Frederica Mathewes-Green on Autism


Khouria Frederica shares these very poignant thoughts on her autistic grandson. I heartily recommend it.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.






7 responses to “Frederica Mathewes-Green on Autism”

  1. Meg Avatar

    Our son has Asperger’s Syndrome, but he had it before it was a recognized, catalogued condition. What fun that was… =:0 The chief thing that helped us get through it was knowing that God had made him, and that in God’s eyes, everything he is, is (as Genesis says) “Good.” His only imperfections are the result of his being human; those “imperfections” that characterize autism/Asperger’s, are the saving graces given by God that make these people so wonderful to know.

  2. Fatherstephen Avatar

    Two teenagers in our parish are autistic. They are unique parts of our community and have probably taught us more than any of us know.

  3. Matt Avatar

    Love her. Just love her.

  4. Athanasia Avatar

    My best friend’s son has Aspberger’s. When he speaks to you, he does not look at you. At first his Mom thought he wasn’t paying attention, until she realized what was going on.

    He is a delight! And bright…oh my! The best part of going to see my friend is getting hugs from Aidan!!!

  5. Jfred Avatar

    Thank you Fr. Stephen for this soul lifting essay. This is why I hang out here.

  6. Margaret Avatar

    Thank you for posting this. I had seen it on Frederica’s site and wrote her a thank you note. Autism is too prevalent in America’s children for us to remain aloof to the families dealing with this diagnosis. I believe articles such as this help everyone because they bring a subject we’re hearing more and more about into reality by someone who loves and cares and writes from the perspective of grandmother, yes! And from the perspective of Orthodox Christianity, yes!

  7. Jeff Romanczuk Avatar

    Luke, my son, is one of the two Father Stephen sees regularly. Like his sister, Kate, Luke doesn’t talk in this life. Even so, many in the parish and outside of it have told me about dreams they’ve had in which Luke is talking with them.

    So I’m not only willing to believe in Frederica’s vision of heaven, I’m looking forward to the conversations and fuller understanding I’ll have with my children then.

    Once while driving with them both in the back seat and me as their cabby, which is typical, we were listening to a sermon on denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Christ. I looked in the rear view mirror and coolly thought, “there is my cross.” But then I wondered what was their cross (other than having me as dad) until it occurred to me that being nonverbal (if not autistic) was their cross. It certainly made mine seem so light as to be insignificant.

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  1. Greetings, Father Stephen, Thank you so much for this reflection and all of the tremendous amount of work you have…

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