In the October issue of the Lutheran Witness, there was a fantastic article by a graduate student and lecturer who is working with autistic children. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here is an excerpt from that article:
“…Today, David and I work through exercise after exercise, trying to make him understand words, speech, and proper behavior. But at some point, through all the repetition, through all my striving to make David understand the things of the world, I slowly realize this: all understanding is trivial as long as we come to understand those simple six words: Jesus loves me, this I know. My faith commands me to believe that the Spirit inhabits us in Baptism (Acts 2:38–39), that faith begins in that new birth (Titus 3:5–6—even for infants and autistics). My faith tells me to believe that an understanding of Christ’s love co-inhabits regardless of linguistic abilities, regardless of educational abilities, regardless of what I think transpires behind autistic eyes.
Paul tells us, in a message often overlooked, that God has had His fill of the world’s “wisdom.” He writes: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). It reminds me that what I take for foolishness, what I view as a lack of understanding, may be the grace of God Himself in disguise.
Paul further tells us that “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise” (1 Cor. 1:27). I myself am put to shame in doubting God over the simple ignorance of an autistic child. Who am I to judge what kind of knowledge and understanding brings glory to the Almighty? In these latter days, God requires only faith, not an understanding of the world’s minutiae (otherwise only Ph.D.s would inherit the kingdom!). On certain days, at quiet moments in the boy’s room, I recognize that under my blinded eyes the Spirit may be moving in David and delivering to him an understanding that far surpasses my worldly wisdom. It is a humbling possibility. It is humility itself. It reminds me that God continually shatters all expectations; that God appears where we never expect Him; that God uses the foolish things of the world to lower us all.”