“As an aspie female myself, I resonate with a lot of what Erin has to say. One of the difficulties with Asperger’s Syndrome is that it is often very difficult to find safe community. Ironically, this can be particularly difficult in churches that emphasize ‘relationships,’ ‘transparency,’ etc. For many people in these churches, someone who needs time to get to know others is clearly broken and in need of fixing.
“(An aspie is also vulnerable to abusers/bullies/power-trippers in churches who use the rhetoric of community.)
“Until churches are willing to acknowledge that genuine relationships take time to develop and stop expecting instant intimacy, aspies may have a difficult time finding a suitable worshiping community.”
And Maddie_Faddenoid has a good response to that:
“I don’t have aspergers but I’m introverted and I can relate to that so much. I went to a church that was all about ‘relationships’ and ‘accountability’ and I felt under a lot of pressure to share my biggest struggles and deepest vulnerabilities with people I wasn’t totally comfortable with because I didn’t know them very well at all. It was difficult. I was treated as if I had something wrong with me and it was hur[t]ful. The super-extroverted youth pastor just didn’t get me at all and would leap to hurtful conclusions about me, my family, my upbringing and what he considered to be ‘my issues’ (none of his ‘counsel’ was solicited). It’s horrible to have to justify who you cannot possibly help being when who you cannot possibly help being is treated as defective. This was all in the name of relationships and accountability.”