powerful God who can do the impossible: but here’s what I DON’T believe: I don’t believe that autism is a sickness that requires healing.
And let me say up front that I am not nor will I ever be seeking out healing for my boys from their respective autism. They are not sick or ill or diseased, they are simply different.
But unfortunately, not everyone shares this view.
The word ‘advocate’ means to speak, plead or argue in favour of a cause that you believe in. And anyone who reads this blog would have noticed that I very much believe in my children and their potential and am not backwards in coming forward when it comes to creating awareness for autism.
See, here’s the thing. When I’m told that my child needs healing: I’m basically being told that there is something wrong with my child. I’m being told that they are not acceptable the way that God made them and that they are faulty, defective and sick. They are not being accepted for who they are.
You don’t pray for the well to be healed so why pray for healing from autism for my boys?
If they have a cold, a broken limb or a fever by all means intercede in prayer for them, but please don’t insult them and me by praying away the very essence of who they are.
Sure – I hate the anxiety, the fears, the hurt and the anguish that their differences may sometimes cause them, but I certainly don’t hate who they are. And I believe that discovering the difference between the two is paramount in understanding what autism awareness is all about.
I dislike that ordinary daily tasks are a challenge for my boys, I dislike that they struggle to just ‘be’ in many situations and I dislike that they are becoming more and more aware of their differences. But I don’t want them to feel that they need to conform to society in order to be accepted. I want society to change how they view those beautiful members of our community who just happen to have an autism spectrum disorder.
And I don’t see my children as broken, sick or in need of “healing”. I see them as Wonderfully Wired. I see them as having been created to be remarkable. Hence the name of this blog.
Asthma is an illness. Depression is a mental illness. Influenza, heart disease and cancer are all illnesses.
Autism is not. It does not need a cure or prevention. It needs love, acceptance, and people who are willing to look past the diagnosis to the heart of the person.
Look at these photos: Do these babies look “sick” to you?
No…..they are precious, they are wanted and they are loved.
I knew from the minute that I held them for the very first time as newborns that they have amazing futures and nothing is going to stop them from living their best lives.
Hope you’ve all had wonderful weekends.