Autism Diversity

Posted by Rebecca Black on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 Under: Autism Parents
Recently someone asked why we see A Special Grace as a Ministry of Evangelism and Mission. "After all, they said,"its really a wealthy white family phenomenon." You can imagine my reaction.

Even setting aside (with difficulty) the outrageous racism in presuming that "Mission" is only applied to ministries engaged with non-white populations (a whole other blog post!), the presumption of whiteness in autism spectrum diagnoses is..well...weird.

There's no reality to it.

A British Journal of Psychiatry study paper stated: "Mothers born outside Europe had a significantly higher risk of having a child with an autism-spectrum disorder compared with those born in the UK, with the highest risk observed for the Caribbean group ... Mothers of Black ethnicity had a significantly higher risk compared with White mothers ..."

A 2010 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network*  as shown on the National Institute for Mental Health page on Autism and Ethnicity shows the highest incidence of Autism amongst the Hispanic community.

So this weird perception of Autism Spectrum Disorders as somehow being a cause célèbre of a group of predominantly white families is just that...weird.

I wonder if this strange perception has come about by the constant media presence of a few white celebrities? If so, I'd love to direct some of that attention to outstanding parent celebrities like Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete.

Those of us who know and love and work with people on the Autism Spectrum understand there is a distinct "lunatic fringe" around our issues. In the absence of hard science or hard facts to explain the causes of autism and its rapid growth in prevalence, many theories, "cures" and "treatments" are touted.

We believe that many Christian Church worshiping communities, because of ignorance or misinformation, are not yet able to fully embrace people on the Autism Spectrum. We believe that most worshiping communities do not yet understand the impact of the sensory or social aspects of being Church on people on the Autism Spectrum.

And our mission is to change the Christian Church in those aspects. Not to change people on the Autism Spectrum. Not to "heal" or "cure," but to provide a nurturing and supportive worshiping congregation for families right now -- while we try to spread our awareness to other worshiping communities for the future.

It seems pretty simple to us really. We love the Church. We believe ALL God's people should be welcomed in the Church. And we want to make it so.

In : Autism Parents 

Tags: ethnicity and autism