Home » Autism » When he gets to heaven, will he still be autistic?

When he gets to heaven, will he still be autistic?

Well, this one is bound to stir the pot a bit. Please forgive me as I roll thoughts from my brain around on the page/screen.

We started a new sermon series at church on heaven and hell. I’m sure our pastor didn’t mean for me to take his words to this particular place, but as the mother of an autistic child, I, of course, went there. He spoke of heaven being a better place, which I fully believe, and a place where the pain and suffering of this world is left behind. We are whole and healed in heaven. This I also firmly believe. So through my head ran the thought, “Will Little Man still be autistic when he gets to heaven?” And then I thought, he has nothing to be healed of, so why wouldn’t he still be autistic? Thus began an argument with myself which has persisted for two days, and which I’m sure is a theological nightmare.

To believe he will no longer be autistic in heaven is to believe he has something to be cured of. I’m not sure I fully believe that. Would I change things about him to make his life on earth easier? I’ve written before a hearty “Yes!” to that particular question. But in my heart of hearts, he is not broken, he does not have a disease. He is just different. He does not need to be cured. He just needs to be understood.

I think this is a common argument among the autism community. Do autistics need to be “healed”, or do we just need to provide whatever we can to help them function in this world, and work towards acceptance and understanding of their different-ness? I think I stand firmly in the acceptance and understanding camp, but then if you told me there was a magic pill/food/treatment that would take away all the hard parts for him, I’d likely be on it in an instant. It sucks to watch your child struggle to do the most mundane things.  It’s heartbreaking to see him falling apart when it is all just too much, knowing there’s very little I can do to help him, and I certainly can’t make it all go away. It breaks me when he says it’s too hard to keep going. It’s frustrating when he yells, “Just leave me alone!”.

There is so much about him that’s amazing, gifts he has been given by God alone. He was put in our family for a purpose, his own as well as ours. There are days I beg this burden to be lifted from him, from me. There are days I think we won’t make it one more minute, when I fear I will fail at helping him successfully navigate to adulthood and beyond. But then I circle back to this, he is not broken, he is just different.

17 thoughts on “When he gets to heaven, will he still be autistic?

  1. Well, if there is a heaven, I would think that he would automatically be accepted so there would be no disadvantage in his differences. One wonders how important certain “normal” characteristics would be where we are all part of a god.

  2. I personally think I won’t have autism in heaven. Not because I’ll be cured of it, but because it won’t be a problem anymore. I won’t be misunderstood or judged or ridiculed. I’ll just be me. I won’t have autism because there will be no autism or “isms” of any kind. We’ll all just be perfectly different.

  3. I would never have thought about it in this manner if you hadn’t of shared this. It’s HUGE, this contemplation. Now I’ll be joining you in this. (And I like the other comments here too!)

  4. Well, I believe we are all subject to the fall and that accounts for every physical, mental even spiritual imperfection we, or other may experience during our mortal existence. I don’t believe the symptoms of autism will be in heaven just like I don’t believe deaf peopl will be deaf or that the lame will walk – I think all will b restored. But the good news of the gospel is Christ overcame the effects of the fall for all of us so we will all be there and be restored. That is my belief in a nutshell.

  5. I think I understand what you’re saying in your post, and it made me think of the young girl with Autism at church that I’m close to (young in maturity and function, but she’s 25). I am always amazed that she seems to notice everything and everyone around her, her memory is incredible for certain things and she is extremely sensitive to people’s feelings, right and wrong, and the environment around her. I can’t help but wonder sometimes, does her Autism enable her to have a special connection to God and heavenly things that she doesn’t recognize or can’t communicate? I wonder, maybe the problem isn’t the Autism, maybe it’s our world? Maybe in Heaven we’ll all have something like Autism to be able to fully experience Heaven.

    • This. Yes this. He hears more than we imagine. He sees more than we imagine. He knows more than we imagine. Maybe his view is closer to God’s than our own.

  6. This brought tears to my eyes. The first thing I thought of is….who will take care of Cooper in heaven? Another worry added to the list. 😉 I don’t know what I think about this. It’s an amazing question. I think Cooper will be in peace in heaven. He will be able to communicate and relax and be understood. At least I hope so.

  7. In heaven, he will be perfect, whatever perfect is for him. Maybe he just got perfect a little ahead of the rest of us. I have a son and grandson on the spectrum. Wouldn’t change either of them. Good we don’t get to make those important choices for others. Hug him for me, if he likes hugs.

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