In His Image They Were Created
Since Middleman was diagnosed with autism, I have been feeling like I am playing catch up. Not just in arranging therapies for him, but also in my knowledge of autism. It doesn’t help when doctors and therapists you meet assume you know what they are talking about. They do not supply an Autism for Dummies book to newly diagnosed parents (although I think they should).
I, as well, didn’t want to jump into any group and believe me there are groups. I wanted to educate myself. One of the first books I read was about high functioning autism. It was written by a child educator for children with special needs and a parent. It was actually written in “English” and was a good primer. She didn’t take sides. Her mantra seemed to be if a therapy or diet work for you then do it. If not, don’t sweat it.
Now you may want to know what the sides are those who think autism is curable and those of us who think is just a part of our children. I have chosen sides. I was always a little leery of the whole immunization debate. This December I read a book called Autism’s False Prophets by Dr. Paul Offit. He stated in his prologue that he was not being paid by the big pharmaceutical companies. I found it funny that a pediatrician turned immunologist had to state that, when his whole career has been about children. This book opened my eyes to the media, misinformation and explained how studies come out and how to see if they are from reputable science or not.
But the one thing that stayed with me is what one parent, a doctor, commented on. He felt that the non medical, non conventional therapies that he and his wife tried for both their sons were selling hope. A hope for a cure. After I read this, I was angry. Angry because I finally realized what my disgust was for the other side. That autism was a type of “cancer.” That my son was imperfect. That I should be blaming someone or something for the diagnosis we received. Our children look normal. Many do not have any visible defects. However, just because of that doesn’t mean there is a cure. Would you ask a mother of a downs syndrome child if there was a cure?
I do have compassion for these parents because I live just as they do. I know many of their struggles. Their loss of dreams and their loss of hope. I think my sense of acceptance comes from my belief that God created my child and all children with autism in His image (Genesis 1:27). That each of these precious children were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). That God knows our children and loves them for themselves. He alone has great plans for our children, plans to prosper them and not to harm them (Jeremiah 29:11). They are just as God created each of them to be and as I wrote yesterday, God makes no mistakes. I believe if people could accept this of any child with any disability that there wouldn’t be sides. There would be one focus, how our children can reflect His light and His light alone.
I am linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood at Finding Heaven today.