It's all God's plan. We could blame him ask him how and why us? But at the end of the day autism was God's gift to us in finding our way to Him.
With autism some children deal with separation anxiety. Matthew is one of those children. Every therapy session done in a clinical setting required one of us to sit next to him to avoid a meltdown and help him focus on his tasks and goals.
When it can time for Religious Education, it was no different. We couldn't just walk him to class and leave him like all the other 5 year-olds. My husband was the one who would sit in class with Matthew for 90 minutes on Sundays. Richard was not a Catholic at the time. But he was learning about the Faith alongside our son. That spiked his interest in the Church.
Before I knew it he was enrolled in RCIA and preparing to receive all his sacraments. The spark of interest was now a full-on FIRE! He would evangelize to me. He set this cradle Catholic who was just going to Mass every once and again back on fire.
God has ways of leading us to him. Autism was how he led us back to Him, and how we found ourselves back at Mass. Before I knew what happened I was teaching Religious Ed and Rich was involved in different ministries.
Copyright 2015 Nelly Guajardo
Photo: "Autism cakelet with cupcakes" by Amy Eilert (2006) via Flickr. All rights reserved.