Friday, September 14, 2012

Communicating With Carly About Autism, God, and the Struggle to Touch the Intangible - A Glimpse Into My Own Spiritual Journey

"Do you believe there is a God?"
On Wednesday, Carly Fleischman (a teenage non-speaking autistic whose amazing story some of you may have seen on 20/20) fielded a question about her personal struggle with believing in God due to her autistic wiring and need for tangible things.  Hers is a struggle that I fully understand and I was able to be part of the discussion.
In follow up emails I have been asked by several other autistics and parents of autistics if they could have a copy of my response - that's why I'm posting it here.  
I pray that this will give a small (ok - maybe miniscule) glimpse into some of my own journey towards belief - a journey that at times is still filled with great warring in the land of unbelief. This is not a full treatise by any stretch of the imagination and there is MUCH that could be and should be written on this subject. Doubt appears to be a very common thread for many on the spectrum (the most recent statistics suggesting that autistics are only 11% as likely to believe in God as their neuro-typical counterparts). As I have mused and meditated on the issue over the past year I have a number of thoughts on the "whys" of that struggle and on the need for the church to understand the deep reality of that struggle. Perhaps another day - for now, my response to Carly! :)