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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Autism

Updated: Jun 30, 2023



A Message from the Editor


Several years ago, I was privileged to be a member of SPRED Satellite Resource Center whose mission includes catechesis outreach to people with intellectual disabilities including autism and Down syndrome. There were lessons to be learned in communicating with autistics.

Be patient while having a conversation, giving the person time to answer.

Always strive to be encouraging and compassionate.

Be aware of the tendency by autistic people to speak at length which may require some gentle prompting or redirection.

Sustaining conversation can also be challenging Provide specific praise such as “I liked the way you waited for me before leaving the room” instead of a vague “good job” so they understand what behavior you are seeking from them.

I have interacted with several people with autism. They taught me many things about autism and I realized that with appropriate treatment, training, and support they can do or achieve the same goals as people without autism.


Pedophilia has been a major challenge to the Catholic Church and other religions that have paid tens of millions of dollars in penalties. It may be time for churches to invest in developing an effective test for active and latent pedophilia.


You may notice that in addition to our autism video is a video by Francis Etheredge on the human person which was so insightful that we added a new webpage titled Human Person where it would be permanently available.



A Quote to Remember

"Autistic kids are beautiful, unique flowers to God" by Pope Francis


Prayers


A prayer for global access to timely care for autism[1]:


“Queue Jumper!”


Dear Lord, Mother Mary and foster father, Joseph,

My name is “Autistic” – Even if you named me,

From my earliest days, calling me into existence,

Forming my being and raising me in the company

Of others, while keeping in touch yourselves.


I know that you are “family” and that you all

Understand my everyday needs and fears and

That you have extensive relatives in your care,

Including many, like me, whose needs are not

Visible to those who do not see the emotional

Heartbeats, fluctuating, unseen by a cardiogram.


But you know, better than I do, how coming into a

Crowded, busy room, can make it difficult for me to

Stay, especially if it is noisy, with flashing screens and

Non-stop talking videos, with people coming and

Going all the time, with or without walking aids,

Wheelchairs, mobile phones, even laptops and music,


Making it difficult, if not impossible, for me to stay!


You know that I could meet the doctor or the nurse

In the early morning, perhaps first, when all is fresh,

With even an empty, or almost empty room awaiting,

Before the talking video is turned on and the day-light

Is not too bright and busy to welcome the handicapped

Heart and the need for painstaking communication.


You know that if my leg were torn and bleeding, or

My wound was visible, gross, and painful, or my

Wealth walked ahead of me into a private clinic, or

My position was topping the ladder of importance,

Or my influence, in whatever way, accelerated entering,


I could be early, on-time or late and leapfrog the queue!


Oh Mary, your Mother, intercede for us whose wine

Has run out and whose lives are shrivelling with the

Closing walls of change, changing our securities into

Open fears and upsetting the routines which help us

To run our lives, even if our schedules can change and

We will adapt, little by little, to what is new as it grows

Familiar, safe and helpful, settling as if after a quake.


Dear Lord, Mother Mary and foster father Joseph,

In your ever extending extended family, help us to

Gather up the needs of others and to bring them to

You, to bless and inspire the help that we can give,

Imperfect as we are and better off if you grant us

Your compassionate ways, simple suggestions and

More than glorious gifts that light the path to you.


by Francis Etheredge Profiles in Catholicism

author of the forthcoming,

to be published by En Route Books and Media, 2023


A Prayer of St. Francis for Autism

sun shining through trees on a dirt road

The silhouette of a person climbing on a mountain with the sun in the background

The silhouette of pine trees with blue sky in the background

Lord, let thy peace fill me up until I overflow;

that where people cannot speak, I may be their advocate;

that where anyone is rejected, I may extend my arms in welcome;

that where parents are heavy burdened, I may offer a word of comfort; that where our children struggle, I may lift them up and cheer; that where some see disability, I may reveal to them extraordinary gifts; that where others judge, I may share with them my deep gladness; and that where any are overlooked, I may help the lights of all to shine.

Oh giver of these gifts,

grant that I may not so much seek to be reassured as to reassure;

to be praised as to praise;

to be accepted as to accept;

for it is in all our uncertainty that we are inspired to hope;

it is in great challenges that we discover our greatest joys,

and it is in our community of wanderers that we find the way home.

Amen.

Tim Tucker

Both Hands and a Flashlight

Parenting, Autism, and the Pursuit of Being Awesome

Provided by the National Catholic Partnership on Disability Autism Task Force


Prayer for the Murdered Children in Uganda

God of life, we stand before the mystery of evil and death as we remember the school children killed in Uganda.

Let life prevail, let evil be stopped, let grieving yield to hope.

Make us instruments of your life and peace in this world, even in the small gestures of our life.

Let us hold each other and especially our children close to us

and pledge to protect and keep them with your help. Amen

by Father Louis Cameli Profiles in Catholicism


A Prayer for Evelyn K. Geer

Good and gracious God, We pray for the family who mourns the death of their child. Searchers discovered the lifeless body of a four-year-old autistic girl who had gone missing from her family’s rental home in Florida, officials announced on Friday. Evelyn K. Geer was reported missing at 1 a.m. on Friday, June 2, only to be found deceased six hours later in Port Charlotte, Florida. We ask you to bless and comfort the family and all that it entails. Be merciful and help them to find a peaceful place to live. Bless the child who is with you in heaven. Amen.

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism


Good and gracious God,

You brought Landon back to yourself quickly. It is his simple kindness that made you think of him. Please bless his parents and all his relatives in this time of sorrow for them. May their lives be filled with the knowledge that Landon is with you at peace and embraced in your loving arms by by

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for Alejandro Ripley

One Life Uprooted

Dear God the Father, Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth,

Your love loves each life into being, both fragile and firm,

Each beautiful, both burgeoning but inheriting a blemish,

Just as your love acts in the union out of which we spring,

So you enrich us with the many helps that, together,

Strengthen, colour and enhance our gift of life

Swelling, growing, expressing what is hidden –

Receive the sprouting seed, the seedling, the young plant,

Prematurely plucked from the soil that nourished it,

Tragically uprooted, not transplanted, withered not watered.

Dear Lord, Only Son of the Father, Merciful Redeemer of All,

You know the plight of parents, their struggles and strife,

The long hours and lonely difficulties that blight our lives,

You know both the delights and the temptations that would

Turn us back from the beginning that you planned and planted

Between us, as delicate as a fledgling plant, too helpless

To roam far and wide, too young to leave, too needy to be left –

Forgive the suppressing suffocation of the help we did not seek,

The terrible turning from the turn towards you to complete

What you began and wanted to flourish in the fullness of life.

Oh, Holy Spirit and Lord of Life, Gift from Gift and Help of All,

Turn us all to the help of each and everyone who lives:

Turn parents back to their children’s nurture and neediness,

Turn mother’s back from being lost in labyrinthine ways,

Turn father’s back to loving their wives and helping in the home,

Turn children back to discovering their good gifts, freely given,

Turn the family back to fostering the good of all.

Dear Jesus, Son of Mary and Child in the Care of St. Joseph,

You lived through the childhood of children,

Silently but significantly present, inviting us to remember

Your presence among us at all times and in any place –

Walk with us through all our joys and sorrows and

Show us, in ways unique to you, how to heal broken wounds

And accompany those untimely taken to the Father’s heart;

Dear Mary, Mother of the Lord and Spouse of Joseph,

You passed in the midst of many and profound sufferings,

You know the hardship of fleeing violence, struggling with little,

Opening your home to others and being with your dying son –

Make your presence known to us in the daily difficulties of life,

Bringing consolation, hope, and inspiration to pass-through

the impassable problems, whether obvious or hidden;

Dear St. Joseph, Guardian of the Child Jesus and Spouse of Mary,

You experienced the trials of poverty and persecution,

Protecting your family and trading in uncertain times,

Opening your skills and talents to those around you –

Lead us in recovering our neglect as husbands and fathers,

Guiding us in our work, recreation and choice of companions,

Enabling us to bridge home and work, faithful to all.

Oh Blessed Trinity, Origin of Creation and all that is good,

Cause of the people of God and the mystery of the Holy Family,

Be present in our daily life, ever drawing us out of our resistance

To calling on you each and every day on the path that pulls

Us through the vortex of time, drawing ever more people

Heavenward, while multiplying the cultivation of the earth

Through which we pass, as pilgrims, bequeathing ever greater

Benefits to those who remain and raising a song of praise,

Ever resounding, ever-mounting the reasons for thanksgiving.

Amen.

by Francis Etheredge Profiles in Catholicism


Autism Interviews

General Interviews

Autism Medical Journal Articles/Commentaries

Autism General Articles/Commentaries

Global Month in Review: July 2023

General Articles/Commentaries


Remembering those Who Have Passed

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and death shall sue

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Autistic Children Should Receive First Communion


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Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC: Big Announcement, "I'm Autistic"


Pope: Let's get rid of the stigma often associated with autism


10 Early Signs of Autism


WCAT TV - "What is a Human Person?" - Francis Etheredge, Fr. Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, and Dr Ted Furton














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