Today is the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. According to the Light It Up Blue awareness- and fund-raising campaign:
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are lifelong developmental disabilities which are characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication, repetitive interests, behaviours and sensory sensitivities. The word ‘spectrum’ is used to describe the wide range and severity of difficulties people with ASD experience.
Many people are affected by ASD—current estimates are about 1 in 100. However, research is still in its infancy; the disorder is multifaceted, and as a result it is often hard to diagnose.
Our family has a personal interest in all of this. One of own our children has been diagnosed with ASD. She has particular difficulty in processing sensory inputs (touch, taste, hearing, smell, etc.); as a result, she finds the physical and social world more difficult to navigate than most, and sometimes gets frightened and distressed by it. She needs extra help dealing with day to day activities. Like any family who lives with a person with a disability, our family is subject to challenges and limitations which can at times be frustrating for us all.
But we believe in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel message gives us a powerful means to navigate and deal with the sadness, the limitations and challenges that arise from our little girl’s ASD. Here are some examples:
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