Recently, the Pope commented on Autism over a radio broadcast (and for a crowd unless I’m mistaken.) Here are some highlights and lowlights:
“Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance, encounter and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope. In this way we can contribute to breaking down the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma burdening people with autism spectrum disorders, and just as often their families.” Solid words, Mr. Pope. There is a significant stigma, and for as large of an organization as the Catholic Church to publicly and officially recognize that fact is extremely encouraging.
“Assistance to people affected by autism spectrum disorders would benefit greatly from the creation of a network of support and services on the ground that are comprehensive and accessible. These should involve, in addition to parents, grandparents, friends, therapists, educators and pastoral workers. These figures can help families overcome the feelings, that can sometimes arise, of inadequacy, uselessness and frustration.” What a great point! I don’t know how the Pope powers work exactly, but if you could do something to actualize this instead of just preaching about it, that’d be even better. To be fair though, this support and recognition is needed as a solid first step to developing a change; a critically aware public will naturally engage in aid.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I entrust you all to the protection of the Virgin Mary, and I thank you for your prayers. Now, all together, let us pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for all health care workers, for the sick, and then receive the blessing.” Admittedly, this could just be the Pope’s way of closing his speech. But let me remind you: AUTISM IS NOT AN ILLNESS TO BE CURED. PEOPLE ON THE SPECTRUM ARE NOT SICK. If this statement is more directed at universal sickness, I apologize.You’re doing great work overall in healing your corner of the world.