So last night I went with her. And I was apparently a bit of a pleasant surprise as while the speaker was talking I typed up some thoughts I had on what she was saying on my iPad and she had me share one of them with the group!
So it looks like I am not only starting the journey toward writing a book but also toward becoming a speaker! And why not? After all, who best to tell others about autism than someone who actually has autism?
Now, what are your churches doing to support those of us who have autism and our families? If your church is not engaging with them and including them, please stop. Matthew 25:31-46 applies to your church more so now than ever. 1 in 68. Try to apply that statistic to your church population. That would be almost and at least 40 people in a church with around 2500 people! May not sound like a lot but it is more than enough that Jesus would not be thrilled if you missed them or hurt them by not including them. As was posted by one page that believes churches should include individuals with special needs, churches that wish to be relevant today are doing something to include and minister to people with special needs. And they are thriving now as a result. And as many church leaders may now be aware, many millennials are leaving the church because they find that most churches are no longer relevant to them today. Looks like something HUGE is happening in God's kingdom! Looks like the kingdom revolution has started! And the churches may be left behind if they do not get on board with including people like myself and my mom who have special needs. It doesn't take a lot of money or resources. All it takes is one person who is willing to step up and say I got this, I will serve, I will be their buddy. And then it can grow from there.
Anyway, as I said last night in reference to the use of the puzzle piece to represent people with autism which some people have interpreted as meaning the person with autism is a mystery, this is what I said, "I like the puzzle piece because I see the world and the people in it as everyone is a part of a huge global puzzle and every piece, including those of us on the spectrum, is a part of the big puzzle." This is based on a lesson I learned based on the way that a couple of people I met at the church that hurt me viewed things. Everyone has a purpose and is a part of the puzzle. I further broke it down later using a drawing that was hanging on one of the walls and told them to imagine that picture was a puzzle. Now imagine there was a piece missing. You now have an incomplete puzzle. And you might just get angry that the piece is missing. That one missing piece ruins the entire picture! And you often search all over for that one piece too. And when you find it and can finally put it where it belongs, you rejoice because you now have a completed picture! Hmm.... Think about.... This is like the story of the lost lamb and the lost coin. This is like the picture the Bible paints of the church being a body with every part being important.
Is your church including us? If not, change it!