My oldest child started college today. It sounds like an ordinary sentence, an ordinary occurrence. But here's what you need to know...

My oldest child is on the Autism Spectrum. You may think you know what that means but I assure you, you do not. For instance, here are some of the character traits of this child. Which one of these sounds like Autism to you?

extreme intelligence
highly developed empathy for those wounded by injustice
deeply involved in becoming a change agent to right wrongs
highly interested in the economic and political roots of systemic injustice
studying urban politics and government
crazy about gaming worlds and their peculiar taxonomies
writes award-winning political analyses
writes poetry (and GOOD poetry at that)
directs and edits indie films -- loves film noire
funniest human being on the planet
big hugger

Any of those sound like "Rain Man" to you?

The misconceptions of people on the Autism Spectrum are breath-taking. And, to my mind, an ultimate danger to the realization of God's Kingdom.

My child is devoted to a vision of God's Church as a place for all people. The last three years of my life in the Church has been devoted to opening access to acknowledgment and leadership opportunities within the Church for ALL God's people. In my case, I have been doing it in the company of people on the Autism Spectrum. My child is now launched as a companion on the journey, and I am overjoyed.

but the number ONE reason why this is an amazing event?

My child is still in High School. This child is still a Junior in High School. As part of a special school program, "Dual Enrollment" Student -- taking both High School and College Courses. This child already scored in the top 1% of the State on the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) in ALL categories.