One of the things I have been amazed by is how much autism affects one’s senses. The way my child sees, hears, tastes, smells and touches the world around her is so unique. It is a gift, in many ways, because when she intently gazes at a blade of grass, I believe she sees patterns and details that I will never notice. But her senses are also troubling to her – sometimes too strong, sometimes too weak, rarely in between. And for so many reasons, this makes it difficult for her to relate to the people around her.
When her back is turned and she is a million miles away, I yearn to reach her. My arms are literally outstretched. Sweet child, I want to see you. I want to hear you. I want to touch you. I want to know you.
I am determined to see God in new ways as we walk down Autism Road. Those of us affected by autism know how cherished and precious those “connections” are with our children – that moment when we are truly experiencing something of them and they are experiencing something of us. Maybe it’s as simple as a shared laugh, a mutual understanding, a social game, an exchange of high-fives, but it means the world to us. Perhaps, then, we have the perfect basis for understanding God’s very desire to relate to us, His children. See My “Runaway” Bunny.
God created us to have a relationship with Him. From the first page of the Bible to the last is documentation of the lengths God went to to have a close relationship with each one of us. Whether you realize it or not, God continually pursues us to know Him and communicate with Him.
I thought it would be interesting to examine each of the five senses (who knew those kindergarten lessons would be so handy) in the context of autism and, more importantly, in the context of God’s ultimate goal of having relationship with us.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalms 139:7-10 (NIV)
First up: Sense of Vision – Eye Contact