Autism spectrum folks vary in their ability to function in society, with some unable to communicate or care for themselves. Rather, others may successfully have jobs, marry, or parent. People on this spectrum are often labeled or shunned as “lazy, stupid, stubborn, weird, or misfits” without solid known causes. In addition, they are often perceived as “lost in their own world” and their behaviors offer big challenges for those around them. However, advances are being made for treatment and understanding, especially for those who are diagnosed early in life. Regular, intense interaction with appropriate social skills and problem-solving is recognized as one path to growth.
What is Spiritual Autism?
One day in Bible study class, we talked about the possibility of Spiritual Autism. Some of us seem to get stuck in our “own little worlds” and unable to communicate with others about what God means to us. Or we separate from the community with the resulting lack of spiritual growth. Many of us seem to have been born with an inability to properly relate to God or to each other. Our earthly condition is one of self-centeredness. Often, we find strange or destructive ways to stimulate or soothe ourselves. Often it seems that people become obsessed or fascinated with one aspect of theology or Scripture. As a result, they miss the balanced beauty of God’s character.
Experiencing the tender, forgiving love of a Savior on a daily basis can heal distrust and anxiety resulting from and around Spiritual Autism. His grace grants us an understanding of the similarities of the human condition. He models for us the way to treat others with sensitivity. Also, His Spirit gives us empathy, imagination, and vision. As we heal, we are better able to love those around us. Scripture, prayer, community, and service are centuries-old treatment plans for a balanced Christian life.
Karen Spruill writes from Florida.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.