Church and Asperger's/Autism

As a once ashamed but now proud Aspie, it can be difficult (I'm still learning) to understand the nuances of social cues.  For me, it is like diagnosing a disease based on symptoms.

I was a teacher for 7 years and failed miserably in many aspects (suffered from PTSD during my work experience).  As a chemist for 10 years, I find that world much easier to deal with but still think in a very different way than my colleagues.  It makes it hard for me to voice honest questions and objections about the way we do things.

Being a Christian seems like a logical thing to do, once you get over believing in something when common sense tells you not to (faith).  But it is nice to have a system of truths in the Bible that is self-consistent (though I understand not everyone agrees with this).

Before I get to why I am writing this, I would love to hear from other Christians with ASD.  What are your biggest challenges and successes at church (regardless of age group)?

Anyway, I digress.  I suspect that there is a 14 year old girl at our church that has ASD.  She is a great kid, very shy, has trouble communicating with others and trouble reading.  While she probably has a processing disorder of some sort, I think it goes beyond that.  She is an incredible free-hand artist who can draw characters of any type (Disney, Marvel Comics, made-up and hybrid characters).  She is on an IEP at school, but I fear that her differences are being swept under the rug and her talents are unable to shine through.

When I was young, my parents tried to make me as normal as possible.  Despite extremely high IQ scores, they wouldn't let me join the special classes.  I thought I simply wasn't smart enough until I found out this from other parents.  But I couldn't fit in with the other kids.  I didn't have any real friends except maybe for 1 good friend in high school.

BTW, I'm always looking for chat room buddies.  I don't private chat 1-on-1 as I am married and don't want to put myself in an uncompromising position.  I love model building (LEGO), math/statistical modeling (and developing games with math), board/card game creation, and am finishing my first full-length novel.

Anyway, have a nice evening.  I struggle with discouragement and can be a bit thin-skinned about it, but I have also learned to thrive in spite of (or because of) my Aspie status.

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

Parents
  • Sorry it took a while to reply to your message as this site used my dead email account!! It was nice reading your piece about church! I don't go to church anymore, except in exceptional circumstances, is deaths, marriages, births etc.. Priests can be mad or crazy so avoid them like the plague!
  • Priests are quite often on the spectrum, but undiagnosed. By talking with them as a neurodiversity activist, you not only gain accomodation for yourself in the parish, but you also educate them about autism, and that's good for the neurotypicals in the parish as well, as the priest becomes more aware of his own shortcomings! I absolutely encourage talking to priests!
Reply
  • Priests are quite often on the spectrum, but undiagnosed. By talking with them as a neurodiversity activist, you not only gain accomodation for yourself in the parish, but you also educate them about autism, and that's good for the neurotypicals in the parish as well, as the priest becomes more aware of his own shortcomings! I absolutely encourage talking to priests!
Children