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what to do?

Posted by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 4:55 AM
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My 15 year old autistic son has been brainwashed by a born again (also 15,) and is trying to "save " my son. He has totally convinced my son that his church is the only way, and I don;'t know what to do about this. The more I argue about this, the more he resists. I have made it clear how I feel about this boy and his views to my son, and I have talked to this boy, and gave him quite the earfull.   there is no way I can stop him from communicating with this boy at school. They have classes together. I have talked with his councelor and special ed teachers. They can't do anything.  I have told my son that this religion is going to limit him, narrow his mind, but he says it's just the opposite. He's at an age where everything I say is wrong. Actually he has always been at that age. Because he is autistic he gets obsessive about things. This will consume his life. I understand why it appeals to him. Everything needs to be very black and white for him. I really don't want to pull him out of this school. Should I just hope it's a phase, and pretend I don't care?

by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 4:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
caitxrawks
by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 8:41 AM

Oh wow. First of all, it is just plain wrong for this other kid to be doing this to your son. It's even WORSE that he's doing when he knows your son is autistic. Gosh, that really makes me mad. I'm not sure what to tell you. Perhaps try talking to this kid's parents? Go to the pastor of that church if you have to. Talk to everyone involved in the situation and let them know exactly how you feel and that your son is a special case because he has special needs. If they don't listen, and your son ultimately wants to continue doing it, you might just have to let it go. As much as it hurts to sit back and let him make his own mistakes, sometimes that's what we have to do, you know?

___________________________________________
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alexsmomaubrys2
by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 10:40 AM

WOW! I can't even imagine what you are going through. That would drive me crazy, especially with his special needs. Can you have his classes switched so he no longer can interact with this other student?

I truthfully don't know anything about autism. What about going to the church with him and then talking about what he is hearing afterward? That way you are able to shape what he gets out of the sermon.

Sorry. I know I'm not that much help. =)


lovetocrochet5
by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 3:08 PM

I am sorry for what you are going through.. wow.. i dont really have any advice.. but the ladies have given you some great ideas.

 

roachiesmom
by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 3:25 PM

I don't know.  I feel my autism is at the root of why I have never been able to believe in the idea of any sort of god, and my particular need for B&W excludes the "god did it" step because it is too gray and makes no sense.  I agree with the other advice you have gotten.  And of course with these type people (and almost any other christian you complain to) they are going to insist they do not see it as bullying, or out of line, because it's to "save" him. Or crap about "how can it hurt him to learn about god?"   If he communicates well in reading/writing areas, try having him read sites or books about other mythologies.  Maybe seeing the similarities will help.  Tell him it is simply not at all logical to pick one religion based on one rude insistent person's say-so,when there are so many other gods, aspects of gods and religions at large out there in people's imaginations.

Oh joy, yet another case of someone becoming born again and losing all sense of ethics, morals and principle (the overweening bully, I mean.)

Good luck!

RunninRagged64
by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Perhaps his "black and white" thinking will eventually lead to a rejection of religion altogether.

Can you put your foot down and forbid him from attending church?

metalcowgirl34
by on Dec. 13, 2009 at 8:14 PM

I agree with roachiesmom that my autism probably was a big factor in leading me to atheism...that said, I know there are autistic people who are religious.  One thing I HAVE noticed though, from reading posts about religion on forums for autistic people, is that no matter what religion they are a part of, they are still free-thinking and logical most of the time about it.  They do not easily follow dogma.  Autistic people do not have the need to follow what others do because of social pressure so they are more likely to think for themselves.  When I was a kid, I went through a (short) phase where I thought it would help my un-popular-ness if I started liking what other people liked (music and stuff).  That didn't last long...I soon realized I was happier being an individual. 

Even if your son does end up believing in a higher power, I find it hard to believe he would turn into a fundie :)  I think about things like this CONSTANTLY (almost at ADD/OCD levels) and because of this, there is no way I can just follow a religion that doesn't let you question and doesn't have answers.  I would not be worried about him being completely brainwashed...he will always have his logic skills to save him...it just might not be until he is older that he starts thinking about these things more seriously.

Chaotic_Rayne
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 12:57 AM

Being he is autistic, he is probably very impressionable, right? Well, I don't know much about autism but I feel for you and what you are going through... He dosn't know any better and feels accepted by this boy. Is he autistic also? If he isn't, that makes it even more wrong. If he will not listen to you, I can't think of anything to tell you to do. The other ladies have given some good advice and I would keep them in mind. I've never been one to tell anyone how to believe, even my own kids when they are old enough to understand... But given his autism, I would be just as concerned as you. Good luck and I hope you can do something to get him to see that this might not be the right thing for him.

DaniT
by Head Admin on Dec. 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Oh wow.  I take a week off....

I'm so sorry.  I've heard of "teen epiphany" and have tried to prevent it.  We shall see if I've succeeded when my boys get into high school.

I don't know much about autism so I don't know how this affects him differently.  I do know that we can't keep anyone, even our own children, from something they want to do.  We all know it just makes them want it all the more.  We can't appear to be keeping some sort of "truth" from them.  We don't want them to think there's some kind of magic behind those stained-glass doors. 

But that's what's great about being a nontheist.  We don't have to keep any "truth" from our children because the more they know, the better their understanding.  We can only gain the more knowledge our children get.

I like the suggestion that you attend services with him so you have a frame of reference for any behavior/questions/etc. 

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion," Founding Father Thomas Paine.

 

hatinnd
by on Jan. 2, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I sent my kids to bible school because I want them to know the 'stories' because they're such a part of everyday society.  And I want them to use their own brains and not insist they follow whatever I do, like christians do.

They're 7 and 10, and they love to give me a hard time about everything.  Not in a bad way, we just joke around about everything.  They know I'm an avid PETA supporter.  So they say they want to be hunters.  They know I'm an athiest, so they say they believe in god.  Our last debate ended at the beginning - Adam and Eve.   I asked if there were only the two and they had two sons - then WHO did the sons have babies with??   They were speechless, and they haven't brought up religion since??

FrogSalad
by Susie K-M on Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:42 AM


Quoting hatinnd:

I sent my kids to bible school because I want them to know the 'stories' because they're such a part of everyday society.  And I want them to use their own brains and not insist they follow whatever I do, like christians do.

They're 7 and 10, and they love to give me a hard time about everything.  Not in a bad way, we just joke around about everything.  They know I'm an avid PETA supporter.  So they say they want to be hunters.  They know I'm an athiest, so they say they believe in god.  Our last debate ended at the beginning - Adam and Eve.   I asked if there were only the two and they had two sons - then WHO did the sons have babies with??   They were speechless, and they haven't brought up religion since??

Hee-hee, this one is funny because according to the Bible, God created Adam and Eve so they think they were the only ones alive.  Yet when Cain gets exiled, he goes to Canaan and takes a wife there.  Obviously, there were other people.  Yet when you ask them about how the earth was populated, the believers are always stumped.

Of course, that doesn't even get into what happens after the Flood when only Noah's family was left to repopulate the planet and I think Ham was exiled so his progeny would definitely be inter-related.

Ok, now my brain hurts.

How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded 
by children. -Charles Darwin
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