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If someone is autistic, it doesn’t mean that they don’t relate to anyone. They might not relate well to people, but to G‑d they relate as well as everyone else, and even more. Place a charity box in his room. This will benefit him, and he’ll remind his visitors that they must give charity.
Disability, Autism, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Disc 97, Program 386

Event Date: 12 Kislev 5750 - December 10, 1989
Living Torah

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ruth housman marshfield hills, ma December 25, 2012

Autism I worked with children labeled this way, a long time ago at The League School in Newton. I saw that the name itself, means retreat inwards, as in AUT and ISM, and I saw in a deep perhaps metaphoric way, but true, that these children never fully "separated" from merger, with Divinity and that there gifts are surely "Divine". But no one was ready to hear this, and I do totally recognize the angst, the deep pain of having a child with what we call these gifts or, however we see this, a deep disorder in ability to relate and learn as we do. There is an amazement here, as Faith wrote, and as others write, about their children. I do not sugarcoat the pain, and as a therapist and parent, I recognize the deep problems with children whose communicative and social skills are not main stream. But we all come from the same well, and they taught me, deep things and I loved them all. Reply

Anonymous December 25, 2012

The Rebbe on Autism I am on the spectrum personally, B"H it is mild and I can interact with the outside world. I do live with my parents, but I am employed and stable and participate in family life and helping them as they are getting older. Inside - inside is so hard to leave to come outside because Hashem is there - it's a beautiful state I do not have the words to explain. It's difficult to turn away long enough to come outside. Words of Torah and mitzvot help keep me focused out here where I can act to help bring Mochiach. Don't give up on your kids if they have an Autism spectrum disorder - many of us can find ways to communicate and grow and learn and mitzvot and Torah can be a key. Reply

Faith Savitt New Hope, MN/USA February 29, 2012

Re: Autism Several years ago, our son asked if he could bring his keyboard (small Casio) into the livingroom. Since he never played it (not even one note - as he never played the piano downstairs), I moved some furniture to place the little piano by the wall. He removed the cover and struck every key once from right to left and then left to right, perfectly spaced and perfectly timed. He then waited. 23 minutes he waited. Then he began to play. He played four full pieces. We researched the music and the first piece was a 12th century Hebrew piece, written in Jerusalem. I can't recall how to spell the name but I could get it if anyone is interested. Now he begins each performance with that piece so he can thank G_d for this gift that allows him to share. Now he reads Hebrew and studies Torah! Miracles do exist, everyday if we allow ourselves to see. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma February 28, 2012

On Autism I can't hear this audio on this computer but I want to say something about autism. I worked with autistic children and with children with autistic spectrum disorders as a psychiatric social worker. I found these children had skills in many areas, and I found myself astounded by their brilliance in these areas and it seemed to me, a window into the mind of G_d. I felt these children, in having difficulty separating, in many ways that perhaps sound metaphoric but true, in becoming emergent, are somehow still in that state of merger, with G_d, and we can learn from them so many things, as in children who have what are called spectrum disorders, not strictly autism. Autism itsel means withdrawn into the self. To be so withdrawn, is to be in a state of merger. We leave the womb, going from merger to individuation and separation and then at death back to merger. We can learn from these children and it would be good to begin with awe.

This of course does not take away from the angst . Reply

Carmen February 28, 2012

It is so beautiful the encounter... ...of this family and the Rebbe.
I have been thinking of it many times since I saw it for the first time a few days ago.It has many beautiful messages. Reply

Ariella Mansfield, Texas February 7, 2012

Autism It is so True what the Rebbe says here. He understood the heart of the human. My eldest son has Autism, and he is very special indeed. I am blessed to call him my son, because from the moment he was born I knew, he is someone destined to teach others love and compassion. I did not know until two years later how true that would be, when the doctor told me my boy had Autism. I was my son

:) Reply

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