|FYI: In Judaism, Elijah's cup, is the fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the family Seder dinner on Passover (Pesaḥ). It is left untouched in honour of Elijah, who, according to tradition, will arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, biblical verses are read while the door is briefly opened to welcome Elijah, who, it is further said, will resolve all controversial questions connected with the Law. In this way the Seder dinner not only commemorates the historical redemption from Egyptian bondage of the Jewish people but also calls to mind their future redemption when Elijah and the Messiah shall appear. (info from www.britannica.com)|
I am currently reading a book of the same, fitting name, "Elijah's Cup". Normally, I wouldn't blog about a book until I'm finished reading it, but this one is too good to wait. I'm a little over halfway finished and I feel like this book has changed the way I think and given me priceless knowledge and insight into two very misunderstood and at times "invisible" disorders: High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
|Elijah's Cup: A Family's Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome|
I found this book completely by "coincidence". One of my favorite quotes from Jeffrey R. Holland says, "A coincidence is just a small miracle in which God choose to remain anonymous." Finding this book was honestly no coincidence and in fact, has been an answer to years and years of prayers and questions. At church a few weeks ago, our teacher was talking about the prophet Elijah and mentioned she has an animated bible DVD of the story of Elijah that her kids really enjoy. Thinking I might like to get this DVD for my kids, I went home and decided to google "Elijah". In addition to the DVD (which ended up being really great by the way)... I found THIS book!
I'm not exatlty sure where I want to go with this blog post...
Let me first say that I feel completely inadequate and somewhat unworthy to speak of something that I really don't know much about compared to some people. Please forgive my ignorance.
To me, the book is absolutely fascinating and at times, heart-wrenching. In her own words, the author tells her journey of raising a child with Autism. I'm amazed at her emotional strength, courage, and honesty. I've been inspired by her "fight" to help her son, Elijah, have all she can get in order for him to have the best life possible and at the same time try to keep herself sane and functioning in a world that just does not understand what they are going through.
I thought of several friends and family members I know who are dealing with some sort of Autism Spectrum Disorder, like Asperger's Syndrome. This book helps shed light on what it's like to be Autistic and care for someone who is. Valerie's son, Elijah, is autistic and she has a good friend who is diagnosed later in life with Asperger's Syndrome (AS).
I'll let you know more after I finish reading it, but I think everyone who reads this book will be better informed and feel a greater sense of compassion for what people affected by Autism are going through. You never know who might be affected by some type of Autism. So many people go throughout their entire lives never being formally diagnosed. Autism Spectrum Disorders can be very difficult to diagnose -- sometimes only certain situations and stimuli can trigger symptoms. Many people also have a combination of disorders -- making it hard to distinguish which disorder is causing what symptoms. For example, many people with Asperger's Syndrome also have Sensory Processing Disorder.
My desire is to understand more about these disorders so I can help my family. I have believed for a very long time that members of my own family might have Asperger's Syndrome and probably other disorders layered on top of it. Much to my dismay, there has been no formal diagnosis. Maybe I haven't fought for that as hard as I should. However, that opens up a new "can of worms" for me, so to speak. Sometimes I think it might be better not to have a formal diagnosis, a "label", if you will, specifically in the case of Asperger's Syndrome.
Many people live very successful and fairly normal lives with Asperger's Syndrome; Temple Grandin being one of them, but the lifelong social repercussions are hard to quantify and are more valuable to me than worldly success. I don't want the "label" to be an excuse for the behaviors and issues nor do I want it to be a hindrance or stigma. Temple Grandin struggled for a long time without help or support. Behavioral therapy is the best help for people with AS and other disorders. In order to get professional help (as far as I know), you need a diagnosis.
Herein lies my quandary.