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one would even
touch them. As if
they had a choice in
the matter! There were
of course, as there always are, some people in the community who made sure that their needs were met.
That is, they saw through the leprosy “disguise,” and saw people, men and women who had basic human needs: food, water, clothing, and dare I say it, love. These comforters were able to see past the external leprosy and brought food, clothing and more, they brought comfort too. It is one thing to have a medical illness that may be communicable, that does require some degree of separation. It is totally another to completely isolate an individual. Many families today have children not with leprosy, but autism. And like individuals with leprosy in Biblical times, they are often isolated from friends (they don’t come over, they don’t even call), other family members, their places of worship, and even much of the medical system, which I personally find abhorrent. So, it is usually up to “warrior” moms and dads (yes, even dads!) to fight for everything these children need.
The Boy Who Wore a Disguise
By: Dr. Jerry Kartzinel | June 15th, 2011 | Articles | Autism
This past week I lost a very dear friend. He has passed away. I have had the honor to grow with him and his family over the past 10 years. He had a very kind, gentle personality and he was very loving, especially to his mother. But, the world refused to see him that way. At times it was hard for me to see him that way, and, I know, sometimes it was even challenging for his family to see him that way. You see, he wore a disguise. We call this “disguise” autism [see note].
When fully cloaked in Autism, many children, like my friend, can possess character traits that the world is so ready to despise. The world so quickly focuses on and judges the outward behaviors: hyperactivity, funny sounds, strange obsessions, anxiety reactions, abnormal body movements, lack of communication, “obvious” unwillingness to be social. The verdict so tragically passed down on these children, can be summed up in one word: isolation.
Isolation is a common way to deal with “outcasts.”
I can’t help but think of how lepers were treated in Biblical times. If lepers, for whatever reason, had to come near people for one reason or another, they had to shout, “UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN!” They were put into isolation and treated as social outcasts and the lowest life form on earth.