In My Language

from the Inter-Orthodox Community Outreach Network, Inc., (ICON) an 8 1/2 minute You Tube video, “In My Language” by A.M Baggs, a person with autism: 

There are by the way, 13 other videos on life with autism that appear on the screen and are available to watch as well.

Ms. Baggs makes the point that the fact that she attends to much more of the phenomena of her environment (that most of us screen out) is an argument against those who would say that “she lives in her own world.” She wonders why she is expected to learn the language of “normal” people when they won’t learn hers.

That there are multiple intelligences is well documented. (See “Multiple Intelligences” by clicking “zzOther Resourceszz” on the Blog Roll and you will find it on the blogroll on that page.) In general society some intelligences are valued more than others, which means we are all probably missing the undervalued contributions of some uniquely gifted persons who act outside the mainstream.

But as I wrote recently, the Orthodox Church teaches that the many languages that were understood on that great day of Pentecost 50 days after our Lord rose was a reversal of the scattering at the Tower of Babel. In the Church, the Holy Spirit can enable us to understand and appreciate the gifts, or multiple intelligences, of others. And our worship is very multisensoral, as Kathy Grant (also a person with autism) has noted very well. (see the post “all my senses”)

 Thus the unique language of a person with autism can indeed by integrated into a community that loves that person enough to appreciate it. Personhood is fulfilled in openness to others through Christ by the Holy Spirit in the Church. 


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