A Divine Cure for Aspergers?!

Last night I had a chat with one of my pastors regarding Aspergers, and he keeps declaring that he believes God will cure me eventually and I'll be normal. To tell the truth, this angers me and I am not sure why. In my opinion, Aspergers is a big part of who I am. Aspergers helps define how I think and feel – it is a major component of my entire life. When individuals speak about how I'll be cured, it tends to make me believe they are not accepting me for who I am. I also question if they would say the same to a blind person or someone with diabetes.

Is the fact that my handicap is one that affects the psychological part of me turn it into a disability that needs to be cured by The Lord? I am going to be truthful in saying this theological issue has caused me great discomfort with my religious organization – to the point of where I am beginning to feel uncomfortable. I do not think it is my pastor’s intent to hurt me in anyway; nonetheless, how do I encourage the church to accept me for who I am, Aspergers and all?

P.S. Also, I'd like to know if you have any similar dilemmas and just how you got through them.

P.S.S. Thanks to MyAspergersChild.com for posting this!

Anonymous

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COMMENTS:

I can see your point, if it were me however, I don't think I would be looking at this as "lack of acceptance" - rather I would see it as your pastor's attempt at "stepping out in faith". Let me ask you: If you had the choice to have Aspergers or to NOT have Aspergers, which would you choose? I would rather not have it, although I am doing just fine with it.
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People with Aspergers tend to fixate on a few areas of interest, and religion and politics happen to be mine. Aspergers includes a deficiency in social skills, and social isolation is one reason that I believe in Jesus. Although I have problems with evangelicalism, I've always liked the way that they present the Lord as a friend, as someone who loves me and has a plan for my life. Even on days when I do not fit in, I can find a friend in Jesus.
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For those who have been diagnosed later in life and weren’t aware that they had traits of aspergers.. Were there any cases where this made you interpret the bible (as in those who are born again Christians) differently?? For instance.. I found - interpreting 'love your neighbor as yourself' -- how to interpret how loving another person - when to them the rules of loving are different than to what I consider loving? I got into such a mishap with being to an 'obsessed' level of needing to 'show Gods love' and at the same time ' be a good steward' and also 'submit to authorities'. I am also aware that each person with aspergers is different, so I’m hoping for some help from those who are protestant Christians (not involved in other religion thought too - e.g. Buddhism). A counselor I talked to was quite helpful in this - she said, you know God wouldn’t be a merciful God if He didn’t love you the way He made you. However... also leads me to the question, for aspergers people - does it make it harder to evaluate whether their actions/words as kind to others?
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Aspies like structure and predictability, and Christianity gives me that. Not only does it provide me with regular rituals such as church attendance, prayer, and Bible reading, but it also assures me that God is in control of my future. I prefer the idea of divine providence to an unpredictable notion that everything happens on its own, without any plan or purpose.
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It seems that Aspergers is more commonly known in the USA. Here, I hadn’t heard of it until my mom told me that she thought I was Aspergian. It was only in 1988 (I think) that Hans Aspergers writings were translated into English for English-speaking Psychologists and Doctors to study
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I’ve never really thought too deeply about how asperger's syndrome might affect one's interpretation of scripture. I know far too many non-aspie Christians that have way too literal an interpretation of scripture to start with, and being literal is supposed to be an aspie trait. For myself, I let my spirituality guide me in my interpretation of scripture. As for the scripture you quote - love thy neighbor as thyself - it seems to me that what god is asking is simply that one is as considerate of others as one is of one's self. One is neither asked to be selfless nor selfish. This is a very balanced position. Also, one I not asked to give any more than one is not capable of giving. This is a very balanced approach, which I find deeply profound. Much as we ask to be forgive our trespasses as we are willing to forgive those that trespasses against us. Again, god judges us as leniently or harshly as we judge others. But beyond giving you the above discussion, I’m just not sure what you're diving at here. Are you saying you judge yourself too harshly??? Often we do. We forget that we need to forgive ourselves as well as others. From what you've written, I just can't tell. BTW, I’m a protestant Christian, thought I’m first and foremost of a spiritual rather than of any particular religious persuasion.
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The things that give some Aspies a problem with religion are not really problematic for me. God's utter intangibility does not lead me to reject his existence, since we all accept things that we cannot see or touch (e.g., love, air). Overall, the concept of God makes sense to me. The universe had to come from somewhere, and things have to be exactly the way they are for life to even exist. That tells me that there is a creator and designer.
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I didn't become a Christian until around the time I was getting dx'ed (about 40). I think I didn't become one earlier because I couldn't understand all the metaphors and so much of the bible is metaphor. I have only started to understand ritual and its significance in the last couple of years. Music and silence always seemed sacred to me. I don't attend a church and I'm not evangelical, so that cuts out a lot of the people contact stuff for me, phew.
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Non-Autistic people can actually learn from some autistic people. For example Autistic spectrum people examine details and are a people of "continuity". Now let's look and see how important it is to examine details and how important continuity is! First of all God is a Loving yet, “EXACTING God". His Word is Exacting, His nature is Exacting. He says what He means and means what He says. He/His Word is the perfect Judge. We are to "examine ourselves"....
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Back in the early 1970's when I was in the 4th grade I was tested for Autism and other learning disabilities. My parents were never told any diagnosis, but I was placed in special ed classes for the next 5 years. My family was not religious until I was 15. I became a Christian to follow my parents. I read the bible and took it very literally, more so then the others. We where what would be termed today as "Evangelical". I quickly learned that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had many similarities and would read them in comparison. I found lots of differences and had many notebooks listing them in tabular form (I love tables) This made church and family members mad and I was told that it was bad and evil to read and dissect the bible in such a way. It's who I am, how I work and understand things. he did not understand this. As I grew I took an interest in near-east myths. I found more comparisons to make tables for. I myself had problems as I grew older with the bible. As a literal person, I could not take the bible as anything inspired, but very much contrived and re-contrived by men. That now has been many years ago. My first big problem with the bible was oddly enough about slavery. The bible treating it no differently than any other bronze or early iron aged culture did. I still read the bible every day and night, as it is one of my hobbies, but now all of my tables are in computer data bases.
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I am a 24 year old from England who has recently found out he may have Aspergers Syndrome. I'd love to talk to other Christians who have Aspergers Syndrome.
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Christianity in general seems to equate being a good Christian with being a social extrovert. "Jesus reached out to sinners, and so we should too," we are told. Evangelicalism also emphasizes community, small groups, and accountability (which I see as social control). Introverts, people with social anxiety, or those who have problems reaching out to others are made to feel as if they are not truly pleasing to God. And, of course, happy happy Christian extroverts get on my nerves anyway. So Christianity has its dark side, as far as I am concerned.
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From a Christian perspective, Autism/ Aspergers has been found to be the result of moms/dads with mental illness. They have not found a direct correlation between vaccinations - Autism/Aspergers. Knowing that, moms/dads with mental illness should responsibly think over their decision to pass it on to the kids.
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My 5 year old is on a waiting list for speech therapy, until then, I will do the best I can by God's Grace. I might consider taking him to an autism clinic, say once a week, but I will have to be there with him at all times! He is a very intelligent boy, but has trouble communicating and has several typical ritual behaviors that autistic spectrum people have. It would be nice for his dad to help too, but he has his own agenda in life, so I move on, God Bless.
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I was glad to read your messages, and see on who is truly desirous to know the depths of God's word, and not content to receive the promises of God without searching out the True depths of them. I was in a forum for those with Aspergers who consider themselves Christian, but I found that many were not Christian, although labeled themselves as such. I left the group because of their having, in the main, left the word of God....
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I teach kids with special needs. Often I come across the opinion that religion is not for people with special needs. I am studying how to make the teaching of RE more meaningful in schools, specifically for autistics. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on the matter! Particularly - what you find meaningful about your faith, and how faith could be taught in a way that fitted with autism.
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It's who you are, you are not hurting anybody, so don't feel guilty, just say things in a polite way and they'll understand, and if they do get upset, it's because you make them feel they made a mistake and it's kind of awkward for them, but just explain and say something like "don't worry I appreciate the gesture, it's just that I have this asperger disorder that makes me feel uncomfortable, that's all, no big deal".

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I was starting to think that I was the only other Christian on the autistic spectrum! I find it really hard to understand emotion but recently God came into my life and I understood what it meant to be loved by God. Just to understand this was a miracle for me. now i've devoted my whole life to him! I've got a serverly autistic friend who needs to find the love of christ. For her autism is a big barrier, but God's bigger then anything
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I am 20 years old, undiagnosed aspie, and, likely, also a bit ADD. My mom is ADD and my dad aspie, and my brother was diagnosed ADD, but has some aspie traits too. We are all Christian. I'm in college now and a Bible study leader. I've learned how to "blend in" with neurotypicals, but I don't have any other Chiristian aspies that I know of here to talk to. While I definitely do have a relationship with God, it can be very hard for me to connect with him in an emotional way and to hear him, mainly because I don't really know how to listen to him. Whenever I try and get advice, it's always from neurotypicals, and, thus doesn't really..."work" for me.... I would love to hear what other Christian aspies have to say....
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If it weren't for God my marriage wouldn't be were it is today. I've been married for 15 years and stayed in business for myself 12 years.
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It's a new journey. I am honored to be wired differently, but it does explain my daily struggle. I am 42 and was diagnosed with Aspergers in early 2007. I think I only have 50% of the symptoms.
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I am 44 years old and I am a Christian who loves Jesus and I am in the process of finding out from my doctor ADHD and Asperges. I prayed about this last week to God to show me the way cause I know there are behaviors about myself that have puzzled me. I have had depression most of my life. Jesus does not exclude anyone from the kingdom of God. God takes us as we are.
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I am in the process of being tested for Aspergers. I am 47. As a Christian, I thought rejection was all about spiritual warfare. But even Pastors told me there was something wrong with me. They could not put their finger on it though. I stopped going to church after 3 pastors did that. I have always felt victimized. Now I hope the understanding of Aspergers will help me to survive socializing. Any insight would be appreciated!
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I believe the Bible is filled with people with special needs. Joseph (Old Testament), I suspect, may have had Aspergers. Moses had a speech problem which led to his brother Aaron doing the speaking for him. Jeremiah definitely had some sort of depression.
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I don't have Aspergers, but my 15 yr old son does. My spouse wasn't diagnosed, but has many characteristics of Aspergers, also. We are all Christians. My child was only diagnosed at 13, so we are still learning about it. It would be nice to talk with others who have similar situations.
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I have a 10 yr.old son that is high functioning autistic.He recently gave his heart to God and though he has trouble socializing with others,when he does it is to evangelize and that is so awesome.He was baptized recently,although he doesn't like to go under water.Our pastor did a wonderful job of getting it done.He loves to sing Christian songs and has gotten up in front of our entire congregation to share his special way of worshipping.It has brought myself and others in church to tears to see him pouring his love out to God in a way that is comfortable to him.Kudos to Pastor Jeff for letting Ronnie do what he loves to do!
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God will accept anyone whose heart is pure, and if they have suffered any kind of disease from before birth, or after, God is loving and takes it all into account. The same as He surely forgives those who do not realize they have believed lies that were sent to deliberately deceive them.
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I myself have a very mild form of Aspergers. I am only 20 so I can be of help to those younger than myself. What I can say is usually we are pretty intelligent people. Most people don't even know I have it until I tell them. The cool thing about it is, the things we obsess on we usually excel beyond the normal level. The important thing is to always tell your loved one that are unique, not strange.
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I want to know how to connect with Christians that have Aspergers or have family members with AS. My 12 year old daughter was diagnosed three weeks ago and my 19 year old son probably will be. He has nearly every single symptom! I can't believe we never saw this before now. My spouse also has many of the symptoms and our marriage has been very difficult. We are both in social work and have had many clients with AS and were both surprised when our daughter was diagnosed that we had not see it before. I keep telling my kids that God has a plan for them just as he does for all of his kids and their AS is a part of that. That is very hard to see right now.
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I'm a Christian with formally undiagnosed Aspergers and I find it so hard to be accepted in church 'society' that at the moment, I don't go to a church but would really like to join a group that Kathy mentioned! Let me know! Sam
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I'm autistic (Diagnosed!) and I've had a strong bond with God ever since I was born. I love God and cannot imagine life without having such a good relationship with him. I thought I would share that with you.
Well by autistic I mean diagnosed with Aspergers. But they're not 100% sure I'm AS they think I may be High Functioning Autism.
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I have decided to home school my kids. Most people just don't understand Autistic people, whether they are high functioning or low functioning. It can be very difficult to deal with them at times, but I have put this in God's Hand's. --Mrs. Smith
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Where I can, I try to put other peoples' needs before my own. Think that's the Christian thing to do. For me, the core of Christianity is about selfless service to others. If anything, my conscience is simply a tool to tweak me when I get it wrong.
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My Autisic Child at the age of 3 1/2- 4 one day saw me holding the Bible and pointed to It, and said "JESUS", I didn't teach him these things yet! Now this is a young "autistic young person" that can't even talk that well, and he had it right, yet many Adult's don't even get It! The very young and innocent never fail to amaze me!
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Well, once I found an e-message after my mom died, asking someone if I might have Aspergers. I looked it up. The characteristics were so descriptive of me. But also I noted how they all somehow were related to how I knew I can be into myself and not able to deal with things not going my way. And God had been dealing with me already about all this. So, I saved some money and time, by confessing this to Him and trusting Him for His correction and healing so I would become first attentive to Him and caring about all others as myself. His love cures us into His personality of how He is loving (1 John 4:17).
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Yes, and I had been wondering the same thing. Of course, I knew there had to be but did we have a voice? I'm glad to see this here as well as other sites. I have 2 kids on the spectrum, one with Aspergers and one with that vague and frustrating pddnos. I deal with behavior problems that I would like advice on from a Christian perspective.


More comments:

Anonymous said... God may choose to cure the Pastor too
Anonymous said... It seems very narrow minded.
Anonymous said... That is so presumptuous and adds an element of judgment to illness that is really just gross. When I was a kid, my grandmother had a priest to perform an exorcism to get rid of my epilepsy. I don't see how what the pastor is proposing is any different - jest less theatrics.
Anonymous said... The thing that makes me so sad about these type of pronouncements is that there is incredible grace in accepting things the way they are. If anyone lives their life on the basis that things will be better when ... they never fully live in the present and maximise all the blessings that already exist. I do believe the God heals today but He doesn't seem to do it very often but He does help us to live the best life possible with what we've got.
Anonymous said... I don't listen to such gobshitery
Anonymous said... if you were created by God, aren't you just the way you're supposed to be? Maybe s/he needs to learn acceptance.
Anonymous said... ur angry maybe because u know in your heart you ARE normal. this is your normal. it doesn't have to be anyone else's. Trust your heart & all others must prove themselves to u. b strong.
Anonymous said... Whilst I do believe that God can cure people with various illness, I do agree that all should be accepted and I hate the word "normal", what ever that is. I too was told that all I had to do was pray and my illness would be taken away. However, a lot earlier, I had a blessing from an Elder in my Church who said that the problem would not be taken away, but I would be given the strength to cope with it and that I was loved just as I was.
Anonymous said... You should be angry!


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