Reframing the Autism Epidemic

An Interview with Emily Colson

It’s a parent’s fear, an educational nightmare, a massive political agenda, the subject of heated church conflicts, an American epidemic, and more. Autism. Since 2000, multidisciplinary research has helped us treat vast variations of autism, but research can’t fix autism. In many ways, “fixing” autism shifts our focus away from an essential human need . . . an eternal perspective. We seek treatments and therapies with heroic motivation and blame God when nothing changes.

Watch the Interview

Has anyone ever considered autism may be allowed by God because of the way it can revolutionize our “typical” lives? Reframing autism begins with an eternal perspective, calling us to seek Him and learn His ways as we care for those with differences. In this interview, Emily Colson speaks about caring for her adult son Max, who has autism.

She also talks about how God continues to reveal her need for Christ and how to reframe her life by embracing autism.

Interview Questions

  1. What have you been doing the past few years?
  2. What would you say to a family facing an autism diagnosis, considering the huge impact it carries?
  3. On what topics did you need to educate the people helping you?
  4. What information do you provide to people who are helping you?
  5. What roles can special needs individuals fulfill in the body of Christ?
  6. What has your son revealed about you?
  7. Where do you find hope?
  8. What does sanctity of life “from womb to tomb” mean to you?
  9. What lessons of lasting significance can a special needs child teach us?
  10. What do you say to someone who is going through a dark place and wants his or her circumstances to change?

Let Me Hear from You

Autism may not be a challenge in your life . . . but I’m confident something in your life is challenging you right now. The best news is that Christ promises peace to those who turn to Him. What may appear to be a tarnished, old silver cup carries unmeasurable value because of who owned the cup; the same is true with our Savior. It’s time—TODAY—to reframe your perspective on how we view and value human life. Christ cared for ALL in need; He calls us to do the same. So what will be your choice? You can remain resentful and stuck, or you can reach out for help, maybe write a letter or form a support group, to lean on Christ and connect with those who know how to help. Today, what one choice can you make toward reframing your current challenges? What one practical thing can you offer to help someone in the reframing process? Here are some verses to provide hope:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

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About Emily Colson

Emily Colson, daughter of the late Chuck Colson, speaks to churches and organizations nationwide and has appeared on numerous media programs, including Focus on the Family and The Mike Huckabee Show. In her book, Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free, Emily and her father share the beauty of life with Max, Emily’s adult son with autism. The book won the “2011 Outstanding Literary Work of the Year (Family Division) Award” by the Autism Society. Through her message, Emily has inspired many to persevere through their own challenges and see the gifts that can come from autism. Emily has been a single mother for most of Max’s life and has learned hard lessons in life, love, and a whole lot of laughter. Emily and Max live on the coast of New England where they can often be found dancing.

Connect with Emily Colson

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Connect with Colleen Swindoll Thompson and Reframing Ministries

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