Tips for Biblical counselling autistic people
Written on 7th Mar 2018 by Alex Lowery
Today’s article is aimed to help biblical counselors when counseling autistic people. I hope you find it helpful.
It’s very important to use crystal clear language when counselling individuals on the autistic spectrum. All it takes is for you to word something in slightly the wrong way and it can make their anxiety and low self esteem even worse. For example: there was a time when I was afraid I wasn’t really a Christian and I was told that even if my faith was as small as a mustard seed, it still counts as real true faith. But all this did for me was make me worry that my faith was smaller than a mustard seed, because while mustard seeds are small: they’re not that small. I was thinking my faith may be the size of speck of dust or even a molecule. I took it very literally and I think it’s important to think outside the box of biblical language when dealing with people with autism. There was also a period were I felt I simply wasn’t sorry enough for my sins. I wanted to be a lot more sorry than I actually was because I didn’t feel sorry every time I was aware I had sinned. This also made me doubt I was a true Christian.
It’s important to be aware that many autistic people experience depression attacks. All it takes is for you to make one misguided comment and it can lead to a very negative obsession that dominates one’s thoughts. It’s important to be aware that the suicide rates among autitsic people are as high among those with schizophrenia and depression and anxiety are often the causes.
You should avoid open questions because they can cause a lot of stress among people on the autistic spectrum. For example, when I’m asked ‘What things do you do in your day to day life?’, This has such a broad answer, it’s really difficult to know where to start and how to summarize the answer. It’s far better to ask more specific questions in most cases.
To be in a group with others were you share your experiences could be a stressful experience for individuals with autism. I do know that I wouldn’t like to discuss my feelings with just anyone, nor would I know how to respond to someone else sharing theirs
I hope you enjoyed this article.
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