Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rejecting God: Atheism and Autism

 My latest for Times of Israel


I want to introduce you to a term of art, “autism syndrome behavioral study of the week.” There is generally some new study into autism every few months. Most of them detail what may cause autism, why autistics may do certain actions, and who is best able to handle every autism–related issue that abounds (usually the individuals who did the study of course).  Unless it’s a hard science discussion about autism, something that may truly help my boys, I generally shake my head and just say “whoopsidoodle.”

In fact, as a mom dealing with autism issues, I usually don’t wait for the latest revelation from the behavioral sciences ivory towers. They don’t tell me anything I don’t already know. I think to myself, heck I could have told the talking-heads the same thing as the study reported, and charged half as much as the researchers. You see my research is on-going and most of it has already taken place over the last two decades. I call it, life in the autism-fast-lane.

Now the real interesting aspect about the research that is done into autism behavior is that we, the parents and those self-advocates on the spectrum, have been ready, willing and able to tell the autism gurus the truth about behavioral issues and outcomes. But does anyone listen to us? Nope. It’s truly about time someone who has some pull did just that. Ask us and we will tell you the whys, wherefores and the whatnots. If the Phds want we will even let them take the credit for the study in its entirety as long as it is something that helps the majority of those in the autism community.

Furthermore, it’s also a question of what do you do with the study? Does anyone actually act upon any of the findings or do they just chalk it up to scientific research, put it on their resume and apply for another grant? How do these research studies actually benefit the average person with autism? Do these studies actually change society in anyway? Perhaps that should be part of the grant proposal. “How is your research actually going to benefit the day-to-day life of someone who lives on the autism spectrum?” Answer the necessity of that question and you get some of those very very very rare research dollars.

Unfortunately one of the rather more useless studies, to have emerged from the minds of Phds is to tell us that those with autism have the propensity to be atheists. Really, you don’t say. What a shock that people who operate with literal minds can’t and won’t take the leap into the realm of faith. So once again, how does this waste of time and money actually provide supports and programs for those adults on the spectrum?

Moreover, the study, interestingly enough, also missed out on one big factor. For some, like my oldest, it’s not about literal reality versus faith. It is about the feeling of abandonment. God’s abandonment. Not because he has aspergers. Quite on the contrary. He is very happy to have an autism spectrum disorder. His anger at God is something entirely different. Something not even related to himself, well not directly anyway.

Read the rest HERE.