Finding a “Shared Interest”

Recently, while my mom and I were watching a documentary on Autism, I was struck by a profound statement by Dr. Temple Grandin.  For those of you who do not know her, Grandin was diagnosed with autism, but now lives as an advocate for individuals with autism and seeks to teach others how the autistic mind works.  She also has her doctorate in animal sciences, is a professor at Colorado State University, and has made groundbreaking research on working with cattle.  In this documentary, she was talking with a mother of a boy with autism and told her that the best way for people to relate to a person with autism is to “find a shared interest.”  Now that statement itself is almost just common sense, but it made me think of something so much more.  What if our need for a Savior was the common interest that bridged us to people touched by autism?

So often we have the tendency to forget that people with disabilities need the Gospel just as much as we do.  Then we fail to remember that salvation is much more important than fixing someone’s hindrances in society.  As a future Special Ed teacher, I naturally want to write about all the different ways that we can help an individual touched by autism and make them more comfortable in society today.  I definitely think that we are living in a time that is full of so many breakthroughs for this particular disability.  According to recent statistics, one in every eighty-eight children is diagnosed with autism and daily more people are realizing the strong demand to find help for these families.  Yet, the Church cannot neglect the need to share the good news of our Savior with all those touched by special needs and specifically autism.  The story of Salvation is a simple yet complex truth that each one of God’s people can grasp through Him.  So why should we forsake sharing the gospel with those affected by disabilities?  During this time of autism spectrum disorder on the rise, we must rise up to give individuals touched by autism the “shared interest” of the love of a great Savior who has rescued us from our sins.  What an incredible opportunity for evangelism this can be!

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 15:5-6 

2 thoughts on “Finding a “Shared Interest”

  1. As a teacher, this is what it is all about! Like God, almost too simple for us to remember, accept, and do!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s