Any other Autistic Catholics?


#1

Hi i’m a Catholic whose been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (form of Autism), Just wondering if there are any more of you out there? and if so how do you cope?


#2

I have read and seen television shows on Asperger’s but am not sure if I understand the syndrom completely…would you mind explaining it to us? Thank you so much. And please keep me in your prayers.


#3

Aspergers syndrome is a nurological condition (offshot of Autism) that severely impairs social skills, often leads to hightend intelligence and problems wtih recognising non-verbal siginals i.e Body Language.


#4

Hi 123defiant,

I’m a Catholic who has also been diagnosed with Aspergers. Incredibly my conversion to Catholicism and diagnosis of Aspergers occurred within a matter of weeks of each other in the middle of 2006. In respect of the Aspergers, for the previous 43 years of my life I had considered myself to be neuro typically normal, albeit somewhat eccentric and anxious. Following a major depressive episode I sought answers to a number of questions, not least of which pertained both to my spirituality and my psychological state.

In retrospect I now realize that God was with me during the whole of the depressive episode and that the suffering that I experienced brought forth very positive results. On what with hindsight I now know to have been the first night of my breakdown (in late August 2005) I was unable to sleep. All night long I experienced an image of Jesus and found myself constantly saying the Lord’s Prayer. I was totally frustrated and incredibly annoyed that this image of Jesus would not be expunged from my mind. I hadn’t prayed for years and had no idea why thoughts of Jesus should suddenly and inexplicably consume my mind. Notwithstanding this, that night’s strange events quickly dissipated from my memory and I did not recall them again until after my conversion which occurred quite inexplicably around 9 months later. It was then that I realized that Jesus had been with me that night and that by his very presence he was assuring me that he would be with me throughout the forthcoming ordeal, which of course I was blissfully unaware of at the time. Perhaps the “night with Jesus” was just a psychotic episode, although I’d like to think not. All that has transpired thereafter has passionately reeked of God’s grace and love.

The answer to the question of how I cope with Aspergers would require a very lengthy discourse. That being said, I’m only slowly beginning to understand Aspergers and how it affects me. Catholicism and Aspergers is certainly an important and thought provoking topic, and one that I think little has been written about. It sounds like a great blog idea.

Good luck and God bless. I’d love to hear more from a fellow “Aspie” and be able to similarly share. :signofcross:


#5

123Defiant… we suspect one of my sons has this. We have asked our doctor, but most doctors are sadly misinformed or uninformed about it. So we went through some other testing for learning disabilities with my son. They diagnosed him as dyslexic which he may have in addition to Aspergers. They seem to think his awkward social behavior is caused by his insecurity over his reading. He has also been diagnosed as ADHD, ADD, and a slew of other things… the funny thing is that I was more on the right track with his diagnosis when he was 4 I had his hearing tested and talked to the specialists about autism because he was so sensitive and often complained that his ears hurt when he was around prolonged loud noises.

My son is now 18 and for the first time, he is taking an interest in friends and social gatherings. He has also gotten much better at social interaction since he got a Zune… no idea why except maybe through sound therapy and making himself less sensitive to noises. I have heard the research on this is questionable, but it seems to have helped my son alot.

For those of you who don’t know…
Autistic and aspergers patients often complain of confusion and agitation from repetitive or loud noises. There is an experimental therapy that makes the patient listen to loud and repetitive noises in an effort to desensitize them and in many cases listening to loud rap, punk, or hard rock seems to work to make them less sensitive to noise and for some reason, it also makes it much easier for them to assimilate into societal norms of behavior.

Some doctors totally dispute this but others really believe it works… all I can say is that my son has complained all his life about loud noises hurting his ears and when he was around noises he did get very agitated and disoriented. When he became the teenager with the mp3 stuck in his ear all the time, his behavior became more social, his concentration level went up, He is doing better in school… he was always very smart but he couldn’t get certain concepts. I remember fighting with one of his teachers about their chapter on slang… He failed miserable because he took everything literally… a chip off the old block literally meant something akin to a pebble broken off a boulder.
Kids like this are often described as black and white… no grey… which was a perfect description of my son from about 2 yrs old…


#6

Oh… Sorry… Vivian brought out a good point I missed… the sleeplessness… that is a major symptom since it affects the disposition when you walk around exhausted but people label you as lazy because you fall asleep at weird times.


#7

Hello, Defiant. Here is another Asperber, Catholic born and bred.
The diagnosis was fairly accidental in my case. I was idly reading a small book for children on Asperger’s and showed it to my wife.
"Oh, yeah. The girls and I read that too. They all said, ‘Daddy!’"
I have since had it confirmed by a therapist. No wonder I was on Valium after a few months of trying to be a classroom teacher in a high school. (Many years ago.)
Coping? I fell by “accident” into being a mechanical designer. I design special machinery, tooling, etc. As an example of how things can be, one day I looked up from a drawing I was working on and I was completely disoriented temporally. I didn’t know what day, month or even season it was. I had to look out the window to see the countryside to get my bearings.
The standing joke in the family is "I live in my own little world. But it’s okay because they know me there."
I live in Orlando and make it a point to stay away from the theme parks. The crowds drive me nuts. I’m exhausted just from an evening out. Too much contact with people who expect you to interact. Phooey on other people’s expectations.

Matthew


#8

I was wondering if anybody would like to share about dewaling with autism or have just found out that their child has autism and they do not know where to turn for help or support.
Autism is a developmental disorder which is being diagnosed much more frequently today than it was ten years ago. Previousl,y autism was thought to be a rare condition, occurring in two to five out of every ten thousand births. Currently, the CDC estimates the incidence to be approximately one in one hundred and fifty births. It is not clear*why there is such a large increase in the percentage of new cases every year since the early nineties. Some theorize that it is because the diagnostic criteria has been broadened, or that there is a better awareness and identification of new autism cases, while others theorize that there is a true increase in the actual incidence, related to some environmental factor. Autism is frequently referred to as a "spectrum disorder," meaning that someone can be afflicted severely or mildly, or to any degree in between. A mild form of autism is called Asperger's Syndrome, in which a person has relatively normal cognitive and language abilities. In Asperger's Syndrome,a person's social abilities*are impaired. Even people with the mildest forms of autism can be severely handicapped by the disorder without appropriate treatment. For example, many people with Asperger's syndrome have great difficulty in daily living skills, relationships, and employment. The diagnosis of autism is made based on testing and observation by a specialist such as a Developmental Pediatrician, a Child Psychologist, or a Pediatric Neurologist. Children with autism exhibit a series of abnormalities and delays--typically in communication, social, self-help, cognition, and play. They often display self-stimulatory behaviors such as rocking, hand flapping, spinning, toe-walking, and lining up of objects. Sometimes they engage in repetitive and ritualistic behaviors, and have odd body movements. Autistic children often appear to be far more interested in things than people. Parents frequently think their child with autism is deaf because he or she will not answer when called. Some children with autism are aggressive to others, throw frequent severe tantrums, or display self-injurious behaviors. Children with autism often do not understand facial expressions or gestures and often display non-typical eye contact. About a third of all children with autism appear to develop normally or nearly normally in infancy, only to regress during the toddler months. Certain rare diseases can cause autistic behaviors, such as Rhett's syndrome,Fragile X,*or Tuberous Sclerosis. However, in the vast majority of cases of autism, there is no discernable cause. One thing researchers do know is*that there is a strong genetic predisposition towards the disorder. There is a greater (though relatively small) likelihood of having a second child with autism if you already have one child with the disorder. To date, there is no cure for autism, though researchers are coming closer to determining what goes wrong in the developing child's brain, which might give us clues as to possible medical treatments in the future. In the meantime, many children are benefiting from a form of therapy known as Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention, to the point that they are achieving normal or near-normal functioning; something that was never thought of as possible ten or fifteen years ago. Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder, which means that for most of those afflicted, autism is lifelong. However, with early intensive behavioral intervention, some children have actually had their autism diagnosis removed; something that was once thought of as impossible.
Shalom:
Ed Fisher


#9

I personally have Asperger’s. It can be very difficult and hard to explain (atleast from someone who doesn’t have quite that good of a conversational skills). It’s sorta like being colorblind and watching a rainbow, you see it but you don’t see all of it. yet it’s differant cause there’s a possibility that with the proper training, you can see it in the future.


#10

hello: I have a son Philip who is 27 years old. Some time time ago bemoaning the fact that he is autistic of the Asperger’s variety he wondered why God would have done this “evil” to him. Since then he questions his existence and from time to time abhors anything Catholic outside of Mass on Sundays. I wonder what’s going to happen to him after I’m(age 58) gone. How can anybody minister to a case like this. How would I approach him? Any help is appreciated:shrug:


#11

I have a relative with Asperger’s, and I have learned that it can be a really POSITIVE thing. They’re just extremely intelligent, analytical, truthful, and very loyal. It does help to read books about it, though. Then you can learn how to communicate better with the person…


#12

I’m 32 with Aspergers and I’m sort of in this boat. I don’t have any hostile feelings toward God, but I can’t say I “love” God. I believe God exists, but I don’t feel like I have any connection to him. My Aspergers, and I want to emphasize that it’s my symptoms because the spectrum is huge, makes it hard for me to make and keep relationships with people and God. When I pray and ask for God’s guidance and help and I get no “response” I don’t get mad, I just stop doing it. If I call a friend and leave and he doesn’t answer and I leave voicemail. He doesn’t call back, so I try again, still no response, after a while this, I quit calling.

I go to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligations, and try to avoid mortal sin, but that’s about it.


#13

That sounds like good common sense to me…

About God not responding-- sometimes God’s answer to our prayers is “no” or “you’ll have to wait and see.” :slight_smile:


#14

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