Toppling the Idol of Ideal
Raising Children with Special Needs
The stats are changing. It’s no longer just the rare family who has the autistic child we read about in some magazine article or see on television. Behavioral issues in our children have catapulted out of the realm of child raising and psychology and into the realm of neurobiology and psychiatry. Whether resultant from neurotoxins in the environment, dietary criminals or some other etiology, more and more families are receiving diagnoses of ADHD, autism, or other legitimate neuro-psychiatric disorders.
Is the church late in constructive response? We may be unintentionally too quick to offer counseling or deliverance with no real grasp that neurology is not necessarily a spiritual problem and definitely not a parenting problem; it’s brain chemistry. This leaves Christian Moms and Dads potentially susceptible to the myriad of uninformed voices, voices that decry the pharmaceutical industry as evil drug pushers for profit, and voices blaming lack of quality parenting for most if not all behavioral challenges.
It’s not sympathy that’s needed, but rather hearing from somebody who “gets it”, somebody who can discuss practical issues like fighting despair, judgment, and educational challenges, deciding about medications, labeling our children, IEP’s and 504 behavior plans. Perhaps most importantly, what is needed is not only assurance that our children will be alright, but that we will survive intact spiritually while grappling with why me, why us, and why my baby? If you are that parent, You will enter into a new season, a season of discovery that launches you from a battle-weary position dodging the fiery darts of the enemy, to a position of protection reclining in the strong tower of God’s abiding presence.