asd · autism · christianity

Autism Is Perfect

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Tuesday, April 23, I was featured as a guest writer on Jennifer A. Janes. I wrote an article, “Autism Is … Perseverance”, about D and his determination to finish whatever it is he is trying to do – good or not so good – although his intentions usually are good.

Tuesday, April 23, is also the day I realized that Autism is not only perseverance. While perseverance is good, autism is perfect.

Autism Is Perfect

Autism is Perfect

Autism is a gift given to D by God. God knew, before he even formed D in his biological mother’s womb that he would have autism and that he would have a difficult childhood. Autism is not D, but D has gifts that come with autism, which came from God.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made;
 your works are
wonderful,
 I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13-14 

Autism is Perfect

From the outside looking in, autism looks ugly. It looks like explosive tantrums, controlling behavior, disrespectful attitudes, willful disobedience, and more.

From the inside looking deeper, autism looks perfect. It is a fear of the unknown, a fear of the known, an inability to process the world around him the way that the people around him do. Autism is a child who wants to do right, but so many times his brain cannot communicate the way it does in other people and the right thing becomes wrong – whether intentional or not.

Autism is Perfect

Autism is a child who looks at his Mommy and asks what’s wrong. Autism is a child who sits down and puts his head in Mommy’s lap to be loved and have his back rubbed. Autism is a child who sees his Mommy is feeling bad and takes his younger siblings to his room to watch a movie and color. Autism is a child with a heart for other people despite the so called professionals saying he would always lack empathy.

Autism is Perfect

Autism is special moments. Those moments with D that I cannot find in other ways. It creates opportunities to discuss favorite foods, what’s for dinner, and why he likes the game he is playing at the moment. Autism creates opportunities for D and me when he does not realize he wants to talk, but sits down for discussions that become bigger than I can handle and I must ask God for words.

Autism is Perfect

Autism is a little boy full of creative juices and a desire to share those with other people. Autism is a little boy who wants to fit in, but isn’t sure how, so he brings the basketball or football for recess. Autism is a little boy who makes friends, but more than that, wants to be a friend.

Autism is Perfect

Some days autism is not perfect, in fact some days autism is so far from perfect it makes me cry. Some days, autism is so far from perfect that it makes me say I cannot keep doing it. Some days, autism is so far from perfect that it makes me cry out to God for help just one second at a time. Those days, autism is perfectly difficult, but always a lesson to be learned. A lesson perfectly orchestrated by God, no matter how hard it is to understand.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 

And some days, Autism is Perfect

Then there are hard days at school. Started by making the right choice, but the frustration and anxiety is so intense that autism cannot be reigned back in. There are tantrums that would likely have ended in suspension for any other student, but suspension would be a win based on the desire to escape. Instead, the teacher understands and has the perseverance to work through the difficulty.

There is a calm after the storm until the perseveration (obsession) begins and it becomes more intense than what is really necessary.

Once everything is said and done, the anger and frustration, the lack of control, and the disappointment in the inability to control the autism ends with a child hiding under his bed…crying, refusing to come out, and convinced his parents are angry.

Mommy walked in, quietly talked him out from under the bed, and convinced him to sit up and talk for a minute. He took his nighttime medicine, and then it was time to eat. The perfect lesson was that disappointment and frustration do not equal anger.

Autism is Perfect

Autism is a child who was sent to the other room for dinner, but looked back and asked, Mommy, what’s wrong? After being told, nothing, just tired, three times, the child came back, sat down, and said, Mommy, you look like you are about to cry. What’s wrong, Mommy? Tell me…

Autism is a child who has a heart for people he loves and refused to take nothing for an answer. Autism is a child who sat down to listen to what was on his Mama’s heart.

Autism is a mommy who wanted to cry because her little boy realized the difference between sad and angry in a critical, emotionally driven moment.

Autism is the mommy telling her son that she is sad, she wants to know how to help him, but just doesn’t know what to do.

Autism is perfect

Autism is quiet, unexpected moments of time that can never be replaced. Autism is unexpected talks that involve hugs, tears, prayers, and promises of more prayers.

Autism is perfect, but God is more perfect.

God kept this little boy, gifted with autism, perseverant during my sadness. He made this little boy, gifted with autism, continue to ask if his Mommy was okay because God had bigger, more perfect plans for that moment in time.

D sat down beside me, we talked a little about what happened at school, we talked about ways to keep it from happening again. D and I moved from that conversation to one of prayer and one that was so big, only God could give me the answers.

D told me that God lives in his heart, he believes and trusts God, but then, through an angelic, baby’s tear stained face, he said, Mommy, I trust him and I believe him, but Mommy…I can never hear him talking to me. I want to hear his voice, I need to hear God’s voice, Mommy.

And through choked back tears, I prayed for God to reveal himself in a big way to my sweet boy. The one who is so misunderstood, even by me at times. The one who many consider to be bad and the one who many believe has little or no good in his heart. I prayed for God to reveal himself in such a way to my sweet boy that not only would he see God, but that the world would see God through my sweet boy.

Autism is perfect

Even though life is not perfect with autism, autism is perfect because it is our life. It is a set of gifts, when appreciated and embraced, that can reveal themselves to the world in a powerful way.

Autism is perfect because it was part of God’s perfect plan.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—
not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—
continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you to will and
to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:12-13 

10 thoughts on “Autism Is Perfect

  1. I cried. Loved this. Yes, God knew before D was even formed that he would have Autism. God never makes mistakes. D is going to do amazing things for God. He is already heading in the right direction. His heart is so full of love to his family. You have my prayers. *Hugs*

    1. Joy, thank you so much for your constant prayers for my family. We are studying the life of David in church right now. Today starts week 3, but the first two weeks I kept hearing God telling me that my D will be a man after God’s heart just like David was. It is tough at times, but I sure do love being able to rest in God’s promise.

  2. Lena, this…is perfect. It’s such a glimpse of God’s heart for D and for your family. I totally get what you’re saying, and I’d love to talk soon if we can since this is the point of the book I’m working on right now (not just for Autism, but ANYthing we feel is a weakness/deficit in us). Your story shows it so well and I’d love to include part of it if you’d be willing. With 1 in 80ish kids having Autism (and people figuring out more and more how many adults do, too!) this is a big deal. In any case, thank you for writing this. Such important, life-giving truth. You blessed me deep today, friend.

    1. Laurie, I’m so glad this post blessed you. I’d love to talk to you and of course you can use part of our story in your writing! I love you, dear friend! Call me or email me soon. 🙂

  3. Thank you for writing this, Lena. Just today, I was talking to my grumpy child, thinking, “Why can’t you see how important it is to be nice so that you will make friends!” Reading this tribute to D and the way God made him reminded me that my girl is perfectly made, regardless of how social or perky she is. I am listening to her make up a song about loving God and Cheetos and I know she is PERFECT.

    1. She loves God *and* cheetos? Yep, you have the perfect child! 😉 Seriously, I know the pain of wanting so desperately wanting them to see that they have to be kind and compassionate towards others to make friends, but they can’t/won’t be, but at the same time they want friends just as desperately as we want them to be nice to those around them….They want to be, I truly believe that, but it’s just so hard. *sigh* Love and prayers for you and your beautiful and perfect girl, Kate!

  4. Lena,

    Thanks for this today. I opened up my computer when I wasn’t planning to and here this was. So many times I find myself in the place where you are and feel so hopeless and helpless but yet like D I then watch mine come in and help a friend who is upset offering to play a different game with him to make him feel better. Bless you for your perseverance and your willingness to open your life and share.

  5. I’m blessed by your post; it brought me to tears. Thank you for such a powerful reminder on how privileged we are to be entrusted with the care and upbringing of the precious children God has created. They are each wonderfully and uniquely made. God is with us through every challenge and triumph, every tear and joy. He is faithful. I pray and know that God will continue to honor your heart and sustain and guide you as well as all of us on this journey of motherhood.

    1. Scarlett, thank you so much for your comment. I went back to re-read this post before replying to your comment. He has been up since 3:40, he decided to get up when he couldn’t sleep, and make breakfast. 5:20 was not the time I had planned to start my day, but once again, his beautiful and loving heart was shining. It amazes me that God entrusts me with these children, I am so inadequate. I cannot imagine parenting without God and His Word to guide me.

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