Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Why God Made Joey Autistic

Because I just love abfh, and we seem to be having a conversation going... but I've been reminded of this question a lot lately. Note that I said "reminded of", not "thinking about."

But why go traight to the point? That wouldn't be any fun.

We were back at Kluge today- not for Joey, but for Andy. Andy has been doing some things that are very unusual and worrisome- like sudden meltdowns and violent temper bursts, echoing, and toe-walking. He's having trouble with articulation and sensory integration. I have him signed up for speech therapy and he's in therapeutic listening and some OT each week. We wanted to be sure this was all he needed.

The conclusion is that the articulation, motor planning, and sensory problems are all resulting in frustration. He's interacting well and has solid language, if you can understand him. IN other words, he's neurotypical. I just suck as a parent.

On the way home, there is a store that I frequent- when I was living in Charlottesville, I was there WAY too much, and got to know some of the salespeople very well, including my friend Mary. We stopped on our way home to say hi, and I told her about the trip.

Mary is very dear to me. She is a breast cancer survivor, and even in the worst of it, had time to listen about my dissertation, then my kids. She's a very sweet, caring person, and I love her to peices. However, she did say something- and says it most times I see her- that always makes me blink: "I'm sure God has a special place for you in Heaven!"

My first thought is always, "Why?"

My second thought is the reminding of that immortal question, "Why did God make Joey autistic?" It is a question that hung in the air when I was tracking down a Sunday School for Joey, and bounces about when I talk to religious friends. I have no answer for it. I have no idea. I haven't been reading God's mind lately, sorry. He's been sending some hints, but nothing simple seems to be in store. That's a good thing. I would like to think part of the reason he is autistic is what abfh says she is here for: "to kick our society's prejudiced ass." As important as this is, I certainly hope he is here for so very much more. What I have learned from Joey seems to be just a bonus along the way; I am honored to have been blessed with Joey and Andy, and may I be blessed with more.

Perhaps more interesting to me is the question, "Why did God make Andy NOT autistic?" I have no more answer for this than I have for the former question, and for the same reason. I talk to God a lot, but He doesn't tell me everything, and nothing straight out in words. Words are, after all, a very human invention, and convention. A wonderful, useful invention; but human all the same, with human limitations. Trying to use words to talk about God with a literal-minded person is often futile, because they can't understand language used on the slant. Personally, I hope Andy is also here to kick prejudice in the shorts. But that's just me.

God made Joey autistic. That is the way he is. God made Andy neurotypical. That is the way he is.

Thank God.


kristina said...

I'm just thankful to have my boy and the tools to do what I can for him, and friends and fellow travelers to share the road.

Maddy said...

I have four toe walkers = two sons, a brother and a husband.
Now if someone could just explain to me how it is possible to bounce on a trampoline on tippy toes for over 30 minutes without getting cramp [I tried it myself[] that would be some kind of miracle.