On Saturday night, Daniel and I went to a baby shower for two members of his choral group. Some of the members brought their spouses. One woman brought her husband who we've all noticed in the past as quite odd. As I started to spend the evening just obeserving him. He was very quiet as everyone talked around him and it seemed like he felt a bit out of place. As I kept observing him more and more it dawned on me that this guy has some kind of autistic spectrum disorder. I think my hunch was confirmed when we started chatting and he went from talking about an approaching storm to how a friend is trying to figure out how to channel lightening to his teaching students to learn a certain process. Joseph opened up and started sharing his special subject.
As we left, I felt good that I was able to talk to him. What was interesting is that no one really talked to him before. He just came to events and sat while life happened around him and no one intereacted with him.
I'm beginnging to wonder if that is how most aspies and other autistics are treated in the wider world. Neurotypicals see this kind of odd person and tend to not connect with them. Yes, we can be an odd bunch because we start talking about our passions and not just chit chat. But maybe NTs could learn a thing or two if they were patient and listened.
Even moreso, I think about the church. I know that there have been times when people don't put up with my oddness and passions. But I think as autistic disorders become more well-known in the wider world, churches will need to make more room for us and find ways to include us. We might be in our own world some of the time, but we have so much to give to the world.
I'm glad I met Joseph and hope to chat again. Even if I don't know what in the heck he is talking about.