Friday, April 02, 2010
Good Friday and Word Autism Awareness Day
One of the most moving things I've ever seen was the Good Friday drama and walk of witness we watched in Croydon today. We didn't follow it all because it would have been too much for William but we caught the final section in the city centre. We arrived just as the procession did. Jesus' bloodied dead body was carried, swathed in black to a slow drum beat. It was incredibly emotional and the most faith affirming experience I've had in a long time. I've struggled to take time out to prepare properly for Easter this year. I've been somewhat distracted by William's hospital admission being on Easter Monday. It's somewhat hijacked Easter. I'm glad I had that powerful moment today. I always think you have to experience something over Holy Week and Good Friday to really appreciate Easter for what it is. I've had that now and, even though the next few days will be dominated by preparing William for hospital, I will feel that new life and revival that Easter brings.
As well as being Good Friday, today was World Autism Awareness Day. William asked my today why they crucified Jesus. One of the reasons I gave was that they didn't understand him and so were scared by them. There is a parallel there for William. He is charming, funny and engaging and everyone who meets him adores him. But, there are elements of his behaviour that the world doesn't understand. His rigidity, his obsessions, his utter panic and distress when things don't go the way he anticipated look now like an immature tantrum but, as he gets older, they may seem threatening, even frightening to people. People will think William odd. He's not odd. William just sees the world a little bit differently to most others. He sees things in back and white and struggles with things that don't fit rules and structure. Like many people with Asperger Syndrome, William is extremely intelligent and gifted and has a huge amount to offer society. The greater society's understanding of autism and Asperger Syndrome, the easier it will be for William and those around him to communicate and appreciate each other. I'm grateful for those who have supported today. It gives me hope that William will grow up in a world that understands him and are prepared to adapt to his needs. He is certainly working very hard to adapt to the needs and expectations of those around him so it's only fair we all try a little too. Please visit the National Autistic Society and learn three things you didn't know about autism.
William wasn't moved by Good Friday at all. Our curate told the children the story of Jesus' death, explaining it's a sad story. William turned to me and said;
"But Mummy, it's not a sad story at all. Jesus had to die didn't he. It had to happen that way."
When I asked why, he replied;
"Because he had to die so we can see him when we die."
Maybe sometimes just accepting things and not looking further than the black and white is the best thing. You could read several theology books focusing purely on that William had summed up perfectly in two sentences.