• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

1978444_10154019189910694_68782050322227541_oBy Steve Bedard 

When I got married, one of the things that I was really looking forward to was becoming a dad. I was excited about the idea of playing with my kids, teaching them things and being with them through the milestones of life.

When our first son was born, I was so proud. He was a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy. He had a cheerful personality, slept very well and was exceptionally smart (often in a mischievous way). He was developing well, or as well as any parents can tell with their first child. He had the right amount of words for his age.

But then something happened. We did not notice right away, as my wife was recovering from a horrible car accident while she was eight months pregnant. But our son lost his words. All of them.

Our doctor sent us to a developmental pediatrician to “rule out” autism. After some tests, the pediatrician came back with a box of tissues and we knew it was autism. We were devastated. All our hopes and dreams were taken away with one word.

But we still had our daughter. She was the one my wife was pregnant with during the accident. Miraculously, both mother and child survived the car rolling over three times and narrowly missing a hydro pole.

The pediatrician asked if they could put our daughter in a sibling study to work at earlier diagnosis of autism. We knew our daughter was fine but we agreed if it would help other families. A year later we had a second autism diagnosis.

I will admit that there are many times that I ask God “why?” If their brains were rewired just slightly differently, they would have been fine. Instead they are severely autistic, they are nonverbal, and because of their issues, they both live in group homes.

After getting over the “why” question, I have been able to see God at work. There have been many little miracles. Not long after confessing to my wife that my biggest regret was that my son would never tell me that he loves me, my son told me that he loves me. After seeing my daughter slipping away from us, distancing herself emotionally, she is back to her old role as the ultimate daddy’s girl with all the hugs and kisses.

I will never suggest that autism is easy. There have been many times that we have felt overcome with the burden, that we have grieved for the life that could have been. But we have also seen the goodness of God. He has provided for us more often than I can count. He has used autism to make us better people and has used autism to transform people around us.

At the church where I used to pastor, one of the leaders came up to me and said, “Your sermons are good, but it is your children that are transforming this church.” Jesus tells us in the parable of the sheep and the goats that his presence is among “the least of these.” If we have eyes to see, we will recognize the presence of Christ among those with disabilities.

I am a proud father. I am proud of my children who are as perfect as God designed them to be. I am also thankful to my Heavenly Father who has sustained our family.

By Steve Bedard

Associate Editor at Faith Today Magazine
Adjunct Instructor at Emmanuel Bible College
Chaplain at Lorne Scots Regiment
SGM Radio website welcomes guest blogger Steve Bedard and we ask that you take a moment to visit his links and find out more about this father, husband, chaplain, editor and instructor.  Special thanks to Steve for his transparency and for allowing us to have a glimpse of what it is like to be “Autism Dad”.
Steve Bedard – Biography

My name is Stephen J. Bedard and my purpose is to equip Christians to articulate and defend their faith in a reasonable, relevant and respectful manner.

I do this by teaching, leading workshops and seminars, writing books and articles. I am the co-author of the award winningUnmasking the Pagan Christ and numerous other magazine and journal articles. I would love to help your church or small group grow in their knowledge of the Christian faith. Ask me how I can help.

I live in Cambridge Ontario with with my beautiful wife, Amanda, and five children, Logan, Abby, Justus, Emma and Faith. I am the associate editor at Faith Today magazine, adjunct faculty atEmmanuel Bible College and the padre at the Lorne Scots Regiment.

 

Lorraine Walker

Raised in southern Ontario, Canada, Lorraine developed a love for music at an early age and enjoys listening to a variety of Christian, Country, Pop and R&B music. A love for writing and a need to share the love of Jesus through her thoughts have come together with an enjoyment of Southern Gospel, enabling her to contribute to SGM Radio website, SGN Scoops Digital, and the Southern Styles Show. Lorraine tweets at http://twitter.com/SGMRadioLorrain and blogs at http://sgmradio.blogspot.com/ and can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/walker.lorraine