Sunday, August 30, 2015

5 Things You Need to Know About Faith and Autism

One of the most common questions I get is about how people with autism understand faith. At first I tried to guess from my children with autism, which is hard because they are both nonverbal. Now that I have been diagnosed with autism myself, I have a bit more insight.

Here are five things to take into account.

Stephen Bedard
1. Every person with autism is different. This will make every list about autism. I am sharing some generalizations but saying "all people with autism are..." is as difficult as saying "all people without autism are..." So take the rest of the list as only things that I have observed.

2. Try to be concrete in your explanations. Jesus in your heart really does not help people with autism very much. In fact, you might as well get rid of all Christianese. Be a follower of Jesus is an example of a concrete image. It makes sense.

3. Some doctrines are easier than others. For myself, Heaven is hard to get my head around. But the resurrection of the dead (which the Bible emphasizes much more anyway) makes sense.

4. People with autism are vulnerable to legalism. Many with autism think in terms of rules. If a church has a set of unhealthy and unbiblical rules, this can be damaging to the faith.

5. Apologetics may play a role. Why am I interested in apologetics? I was studying apologetics long before I ever considered autism. Apologetics makes sense to me. It helps to see the faith in a reasonable and rational way. Don't dismiss apologetics because you don't find it helpful.

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