Casdok is one of my very best bloggy buddies. There is a discussion going on over at her blog about parents who want to "cure" their children of autism versus accepting autism as a part of who a person is and wanting society itself to change. I hope I am framing that argument correctly, but it's a *very* good discussion, I think:
Pop on over and take a look.
Hopefully anything I have to say won't ruin my blog friendship with Casdok. I think we disagree on some fundamentals in that I would WANT my sons "healed" completely of autism. I think that past a certain point, autism is a disability just like deafness or blindness. I know that from WITHIN deafness or blindness, there are whole cultures and whole ways of looking at the world. There are whole new perspectives into the human condition out there, and the way we treat someone with deafness or blindness reflects not upon them and their condition, but upon US. Do we just feel sorry for them, or make a few allowances and do our best to treat them like anyone else whenever possible?
But as a Christian, I literally believe in the Garden of Eden, and in the whole idea of the Fall bringing sin and death into our world. Maybe that colours my perspective; we are all of us terribly wicked when we really examine our hearts. Sickness and death would not exist were it not for the Fall. I suppose (theoretically) that our personalities would be just like God's if we were still in the Garden. We would know to treat others as we would want to be treated.
HOW can we do onto others as we would have others do onto us?
Do you know what? I think this is the crux of the argument that's happening over at Casdok's. I can make big mistakes because I don't see things from someone else's perspective, and when I go treating that person as I *imagine* I'd want to be treated, I can cause damage and offense. I remember once working at a gift wrap counter as a teen and VERY CAREFULLY and slowly counting out some dollar-change for a blind woman. That's how I imagined I'd want to be treated; how would I ever know I'm not being cheated if I were blind? Thankfully the woman was kind about it and told me it's ok; she has to trust day-to-day the people she does business with.
When I got to thinking about it, how else would she be able to function? She would have to bring a sighted person on EVERY trip EVERYWHERE otherwise. She simply had to learn to trust or be dependent. And that means trusting the silly teen at the gift wrap counter, too.
Elf is praying that he is cured of autism. He is attending Childrens' Church and making great strides in the social area. As G ages, however, it becomes more obvious that he is different. He is still sweet and agreeable most of the time. But he needs extra help and finds himself the butt of jokes. I wish I could take that away from him. :[ I do know, however, that God made him for a purpose and should he choose not to heal G, God can use that autism to bring people to Christ and give Him glory. G can be used of God as he yields his will to God, no matter the level of healing in his life.
All life is precious, despite the ability of the person in question. I shudder to think when people say things like, they'd rather be dead than in the nursing home... or whatever... God can use you wherever you are, friend. May He bless you and keep you today.