Christian Counseling for Autism Spectrum Research Proposal
Excerpt from Research Proposal :
She references Romans 3: 23, 24: "…(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (New International Version).
Ultimately, Hendricks informs, the comfort and safety of parents with autistic children must be revealed through "their faith that a sovereign God designed their child and planned all the days of his life before any had yet occurred"; to understand that, she references the words of the Old Testament, Psalm 139: 16: "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to be…" (New International Version).
In the Web site Finding Noah a Christian mother explains that if you are a Christian and you are told your child has autism, remember what Jesus said (John 16: 33): "In the world you will have tribulation…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (http://findingnoah.org). The story of this Christian mother continues with her admission that the reality of her autistic child's condition took her to that "…lonely, barren valley of hurt, anger and deep sadness." And there were times when it felt like "a switch turned off in my soul," but even with prayer ("oh how I prayed") it seemed "the Lord did not hear."
But in time, through a "marathon of prayer, reading and applying God's Word in my life and in my marriage, and most importantly, learning to trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God," this mother sees the child in her life as a "blessing…" (http://findingnoah.org).
In her book, Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior Challenges, Hendrickson explains that her understanding of God's will for Eric, her son, helped her cope with the disability. She admits on page 18 that she does not have "a foolproof solution to offer," but she helped her son because she helped her self by learning to rely on God's
word. For example she mentions Jeremiah 29: 11: "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Hendrickson, 2009, p. 18). As Eric grew, "God proved the truth of this [Jeremiah] Bible promise," and the angry teenager "grew to understand that God designed his body the way He did for a reason" (p. 18).
Of course dealing with an autistic child isn't just a matter of reciting Scripture of saying prayers, Hendrickson continues. But there are Biblical references that a parent of an autistic child can use as a foundation for personalizing a therapy within the home. For example, she references Proverbs 22: 6: "Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent] and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Hendrickson, p. 15). And instead of "hoping that one day he'll be the same as everyone else," she asserts, begin hoping that he will grow "…to be the adult whom God designed him to be, differences and all" (p. 16). The idea is to "blaze a new trail together," she insists.
Clearly Hendrickson and her son Eric did blaze a new trail together. In her book, she quotes from Eric's valedictorian speech at his high school graduation: "I was born with a serious handicap, and though I am grateful to God for enabling me to overcome most of the serious consequences of this condition, I just admit I have often been tempted to ask, 'Why can't I be more like everyone else?" Eric added, the truth is that "God designed me JUST the WAY I AM, and he has a purpose for me even in the things about me that are different" (Hendrickson, p. 128).
Finding Noah. (2007). Autism in the Christian Family. Retrieved Dec. 23, 2010, from http://findingnoah.org/?page_id=20.
Google Health. (2010). Autism. Retrieved Dec. 22, 2010, from https://health.google.com/health/ref/autism.
Hendrickson, Laura. (2004). Autism Spectrum Disorders. Christian Counseling. Retrieved Dec. 23, 2010, from http://www.christiancounseling.com/en/articles/printview.asp?544.
Hendrickson, Laura. (2009). Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering
Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior…
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