The word itself sounds harsh. To isolate. It's cold. It sounds lonely. Separated.
Have you ever felt isolated? Alone? Can you imagine being a teen and feeling that way? My son feels like this everywhere. Autism. Teen. Isolated.
This is time in his life he should have friendships that will carry him through these crazy teen years. Yet, not one person really, truly, engages him. Family sometimes don't know how to engage him. Friends. They don't know how to either. Then I have to ask, what friends? Isolation.
We homeschool. Homeschool groups are usually a group of friends that have common interest and they ask others to join but you can tell that they are close knit. The children there don't know how to "take in a friend that is a little different". So we end up not belonging. It doesn't matter if I try to set up "one on one" time with a friend. It never happens. So we tend to fade out. We tend to be pushed to the back. We end up not going back.
Church is no different. Youth Pastor. Friends. Teens. Other children. Isolation is there too. I have found him outside in the dark with no supervision. I have seen him isolated in the room. I have seen leaders cringe. I know that church is not filled with perfect people because then I would be really upset.
It hurts to much to see him hurt. No one says Hi! At least not his age, older people will sometimes acknowledge him. It hurts when people walk past and don't even realize that they are isolating him. Putting him in a place where he has no friends. A place where he can't purse those relationships because they can't see him. They see the AUTISM.
It's not contagious. It's not weird. It's not a bad thing. It's different. It's beautiful. It's a crazy ride. It's not to be isolated. It starts to become rude.
When someone says "hi" to you, you don't normally roll your eyes and turn around. Or just don't acknowledge. Or just walk away. Because that is rude. We teach our children that this is rude. He doesn't understand why people won't say "hi" back. It's sad and frustrating. What do you tell him? I tell him that they are rude for not responding because it is rude.
What am I to do? I have cried my eyeballs out because if you knew his heart you would see him differently. He is the most loyal friend. - Just trust me on this one. He has a heart that chases after God. He is 13 and is really concerned that there are people that don't know Christ. That they may not have a church to attend. This makes me think that he has a bigger heart than I do. How many people have you invited to church this week? He has NO FEAR when sharing the Gospel with anyone - anywhere! He is super excited about worship and church. He is super talented in the Lego department. He can create ANYTHING! I really mean that too. He doesn't need instructions either. He is amazing at drawing. I love that he has this creative side. I know God has something BIG for him.
I know that he won't always be isolated. Yet, right now this hurts. Isolation.