Tag Archives: autism

Facts and Fiction: 10 “impressive” things (I may have done)

by monteregina FLICKR

Okay, when you become wildly famous, rumors circulate, and some of them must be dispelled. I wouldn’t know much about that.

Just have some fun with this:

1. I invented Pop Tarts

Fiction. But I do like them.

2. I am an illegal alien of African descent.

Fiction. I was born in Puerto Rico, but the island is an American Territory. African descent? My Nana was a bit mum and shifty-eyed on that.

3. I’ve been hit by a bus.

Fact. I’m writing about that right now. Your appetite is now whetted, yeah?

4. Author Donald Miller wrote me a personal note.

Fact. It involved something about Paraguay and paper, but I don’t want to embarrass him too much at the moment.

5. I wrote Hebrews.

Fiction. But, It’d be great to write a book about my husband who makes me coffee each morning, and it could be called, He-brews: All about Hymns and Hers. (Okay, that’s but a working title) Also, I wrote a mediation in the Holy Bible: Mosaic. But, that’s not really the same thing, is it?

6. I’ve been shot out of a canon.

Fiction. But, I’ve both shot a Canon (camera), and written about the (biblical) canon.

7. I’m allergic to bananas.

Faction… half-in-half. Unripe bananas make the roof of my mouth feel like it’s sort of dry, splitting open, and raw. Ripe bananas? No problem.

8. I’m bilingual.

Let’s not get carried away.

9. My son can count cards, like Rainman.

Fiction. Nathan has autism, but his cool savant-type of qualities are limited to paper 3D models and legos. (So far, not all that marketable.)

10. I’ve stayed in Prague.

Fact. And I like to call it Praha.

Now you try.

1. List 1 fiction and 1 fact, and we’ll make a guess.

2. Guess what the photo is.

Lifestyle Design-Hot Tip (Pimp your celly)

No one will ever confuse me with Lifestyle Design guru, and polymath Tim Ferriss, but I have a cool tip that could save you a bunch of time if you own a mobile phone.

Messages...messages...messages AHHHHhhhh

Have you ever tried to reach someone quickly, and had to call every phone they have? As you hear the ringing sound you basically shoot up little prayers, in hopes they will answer, “Oh, God, please God, let her pick up!” It’s got begging written all over it. Then you end up leaving one message per device, and wondering if or when they’ll get the message, and which one message will it be. Was the first one too frantic? Did you skip any info. on the third try? And when might they call you back? Yikes~”What if he left his phone in the car, and doesn’t get the message until he gets home? Ahhh.”

This JUST happened to me as I tried to contact my son’s autistic therapy program manager. I still haven’t heard from her. It’s a crap shoot…

Well, in typical fashion, Google as a free way to streamline and simplify this whole system and situation, seamlessly. The application will even turn phone messages into texts and send them to you. I like that one! I’m about to give it a try, if you do, let me know. If this seems like a helpful idea for your life, you might want to check out their short info video, and be dazzled by the wonders of technology, here –> Google/voice

Tim Ferriss, are you proud of me, or what?

(Nancy Eiesland) ‘The Disabled God’ -How do we define “normal”?

In reality, all of us “healthy” or “normal” people can more aptly call ourselves, “the temporarily able-bodied.”

Theologian, sociologist, and author Nancy Eiesland was wheelchair bound since childhood. She surprised many when she said she hoped to be disabled in heaven. She died at age 44 of congenital lung cancer, but not before she made huge inroads for the Rights and Dignity of the Disabled, and penned a groundbreaking book about understanding disability, and suffering, in light of God, and his nature.

Nancy Eiesland 1965-2009

Article excerpt on Eiesland from the “Scotsman” publication:

By the time of her death, Eiesland had come to believe God was disabled, a view she articulated in her influential 1994 book, The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability. She pointed to the scene described in Luke 24:36-39 in which the risen Jesus invites his disciples to touch his wounds.

“In presenting his impaired body to his startled friends, the resurrected Jesus is revealed as the disabled God,” she wrote. God remains a God the disabled can identify with, she argued – he is not cured and made whole; his injury is part of him, neither a divine punishment nor an opportunity for healing. FULL ARTICLE HERE

Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability

God and Disability

Nathan, like many who experience Autism, often doesn't like having his picture taken. (Later, he saw this photo, and thought it was funny.)

Currently I am taking a rather fascinating class delving into the topic of God and Suffering, called “The Theology of Suffering.” For my final project, I am taking on a specific topic under that category–Disability.

I’m endeavoring to uncover questions like, “Why does God allow children, and adults, to suffer with disabilities?” “Is disability part of God’s plan, or part of what’s broken and wrong in the world?” “What place do the “disabled” have in “God’s Story”?” “How can care-givers of those with disabilities view this type of suffering in light of what God has done, what he is doing, and what he will do?” And some other questions.

In 2001, when my son started to struggle with a rather severe case of regressive autism, I wondered not just what was going on with him, but why? What was the point? I have to say, it all seemed like a mistake. My faith was shaken; not because I thought I should be able to have the child of my dreams, (this was a sad part of it too,) but because seeing my child suffer so badly made me question what God was really like. After a period of grieving, I had to find out more.

Nathan made a paper Nativity set at Christmas

Our son went from meeting all his developmental milestones ahead of time (rolling over, sitting, walking, talking), to not even answering to his own name for days on end, not reacting to pain in any normal way, not speaking to us, and not even calling us “Mommy” and “Daddy” any longer. I didn’t know where to turn, on many levels, and I wondered why God would want to kill me by breaking my heart, day-by-day, as my son sank into frustration, fear, pain, and despair. At times I felt hopeless.

We don’t live near family, and I’d like to say our church, and other Christians, were helpful, but almost no one reached out in any way that was truly or consistently supportive, or meaningful. Experiencing disability and struggle has a way of isolating us, and creating more hopelessness to wade through.

Instead, the opposite can be true. The disabled have much to teach us about hospitality, a characteristic of God, both individually and as a community.

The primary text I’m reading for my research is Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas E. Reynolds. What an interesting book!

Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality -Thomas E. Reynolds

Here are a few nuggets I’ve gathered:

• The “disabled” are a picture of human weakness and vulnerability, from which we can learn about the human condition, and God himself. They teach us about the goal of Reliance, versus our misguided and typical goal of “independence.”

• These people are at the center of God’s love, and made in God’s image, they display attributes of God. They help us to see the true nature of God–One who made himself weaker and vulnerable, and still is vulnerable to us. (This vulnerability is epitomized in the historical event, and saving action of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary.)

• The “disabled” give us the opportunity to learn, practice, and experience hospitality, and “do for God” (Matt: 25:40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”)

This is a topic close to my heart. Uncovering more about it has helped me to not just understand my son, and his struggles better, but to understand God, his character, and his intentions.

Now I’m wondering, “Is it time to write a book on this?”

Please leave your thoughts on this topic, or comment in any way.

May God bless your heart,

Lisa


10 years ago, today

 

Now, Nathan must use every finger digit to show his age.

 

It was ten years ago today after 14 hours of labor, on an unseasonably 70º day that Nathan came into this world, as our  healthy first born child.

A decade of joy, pain, struggle, triumph, and rewards followed that day. Lots of interventions and therapy of various kinds for his autism. Nathan continues to show us he is one amazing person. He is a special child, and a precious gift from God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving 

God,

Your faithfulness is everlasting. You love endures.

You bind our wounds and cure the hurts of our hearts.

You make each day sweeter, and give us all we need.

Your abundance overwhelms me and dives into my soul.

Thank you for your provision. 

Thank you for your strength.

Thank you for your mercy, and steadfast love.

Thank you for Nathan.

Amen.

change, “The Little Car”

My son, as many of you know, is autistic. Change is very hard for him. He exemplifies what many of us feel at times of change, but in the extreme.

On Saturday, when he was away at a therapy program, we had to scrap our Toyota Paseo of 13 years. It was 17 years old, ran well over 169,000 miles, and finally the engine went.

Nathan had wanted to clean and fix the car (himself), and when he saw it was gone, it broke his heart, and he cried a broken-hearted cry for quite a bit. Yesterday, at breakfast he sang a song, of mourning,

“I miss you Little Car. I miss you so much. I miss you Little Car, I do…”

We salvaged the license plate, and he was happy for this. He colored two pieces of paper similar to the color of the car, and had Tim, my husband, attach the plate to it. Today, he took it to school to show his class, and tell the tale. It seemed to bring some closure for him, even as we discussed these plans.

Even though change is inevitable, it seems to me that some ritual is important to journey through change. Nathan is a good teacher. He feels things very deeply, and sometimes his tenderness, even towards machines, reminds the rest of us, that bonds can grow tight, and separation hurts the heart. It’s not something to just “get over,” but rather something to swim through, like mud, sometimes.

Below are some pictures of Nathan’s friend, and our family transportation for the last 13 years, The Little Car.

What rituals, or ways of transitioning, have helped you or others during loss?