Jesus Heals Autism too!

Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys. Autism prevalence figures are growing. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.  Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases. Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism. There is no medical detection or cure for autism as of 2013.
 
In 2003 a very special package was born into our lives. Our son Steven, who was a miracle birth. My wife conceived when doctors told us it was not possible. Then at 3 years old the enemy threw a monkey wrench into our world and our son was diagnosed with autism.
 
One of the problems with autism awareness or actually the lack of public knowledge is the constant looks. My Son, now 10 years old has progressively improved, but some corky behavior remains. To the untrained eye, it seems strange. But to those familiar with the symptoms, behaviors, and mannerisms, the behavior becomes a non-issue. But for these who don't, the strange glares begin. If you know and are aware of the symptoms, you'll know how to respond.
 
I remember being at a water park which is a super high stimulating event for him. Any water event drives him to a super excided state. Unfortunately, the intense simulation causes him to be impatient and he doesn't wait well in lines. So, he'll cut lines to achieve the event he wants!
 
I was watching from a distance and as usual he was trying to work his way to the front of the line. An older man on line with his kids was tapping my son and hollering at him to get to the back of the line.  I quickly ran to his rescue him. I removed his hand from my Son and politely informed him that my son struggles with autism. The man didn't know what to say. Not too long after that incident, I wrote this poem....

Don't Look at my kid  
Written by Pastor Steven Pereira                                 

When they look at you and close their eyes....don't look at my kid.
 
When they seem too old to hold daddy's hand....don't look at my kid.
 
When they jump around and flap their hands....don't look at my kid.
 
When they give you an answer that you don't understand....don't look at my kid.
 
When they mutter and giggle and jump up and down....don't look at my kid.
 
If you're thinking they're strange but you haven't a clue.....don't look at my kid.
 
If you see them crying when you don't think that they should...don't look at my kid.
 
If you think they're retarded, then shame on you...don't look at my kid.
 
If they seem too old to be kissing their daddy's cheek then....don't look at my kid.
 
If they're erratic behavior is bothering you then....don't look at my kid.
 
If you know nothing of autism, you won't know what to do...don't look at my kid.
 
Families with autism struggle each day.
 
Broken spirits for what their child goes through, haunts them each day. Hurting hearts and pocket books too.
 
In God's hands we commit them each day, not knowing what will happen or what they will do, or say.
 
We live by faith with them day by day, not sure how will they fair in life,  when we pass away.
 
So next time you see us don't look away. Turn your judgmental frown the other way!
 
Smile and say hi and have a Blessed Day! Then look at my kid and pray for a cure and that God would heal them before we are through.
 
See past the silence and look at their hearts. See past the behavior that you may not like.

Be grateful to God that it's not you, our kids are truly special and have feelings too.

I hope you enjoyed the poem...
If you are the parent on an autistic or special needs child please don't hesitate to e-mail us your story. We would love to publish it on our website pastor@twccnj.org is my personal e-mail box.

I want to encourage you to keep believing that Jesus is still our healer! Despite what we are seeing on a daily basis. I believe that as you embrace that spiritual / biblical truth, that God will reveal areas of improvement as your son or daughter progresses in life.

We would also like the opportunity to pray for you and of course meet with you. There is power in agreement!

Loving God & His People,
Pastor Steven & Cindy Pereira