By: Duncan McGibbon
A Painful Gift: The Journey of a Soul With Autism
Christopher Goodchild Ill. Julie Lonneman publisher: DLT
The account of a life lived under God is a deeply fixed feature of spiritual writing. We have Augustine and the scope of life lived for the unconscious call of God who proves Himself ultimately irresistible. We have Rousseau and the testament of the natural man breaking the chains of illusion. Between the two most others can be ranged.
Christopher Goodchild’s book is somewhat of a hybrid between the two. He writes well of his imperfections. Many are drawn into his moral censure, parents, adoptive parents, playmates, siblings, psychologists, social workers and girlfriends. As such he is more bitter than Augustine. Many are drawn to help him, as such he is luckier than Rousseau. His spiritual progress is largely charted through successive diagnoses of increasingly blameless syndromes.
The book is beautifully illustrated. There is an honest, rough piety in his self-appraisal. It may not be for all, but for specialists, there is a testament here.
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